News story

Terms of reference for independent review of Prevent announced

The terms of reference setting out the purpose and structure of the independent review have been published today.

Independent Reviewer of Prevent, Lord Carlile

Independent Reviewer of Prevent, Lord Carlile

The government has today (Monday 16 September) published the terms of reference for the independent review of the Prevent programme.

This follows the appointment of Lord Carlile to lead the review.

The review will focus on the current delivery of Prevent and make recommendations for the future of the government’s strategy for safeguarding those vulnerable to radicalisation. This will include looking at how effectively Prevent is delivered at local and national levels, how effectively the Prevent statutory duty is being implemented, how it might be improved to respond to justified criticisms and complaints, and how it interacts with other safeguarding strategies.

The review will report to Parliament by August 2020.

Security Minister Brandon Lewis said:

Prevent is an absolutely vital part of our efforts to stop people from being drawn into or supporting terrorism. Since 2012, more than 1,700 people have been steered away from terrorism via the Channel programme, which provides confidential, tailored support for individuals at risk of radicalisation.

We know that Prevent is successfully stopping people being drawn into terrorism, and this review will give us further evidence of what works well, while also suggesting areas for improvements. I look forward to seeing these recommendations.

Independent reviewer of Prevent Lord Carlile said:

This review is an opportunity to take stock of what Prevent looks like in practice, what’s working and what isn’t, and identify what improvements need to be made to respond to how the threat might change in the future.

Making these terms of reference public is an important step. It paves the way to my engagement with a wide range of those interested in the UK’s strategy for safeguarding those vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, both critics and supporters alike, in an independent and open way. This will include a formal call for evidence in the coming weeks and a series of roadshows over the Autumn and Winter.

The purpose of Prevent is to safeguard vulnerable people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, by engaging with those who are identified as being vulnerable to radicalisation or targeting by terrorist recruiters.

Prevent deals with all forms of terrorism, including Islamist and extreme right wing, and does not focus on any one community.

The Prevent duty came into force as part of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and ensures that specified authorities have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. It covers schools, colleges, universities, health, local authorities, police, and prisons. Delivery of Prevent in these sectors will be considered as part of the review.

Published 16 September 2019