In June 2011 the Government published its review of Prevent. This is one of the key elements of its counter-terrorism strategy.

The Prevent strategy aims to provide early intervention to individuals at risk of radicalisation. It focuses on support and guidance and not on criminalisation.

The 3 key objectives of Prevent are -

  • ideology - challenge the ideology of terrorism and disrupt the ability of those who promote it
  • individuals - prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support
  • institutions - work with sectors where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address.

To address these objectives, we have adopted ‘Channel’. This is a multi-agency approach to assessment and support. It is aimed at individuals who may be targeted by violent extremists or drawn into violent extremism.

Prevent is a safety net against radicalisation. It aims to intervene early, to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent is delivered at a local level by experts who understand the risks in their communities. Partners include -

  • local authorities
  • Police
  • education
  • health
  • probation services
  • the Department for Work and Pensions
  • voluntary groups
  • community groups

For people who are susceptible to radicalisation, prevent can provide personalised interventions. This is to help them move away from dangerous ideologies.

Terrorism, extremism and radicalisation

The current UK definition of terrorism is given in the Terrorism Act 2000. This defines terrorism as an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person or people, causes serious damage to property, or interferes or disrupts an electronic system. Terrorist groups seek to cause widespread disruption, fear, and intimidation. They use violence or the threat of violence to publicising their causes, motivating those who might be sympathetic to them and intimidating those who do not sympathise.

Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values. These include -

  • democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect
  • tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

This also includes calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.

Radicalisation is the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism. There are many ways that a person could become radicalised. People can become exposed to radicalising influences in-person, or online.
A person’s susceptibility to radicalisation may be linked to their vulnerability. A person can be vulnerable if they need special care, support or protection because of -

  • age
  • disability
  • risk of abuse
  • neglect