Community reporting of violent extremist activity and involvement in foreign conflict

A replication of an Australian study that explored the dynamics of and barriers to bystander reporting to authorities regarding terrorism, looking specifically at when and how close family members, friends, and community members might report concerns to authorities about someone close to them.

The first people to suspect or know about someone involved in acts of violent extremism, including planned or actual involvement in overseas conflicts, will often be those closest to them: their friends, family and community insiders.

This project from the University of Huddersfield in partnership with Deakin University, Australia seeks to build on previous Australian-based research to gain new knowledge about the dynamics and barriers to community reporting in the UK, in order to develop new, localised and contextually sensitive understanding of and approaches to community reporting issues. Our study replicates the Australian study with a significantly increased sample size. It also extends sampling to include a sub-sample of White British community respondents.

The research methodology and questions will seek to understand and assess the experiences and views of those who would consider sharing concerns about ‘intimate’ others with authorities concerning suspected involvement in extremist activity at home and/or in planning to travel abroad to take part in violent conflicts. The study will use qualitative inquiry, with semi-structured in-depth interviews for community respondents and government key informants. Community and state professional respondent groups will be drawn from three major metropolitan conurbations at the forefront of Counter-Terrorism policy efforts through the Prevent Strategy.

Research questions

  • What are the triggers, thresholds, and barriers for when someone would consider reporting?
  • What is the experience of (considering) reporting on an individual who may be involved in violent extremism, from the reporters’ perspectives?
  • What can these insights tell us about how bystander reporting campaigns should be developed, and what approaches might be most successful with particular individuals?

Principal Investigators

Professor Paul Thomas
Professor Michelle Grossman

Institutions

University of Huddersfield, UK
Deakin University, Australia

Staff

Outputs

Community Reporting Thresholds Poster

Community Reporting Thresholds Community Reporting Thresholds by CREST Researchers, Paul Thomas, Michele Grossman, Shamim Miah and Kris Christmann. This poster gives an overview of their research on...Read More »

What are the barriers to reporting people suspected of violent extremism?

A vital element of counter-terrorism strategy is encouraging people to report suspected terrorists. But it isn’t easy to do this if it’s someone you...Read More »

Community Reporting Thresholds: Executive Summary

This is the executive summary on Community Reporting Thresholds, produced by CREST. It looks at the reporting of potential violent extremism and terrorism, focusing...Read More »

Community Reporting Thresholds: Full Report

This is the full report on Community Reporting Thresholds, produced by CREST. It looks at the reporting of potential violent extremism and terrorism, focusing...Read More »

Community Reporting – the key to defeating terrorism?

How do people feel about reporting on their friends & family members? Michele Grossman and Paul Thomas plan to find out The recent spate...Read More »