Terrorism Starts and Finishes in Our Neighbourhoods: Commander Mak Chishty on Security, Securitisation and Community Engagement

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Featuring a presentation from Commander Mak Chishty of the Metropolitan Police outlined the critical role of communities and community engagement in countering extremism and strengthening security at the local level. 

Community engagement is a vital part of the Metropolitan Police's strategy to counter extremism. Particularly in the aftermath of the Lee Rigby murder, Muslim communities play an increasingly significant role in fostering better relations and security between and within communities.

To explore this challenge in more detail, Commander Mak Chishty, the highest-ranking police officer of Muslim faith in the United Kingdom, examined the role that communities can play in building a greater capability and confidence to mobilise a common mission against violent extremism and segregation.   He focused on the main causes of isolation, with emphasis on the perceived lack of identity in Muslim groups, and describe some common drivers as experienced through policing methods.

Commander Mak Chishty joined Warwickshire Police at the age of 18 and today commands nearly 30 years experience in British policing and law enforcement. Having passed the Police National Assessment Centre (PNAC) and Senior Command Course (SCC), he was promoted to Commander for the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in 2011, where he was assigned command responsibility for the six boroughs constituting the North London patch. As Chair of the London Muslim Community Forum (LMCF), a strategic advisory board to New Scotland Yard, Commander Chishty has led efforts to devise a new approach to countering radicalisation and extremism. In 2014 he was appointed by Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to lead the integration of community relations within policing operations, including counter-terrorism and public order, in which capacity he remains as MPS Lead for Community Engagement. He heads up the MPS Hate Crime Unit and is the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for tackling Honour-Based Violence (HBV), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Forced Marriage, having also been recently appointed Head of the newly-created Race, Religion and Belief Portfolio.

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