The role of the police in countering radicalization and violent extremism in Bærum
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The police and their sister institution police security service (PST) security and intelligence gathering organs of the state have been given responsibility to implement most of the measures adopted in both the national and local action plans against violent extremism especially those measures that involve engaging the religious or faith communities. The role of the police needs to be properly examined in order to identify loopholes which might be detrimental to counter radicalization into violent extremism work. This paper has examined how CVE policy documents both at the national and local level of Bærum have categorized the role of the police in countering all forms of violent extremism and how these documents have highlighted the causes and phenomenon of radicalization. This paper has also looked into how the issue of trust within the Muslim community towards the police and municipal authorities is addressed in both national and local policy documents on radicalization and violent extremism. To give answers to the issues raised in the research questions the paper adopted a literature review and theoretical discussions on themes associated with the role of police and trust building mechanisms in CVE work. What came of the review and discussions is that police in carryout their role according to the measures developed by government policy may contribute to the weakening of trust within Muslim communities towards relevant authorities. This paper has argued that the police and their sister organization PST are all over the measures adopted to counter radicalization and violent extremism and that such a police presence is counterproductive because it may lead to suspicion and less police accountability.