15:09 GMT17 January 2021
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    The number of people referred to the United Kingdom’s Prevent counter-extremism program rose by 10 percent in the year to March 31, with over half them aged 20 or under, the Home Office’s fresh statistics showed on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - In the year ending 31 March 2020, there were 6,287 referrals to Prevent. This has been an increase of 10% compared to the record low in the previous year (5,737 in the year ending March 2019), the Home Office said in a press release.

    Males make up 88 percent of those flagged up over fears of extremism.

    Fifty-four percent of all referrals are for individuals aged 20 years or under.

    A total of 1,424 referrals were examined by a Channel panel, and 697 of them were ultimately referred to the Channel program, a multi-agency approach to support people deemed to be at risk of radicalization. The numbers are the highest ever recorded. Last year, the highs were 1,328 and 556, respectively.

    "Of the 697 Channel cases, the most common were cases referred due to concerns regarding right-wing radicalisation (302; 43%), followed by Islamist radicalisation (210; 30%)," the report said.

    Most of referrals in the UK are made by police and the education sector.

    extremism, COVID-19, UK
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