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Een kennisparel van Jaap de Waard

[103] 2 oktober 2020: Police programmes that seek to increase community connectedness for reducing violent extremism behaviour, attitudes and beliefs

Inleiding en context

Vrijdagochtend (alweer) 2 oktober 2020, voor velen de laatste werkdag van een nieuwe thuiswerkweek. Sommige collega´s vinden het lekker om een muziekje te draaien in hun thuiswerkkantoor, luister hier dan eens naar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eca6CfxxIW4 Het schijnt dat je er rustig van wordt. Smaken verschillen, ik ga liever voor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5_fQHTW_Sk Daar word ik onrustig van.

Afijn, genoeg over thuiswerken en muziekvoorkeuren. Vandaag een mooie recente onderzoeksynthese naar de mate waarin getracht wordt om via allerhande programma´s, waarin de politie een centrale rol speelt, om gewelddadig extremisme / radicalisering en rekruteringsprocessen op buurtniveau te reduceren of te voorkomen. Inderdaad ´voorkomen is beter dan genezen´ en een ´ons preventie is meer waard dan een kilo aan reparatie of nazorg´. De preventieve aanpak van extremistisch gedrag en/of radicalisering staat vandaag dus centraal in bijgesloten ´kennisparel´.

Ter informatie, binnen Europa heeft het Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) de taak om vooral lokale initiatieven te ondersteunen, veelal via kennisoverdracht, om radicalisering en extremisme te voorkomen. Lezers die geïnteresseerd zijn verwijs ik naar de website van RAN: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/networks/radicalisation_awareness_network_en

Maar wat leveren al deze (preventieve) initiatieven op? Wat zijn de effecten? Werken ze wel? En worden de doelgroepen wel bereikt? Kortom, tijd voor een systematische beoordeling van de programma´s via bijgesloten ´kennisparel´

Bron

Mazerolle, Lorraine, Elizabeth Eggins, Adrian Cherney, Lorelei Hine, Angela Higginson & Emma Belton (September 2020). Police programmes that seek to increase community connectedness for reducing violent extremism behaviour, attitudes and beliefs. Campbell Systematic Reviews, vol. 16, no. 3, September, pp. 1-48. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cl2.1111

Samenvatting

Police can play a role in tackling violent extremism through disrupting terrorist plots and by working with communities to identify individuals at risk of radicalisation. Police programmes to tackle violent extremism can involve a range of approaches and partnerships. One approach includes efforts to improve community connectedness by working to address social isolation, belonging, economic opportunities and norms and values that may lead people to endorse or support violent extremist causes and groups. The assumption is that the risk of an individual being radicalised in the community can be reduced when police work in several ways with community members and groups to mobilise and support activities that help generate a sense of belonging and trust. Police programmes that build a sense of belonging and trust may help ensure individuals are not influenced by activities that violent extremists use to attract support for their cause.

The review aimed to systematically examine whether or not police programmes that seek to promote community connectedness are effective in reducing violent extremist behaviours, attitudes and beliefs. The review also sought to identify whether effectiveness varied by the intervention type and location.

Using terrorism‐related terms, we searched the Global Policing Database to identify eligible published and unpublished evaluations between January 2002 and December 2018. We supplemented this with comprehensive searches of relevant terrorism and counter‐terrorism websites and research repositories, reference harvesting of eligible and topic‐relevant studies, forward citation searches of eligible studies, hand‐searches of leading journals and consultations with experts.

Eligible studies needed to include an initiative that involved the police, either through police initiation, development, leadership or where the police were receivers of the programme (such as a training programme) or where the police delivered or implemented the intervention. The initiative also needed to be some kind of a strategy, technique, approach, activity, campaign, training, programme, directive or funding/organisational change that involved police in some way to promote community connectedness. Community connectedness was defined as being community consultation, partnership or collaboration with citizens and/or organisational entities. Eligible outcomes included violent extremism, along with radicalisation and disengagement which are considered to be attitudinal and belief‐based components of violent extremism. These outcomes could be measured via self‐report instruments, interviews, observations and/or official data. To be included, studies could utilise individuals, micro‐ or macroplaces as the participants. Finally, studies needed to provide a quantitative impact evaluation that utilised a randomised or quasi‐experimental design with a comparison group that either did not receive the intervention, or that received “business‐as‐usual” policing, no intervention or an alternative intervention.

The aim of this systematic review was to examine whether or not police programmes that seek to promote community connectedness are effective in reducing violent extremist behaviours, attitudes and beliefs. There is insufficient evidence available to ascertain whether such interventions achieve these outcomes. This finding is the result of the fact that interventions that have been evaluated tend to be characterised by evaluation designs that do not adopt experimental or quasi‐experimental approaches or use outcomes that are outside of scope for this review. While the volume of studies identified provide support for the assertion that police can play a role in tackling violent extremism by participating in, and implementing, programmes that promote community connectedness, it is unclear at this time if such approaches work in reducing violent extremism. Whilst we conclude that investment needs to be made in more robust methods of evaluation to test for programme effectiveness, we acknowledge that conducting evaluation and research in the area of counter‐terrorism/violent extremism is challenging.

Afsluitend

De hierboven cursief en vet afgedrukte hoofdconclusie is duidelijk: op basis van de meest volledige systematische analyse tot nu toe weten we niet of programma´s waarbij de politie een centrale rol speelt om gewelddadig extremisme / radicalisme tegen te gaan op buurtniveau effectief zijn. Dat is een nogal forse tegenvallende conclusie, zeker gezien het enorme aantal initiatieven en programma´s dat internationaal op dit terrein is geïmplementeerd. Maar ook daar zijn systematische evaluatiestudies voor, ze wijzen beleidsmensen en uitvoerders op successen, hoopvolle ontwikkelingen en mislukkingen. Van al deze uitkomsten kan geleerd worden.