Prevent is one of the four core elements of the Government’s CONTEST strategy for countering terrorism. The other three elements are Prepare, Pursue and Protect.
Prevent is a distinct part of the CONTEST Strategy focusing on early intervention through strategies which reduce the likelihood of individuals supporting a violent or extremist ideology or becoming terrorists. Prevent applies to all forms of extremism including far right extremism.
The Government’s Prevent Strategy is made up of three key objectives which build on elements of previous Prevent programmes:
Prevent is recognised as a 'safeguarding' issue and will be treated in the same way as other safeguarding processes designed to protect vulnerable people from harm or abuse.
The Bradford District Prevent Action Plan has ensured that the delivery of Prevent in the District is a multi-agency responsibility. Recognising and responding to extremism is a shared responsibility, therefore a wide range of organisations are included in the delivery of Prevent.
Bradford has prioritised education as the long-term answer to challenging extremism in the District and this approach has had a positive response from schools, FE colleges and Bradford University.
The Prevent Duty:
The UK Terror threat level was increased from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ on 29 August 2014 and the Government indicated the terrorism threat had become as significant as at any time since 9/11.
In November 2014, the Government announced the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill. The Bill received Royal assent in February 2015 and, significantly, made Prevent a statutory duty for local authorities, police, prison/probation, further/higher education, schools and health.
The Act places a duty on these specified authorities to have ‘due regard’, in the exercise of its functions, to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. The Prevent Duty came into force as of 1 July 2015.
The term “due regard”, as used in the Act, means that the authorities should place an appropriate amount of weight on the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.
Preventing people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism also requires challenge to extremist ideas where they are used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.
In response to the requirements of the Prevent Duty, support has been provided to the six ‘specified authorities’ to develop their own Prevent Plan. Collectively, these plans form the District Prevent Action Plan 2015-17. This approach broadens accountability and ensures effective partnership.
Tackling extremist material is important to protect the public and prevent offences that incite or promote terrorism and extremism.
The internet and social media provides many opportunities for those with extreme views to target young or vulnerable individuals.
The Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) put considerable effort into removing terrorist and extremist material and have launched the STOP Terrorists' & Extremists' Online Presence campaign.
However, it is communities who defeat terrorism. Police depend on information from the public in their efforts to keep us all safe and are asking anyone who has concerns about online content to report it by clicking the STOP Terrorists' & Extremists' Online button below.