The Guardian reports on an Association of Chief Police Officers plan which
“will see every area of the country mapped for its potential to produce extremists and supporters for al-Qaida.”
“The new strategy will be rooted in “neighbourhood profiling”. “This will allow us to connect with all groups and to understand what is normal and what is unusual,” it says. “We need to continually improve our knowledge about communities and how they function both in a social and religious context.”
A senior source with knowledge of the discussions leading up to the writing of the document said mapping was important: “You have to assess where the need is greatest. Just relying on the census data for the number of Muslims in an area is not detailed or sophisticated enough.”
The JTW adds
“Scotland Yard will map nook and cranny in Britain to prevent British Muslims from turning to extremism and to stamp out zones potential to create extremists or terror sympathizers.”
One has to wonder what this plan will do to improve community relationships in those areas determined to be at risk.
I can’t avoid feeling a bit uncomfortable at the way the techniques of geo-demographics and segmentation may be used or more likely mis-used to profile neighbourhoods for potential terrorists. Get this one wrong and the consequences could be a bit more serious than having the wrong merchandise on the shelves or mis-mailing a load of junk mail on credit cards and time shares.
Counter-productive rather than counter-terrorism.