Protocol for the Prevention of Radicalization
Following the attacks on many different European cities, each level of power in Belgium adopted a strategy to prevent radicalism and extremism in all its forms. Like other towns and cities, the Walloon and Brussels regions and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Namur signed a protocol “of cooperation to prevent violent radicalization.” The objective of this protocol is transversal prevention of violent extremism and radicalism.
The protocol is a step forward towards fighting radicalism. It supplements the daily field commitment of the city’s Social Cohesiveness Department. Through its safety and prevention cell, its local social workers, its neighbourhood homes, its social prevention group, its peace guardians and its support for socio-professional insertion, Namur works close to residents each day to promote prevention, cooperation and dialogue
Namur and preventing radicalization
For many years now, Namur has implemented actions to prevent radicalization. In 2015, the city hired a contact person for radicalism.
In 2017, the Social Cohesiveness Department set out an action plan based on a safety diagnostic tool, the Local Safety Diagnosis, and a municipal platform to bring together key players in the field. Radicalization prevention seminars have also been created for staff, in which clear definitions were proposed and alert indicators were defined.
A Radicalism Referral Officer
In January 2018, Namur hired a new, full-time radicalism referral officer. The officer is in charge of evaluating, diagnosing and counselling people with behavioural and emotional difficulties. He works with platform diagnostics and collaborates with the Local Integral Safety Cell and the police department’s radicalism contact person.
A protocol to connect prevention stakeholders
The “Protocol of Cooperation to Prevent Violent Radicalization,” which was presented on February 22 at the communal council, will be signed by towns and cities, the Walloon and Brussels regions and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Its objective is transversal prevention of violent extremism and radicalism. The protocol sets out a framework that aims to encourage synergy and cooperation between key players in the area of prevention.
Partners commit to developing synergies that help their prevention actions be more effective through:
- information between staff
- communication with the public
- pooling expertise and sharing prevention projects
- taking charge of individual situations