Dr George Kassimeris, Senior Research Fellow in Conflict and Terrorism in the School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, organised the workshop with a 57,000-euro European Mobility grant from the Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong Learning Programme.
Twenty-six people from the region involved in all aspects of counter-terrorism and preventing violent extremism (PVE) travelled to Barcelona for the five-day event which focused on the experience and strategies being undertaken in the West Midlands and Catalonia.
Participants included professionals from the police, the probation service, local government and colleges, mentoring and de-radicalisation programmes, as well as university lecturers involved in counter-terrorism.
The presentations and discussions looked at the British and the Spanish experience of terrorism and examined examples of the counter-terrorism measures.
CIDOB, the institute in Barcelona where the workshop took place, arranged speakers from the Catalan Government, police service, Ministry of Defence, counter-terrorism unit, prison service, as well as universities and the media.
The exchange of good practice, expertise and experience from more than one sector, and cross-referencing with another European culture, were key aims behind the workshop.
Dr Kassimeris said: “The workshop was very successful in bringing together a wide range of people involved in preventing violent extremism both in the West Midlands and in Barcelona, and exposing them to the policies and work of other UK sectors and European regions
“The police, the local government officials and the academic researchers for example, found they all had something to learn from each other, and the comparisons with the Catalan model were also very instructive. The participants have returned to the UK inspired by what they learnt, with many already planning how it will influence their work and decisions in the future.”
One of the participants, Dr Richard Jackson from Aberystwyth University, said: “As a scholar of terrorism and PVE, this event provided me with genuine insights into government PVE programmes, which will be relevant to my research, and will provide added value for my teaching.”
For more information, contact: Linda Townsend: L.Townsend3@wlv.ac.uk, Tel: 01902 32 3370.
For media inquiries please call Emma Kilvert in the Media Relaitons Office on 01902 322003.