This pandemic is spreading extremism as well as coronavirus. I’m trying to fight it – but I need the government’s help

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For the last four months our focus has been on tackling the devastating impact of Covid-19. Life as we know it has changed dramatically as we’ve all made huge sacrifices and played our part in reducing the spread of the virus.

One of the many results of lockdown has been a drop in overall crime. This is, of course welcome. But behind these falling numbers, there are still some areas of real concern. One is the rise in extremism.

We know that times of uncertainty and hardship can create fertile breeding grounds for hatred and division as extremists take the opportunity to prey on the vulnerable. As more people than ever are at home, isolated and online, I worry that extremists are using this period to promote hate and conspiracy theories on social media.

Extremists of all persuasions are using the digital landscape as a battleground, where they are seeking to inspire and recruit the vulnerable and disaffected, exploiting and twisting faith and patriotism for their own deadly ends.

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