Since 1st July 2015, all specified authorities have a responsibility to ensure that they demonstrate compliance to Prevent duty, with due regard; as outlined under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This is a form of training that aims to ensure the safeguarding of children, adults and communities from any threat of terrorism. It is a legal requirement that applies to a wide array of public sector organisations in England and Wales, and Scotland.
The 2011 Prevent strategy included three main objectives:
- To respond to the ideological challenges of radicalism and extremism and prevent the threat that society faces from individuals and groups who promote such ideals.
- Prevent people from being drawn to terrorism through the provision of relevant support and advice that adopts a rights-based early intervention approach.
- Work with specified authorities, including ‘sectors and institutions’ to identify radicalisation and extremism in British society.
As a result, professionals are now obligated to report any suspicious activity to a local Prevent body. An assessment will then be conducted, whether or not further action is required, and support is provided for those who are exploited or vulnerable. As part of this, the Home Office will collect data, implement local and regional Prevent coordinators, support the Prevent Oversight Board, and monitor and assess the delivery of the Prevent duty in up to 50 priority areas.
Who is responsible?
As a form of safeguarding, ultimately Prevent is everybody’s business. However, relevant training is a legal requirement for those who work in specified authorities where there are risks of radicalisation that need to be addressed. This refers to public-facing bodies such as local authorities, the NHS, schools, higher education, the probation service and the police amongst others. Prevent thus aims to ensure that frontline staff are equipped with the knowledge required to recognise those vulnerable to radicalisation, and the appropriate procedure for reporting those that they think are at risk
The CONTEST Strategy
Prevent is one of four elements of CONTEST, which is the government’s counter-terrorism strategy. CONTEST was first developed by the Home Office in 2003, and it has been revised several times since, with the latest revision in June 2018.
The strategy is premised upon the four Ps, which include:
|Pursue||To stop terrorist attacks from happening.|
|Prevent||To prevent people from becoming terrorists.|
|Protect||To strengthen the UK’s protection against extremism, radicalisation and terrorism.|
|Prepare||To mitigate the impact of terrorist attacks in the UK.|
Promoting British Values
Prevent aims to protect and promote the fundamental British values, which include:
- Rule of Law.
- Individual Liberty.
Although such values are not only applicable to the UK alone, these are the fundamental principles that shape policy and practice, with the promotion of these values already embedded in legislative and guidance documentation.
The policy and legislative framework set out the government’s commitment to equality and inclusion. In accordance with UK Equality law, each person is entitled to the same rights and to live their life free from prejudice and marginalisation based on their sociodemographic status. With respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs as well as those without faith, we believe in the celebration of diversity and difference in a society that protects and promotes international human rights. Prevent procedure outlines that anyone who aims to challenge these values may represent a threat to British society