I have not long been back from speaking at a meeting of Ilford North Labour Party.  They had invited me to talk to them about the dilemmas faced in counter-terrorism policing.  A lively and invigorating discussion followed, covering such issues as the role of faith schools, the problems that may arise in local authorities grant-funding certain groups, the difficulties involved in balancing public safety against the desire to secure convictions for terrorist offences, the responsibility (or lack of it) of the media, and what can be done to prevent individuals being lured down the path to violent extremism.  The debate was mature and thoughtful and – in microcosm – demonstrated why the Government was right to publish such a full exposition of its counter-terrorist strategy in the recent White Paper.  It made the long journey on the Central Line worthwhile.

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