Submit Your View to the Government

There is a consultation period which the government requests views on the Part 5 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill. This consultation focuses on submissions from people who work within public bodies as they will be subject to the statutory obligations outlined in the bill.

The consultation period ends on noon Friday 30 January 2015. Please send your responses to marking your response with “Guidance consultation” in the subject field of your email.

For those who are not in the public sector, but are concerned about the ramifications of this Bill, it is important to encourage those you know to write to theconsultation in order to ensure the views of communities are adequately represented.

Template Letter:

To whom it may concern,

As a citizen who works in the public sector and is subject to the provisions of Part 5 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, I felt it was necessary to highlight my grave concerns surrounding the proposed legislation.

The consultation allows public sector workers to give their opinions on the barriers to the implementation of the bill. Below is a list of reasons why I feel the Part 5 of the bill is wholly unfeasible and would thus be a barrier to the bills implementation.

  1. The terms of reference of how an individual may be on a pathway towards ‘terrorism’ is unclear and so cannot be functionally used.
  1. The definition of ‘extremism’ in the Prevent strategy cannot be used as a reference point for determining risk due to its wide terms. The definition provides little clarity in the law and would allow for abuses against those children and families that might be wrongly assessed as part of overzealous reporting.
  1. The Bill and supporting documents provide no guidance on how religious practice and indeed legitimate difference of opinion within normative practice of religion is to be understood by the service providers.
  1. Such policies only serve to politically disenfranchise communities, rather than allowing for them to express themselves religiously and politically. Fear of being reported will drive opinions underground and will force communities to become introverted.
  1. Some parents may become fearful of sending their children to schools or healthcare services, if they feel they may come under unwarranted scrutiny by those who do not understand their beliefs or culture. Ultimately, the public sector are being required to carry out policing activity, an activity they are patently unqualified to perform.
  1. Concerns over the extent to which health and social services will be able to intrude into the lives of families based on reporting by service providers presents itself as the most contentious aspect of this Bill. A lack of clarity in the law and what could result in a family coming under scrutiny raise serious questions about the administration of this risk exercise.

Yours faithfully,

Concerned public sector worker