Law Enforcement Responses to Violent Extremism in Greece
In order to generate a European perspective of counter-radicalisation, it is important to understand the individual strategies of member states. Illuminating the best practices of countries can provide the best stimulus to initiate policy reform and changes to multi-agency prevention. In this article, the experiences and needs of practitioners from law enforcement agencies in Greece are captured to provide a deeper understanding of prevention work. Results are presented from focus groups with law enforcement practitioners that were held at a counter-radicalisation workshop in Athens where over 120 practitioners assembled to discuss violent extremism and vulnerable groups in Greece. Approximately two-thirds of the participants reported having contact to extremists in a professional capacity. These practitioners most commonly worked within smaller teams (1-10) and collaborated with a diverse range of national stakeholders. Although participants were most concerned about Islamist extremism, left-wing extremism was the most commonly reported form of extremism encountered. Participants emphasised the need for further training in recognising the signs of violent extremist behaviour and international information sharing. Results indicate a growing need for more technological formats that can host counter-radicalisation tools, such as app-based risk assessments and training modules.
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