Engaging Muslim communities to tackle radicalisation and violent extremism: What does the evidence say and what can police do?

Associate Professor Adrian Cherney

Police rely on information and assistance from the community in order to disrupt and prevent acts of terrorism. However such assistance will not be forthcoming or sustained unless the police undertake effective forms of community engagement. This is particularly the case in the context of police working with Muslim communities to tackle radicalisation and violent extremism. However Muslim communities in Australia and abroad feel targeted and stigmatised due to counter-terrorism policy and practice. This can make them distrustful of police and less willing to work in partnership with police. So what can police do to enhance their outreach and engagement of Muslim communities? In this presentation I will examine this issue by reviewing evidence on the effectiveness of community engagement derived from research on the policing of Muslim communities. Based on this review some key principles and recommendations that police should adopt to enhance their engagement efforts will be outlined.

Biography

Dr Adrian Cherney, is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Science, at the University of Queensland. He holds a PhD in Criminology from the University of Melbourne. One major focus of his work is on institutional legitimacy and cooperation with authorities e.g. police and government. He is currently undertaking research on community cooperation in counter-terrorism and examining grass root efforts to counter violent extremism. He has secured both national and international competitive grants from the Australian Research Council, US Air Force and the Australian Institute of Criminology.

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