The mother of Manchester Arena Bombing victim Martyn Hett and founder of Martyn's Law, Figen Murray, argues that despite calls for "lessons to be learnt" from recent terror attacks, this has not yet happened, and halting mechanisms of radicalisation in the UK must now be prioritised.

Since tragically losing my son Martyn to the terror incident at the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017, I have been on a journey to educate myself, in a bid to try and understand extremist radicalisation in our society. My quest for answers has taken me to study a Masters in Counterterrorism, and ironically today I will be graduating from this course – the very day that the inquiry into the Manchester Arena bombing closes its chapter into the radicalisation of Salman Abedi.

Having listened to all the evidence provided to us, combined with what I have learnt studying for my Masters, I have come to the realisation that radicalisation of this sort touches upon every strand of society. Radicalisation destroys countless lives – be that those who lose their lives in an attack, their loved ones left behind, those scarred physically and emotionally from witnessing such an event, to those who themselves have been radicalised, their families, and communities.

We can but hope that when the Inquiry's final report is published that it will lead to an increase in preventing radicalisation from happening in the first place. It needs to be rooted out from the core. It pains me to reflect that despite the urgent need for "lessons to be learnt" that, as this chapter draws to a close and the Inquiry inches closer to the end, so far, nothing has been learnt at all. Surely prevention is better than cure?

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Only last week Liverpool Cathedral hosted an event of over 1,000 attendees in aid of the NSPCC where those in attendance described little, to no apparent security checks as people entered. This screams of a lack of lessons being learnt in the midst of danger and total complacency. In Liverpool of all places, the city that was the victim only last month of the latest terrorist incident in the UK.

Last week Boris Johnson pledged £780 million to tackle drug addiction and county line gangs. We all know how county lines recruit the vulnerable to 'run' their drugs across the country. We also know that austerity and a lack of public money reaching services to help the young have contributed to the widespread violence on our streets today. As a society we are finally admitting to an epidemic of youths being groomed by gangs to do their bidding, but why are we cowering from the fact that vulnerable young and adult minds are also being groomed by extremists?

The pandemic and social media have certainly contributed to the grooming into radicalisation, just as it has with county lines. We don't yet know the full extent that the past 20 months have had on the minds of our vulnerable, but we can be sure that groomers have been hard at work.

I urge the government to act decisively to prevent extremist organisations polluting minds in our society and prioritise addressing the very real threat of radicalisation. We cannot afford to wait for the Inquiry's report, or another incident, before we put adequate safety measures and the like in place to protect the citizens of this country.

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