Police defend deradicalisation strategies

State and federal police have defended their deradicalisation strategies, saying they’re doing everything they can to prevent young people committing terrorist acts.


“It’s important to recognise that we do have a full suite of strategies that we are looking at across the full spectrum of radicalisation to try to diminish the threat,” AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Brian McDonald said.

But he admitted that none of the AFP’s policies have a “100 per cent success rate”.

“We don’t pretend that’s the case,” Mr McDonald told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

“But what is really important to us is that we apply those on a case by case basis dependent upon what we think will work best.”

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn meanwhile said it was concerning that people are becoming increasingly radicalised at a young age.

“But we have to persevere (and) we have to try a whole range of approaches to either prevent the radicalisation from happening in the first place, or if they do become radicalised to the point of violent extremism, that we try to deter them from that path,” Ms Burn said.

Related reading

She said NSW Police had a number of approaches in place, including prevention and youth-focused diversion programs.

The comments come after four men – aged 18, 20, 22 and 23 – were charged with plotting the murder of NSW Police accountant Curtis Cheng on Wednesday.

A 16-year-old boy who was reportedly enrolled with a NSW government-funded de-radicalisation program was arrested in Sydney on Sunday over an alleged Anzac Day terror plot.

Related reading