Policy

Protecting the UK against terrorism

Supporting detail:

Prevent

Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The Prevent strategy:

  • responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views
  • provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
  • works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with

The strategy covers all forms of terrorism, including far right extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism. However, we prioritise our work according to the risks we face. For instance, following the death of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, the Prime Minister is leading a task force on tackling extremism and radicalisation. The special committee, which includes senior members of the cabinet and security chiefs, builds on the Prevent strategy.

The Home Office works with local authorities, a wide range of government departments, and community organisations to deliver the Prevent strategy. The police also play a significant role in Prevent, in much the same way as they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes.

We use a range of measures to challenge extremism in the UK, including:

  • where necessary, we have prevented apologists for terrorism and extremism from travelling to this country
  • giving guidance to local authorities and institutions to understand the threat from extremism and the statutory powers available to them to challenge extremist speakers
  • funding a specialist police unit which works to remove online content that breaches terrorist legislation
  • supporting community based campaigns and activity which can effectively rebut terrorist and extremist propaganda and offer alternative views to our most vulnerable target audiences - in this context we work with a range of civil society organisations
  • supporting people who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist activity through the Channel process, which involves several agencies working together to give individuals access to services such as health and education, specialist mentoring and diversionary activities - more information on Channel can be found in the Channel Guidance and Channel Vulnerability Assessment

Overseas, we work closely with countries where those who support terrorism and promote extremism are most active. Our activity is concentrated on Pakistan, the Middle East and East Africa where radicalising activity can have a direct impact on communities in the UK.

We measure the outputs and impact of our work locally and nationally to make sure the Prevent programme provides value for money.

Further information on Prevent, and the work done to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, can be found in CONTEST, and in the CONTEST Annual Report. Translations of Prevent’s Executive Summary in Arabic and Urdu, and the Prevent equality impact assessment are also available.

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