While violent crime in the country continues to soar, UK police are contributing to the scripting of television soap operas in an effort to deter far-right extremism.
According to a report by the London Times, officers from the government’s ‘Prevent’ radicalization program are advising “Channel 4’s Hollyoaks on a storyline involving one of the main characters getting sucked into far-right violence.”
During an episode broadcast last week, Ste Hay, a character in Hollyoaks, “showed his loyalty to the far-right extremist group and was rewarded with the opportunity to get their logo tattooed on his arm.”
Chief Superintendent Nik Adams, Prevent’s national co-ordinator, told the newspaper that Hollyoaks’ young audience, which is primarily composed of teenagers and young adults, represented a “huge opportunity” to warn viewers about the signs of radicalization
He added that he “was keen to work with other television shows to spread greater awareness of the help available to those most at risk,” according to the report.
While no one would deny that far-right extremism is an issue, one wonders if equal time is being spent working with TV producers trying to deter Islamic extremism.
Increasing focus on ‘hate speech’ and ‘radicalization’ in the UK has also coincided with a surgein the country’s violent crime rate, which rose 19% in a single year. The country is also suffering from a knife crime epidemic.
In addition, while police have said that will stop responding to “low level” crimes like burglaries and break-ins due to funding cuts.
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