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Migration and Home Affairs

Lessons from crime prevention in preventing violent extremism by police, January 2020

This paper explores whether the mechanisms and measures used in crime prevention work in preventing violent extremism (PVE). Although this paper argues that in general the mechanisms and principles of crime prevention are applicable to PVE, it also illustrates that certain successful crime prevention measures may have little, or even an adverse, effect in PVE.

The paper then outlines a number of cross-cutting challenges in PVE, some of which can only be addressed by long-term police commitment. That being said, a significant challenge in reducing violent extremism lies in finding the right balance between short-term strategies (often repressive measures) and long-term strategies (for example, trust-building).

The main conclusion of this paper is that PVE can and should be approached with a holistic crime prevention framework, where — as long as police seek collaboration with other agencies and civil society organisations (CSOs) — police have a role to play in primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Read more


Lessons from crime prevention in preventing violent extremism by police (also available in French and German)