What is Prevent ?

Recently, Prevent has been in the media spotlight so let’s have a look at what Prevent isn’t about first.

  • Prevent is not about making people suspicious of particular social groups or religions.
  • Prevent is not about stopping people from having an opinion.
  • Prevent is not about making arrests and police intervention, it’s about having open and honest conversations.
  • Prevent covers all types of extremism, the violent and non-violent aspects.
  • The main aim of Prevent is to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
  • Prevent is about safeguarding vulnerable people.

How does Prevent stop terrorism?

The prevent programme helps to stop terrorism by supporting vulnerable people who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism and terrorist activity. Prevent is only one part of a much bigger strategy to help stop terrorism in the UK.

The Prevent strategy:

  • Responds to challenges we all 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 makes sure they are given advice and support.
  • Works with a wide range of people and groups where there are risks of radicalisation that need to be dealt with.

Prevent uses a range of measures to challenge extremism including:

  • Supporting people who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist or extremist activity by talking to them and educating them.
  • Working with and supporting community groups and social enterprise projects who provide services and support to vulnerable people
  • Working with faith groups and institutions to assist them in providing support and guidance to people who may be vulnerable
  • Supporting local schools, local industry and partner agencies such as local councils through engagement, advice and training.

Prevent is about taking steps early on and helping to protect and divert vulnerable people away from the risk they may face from being drawn into any terrorist-related activity.

When a person is identified, a referral is made to a Channel Practitioner who will complete a preliminary assessment. A Channel Practitioner might be from a local council or from the health service.

The preliminary assessment will include a vulnerability assessment. This looks at how engaged the person is in potential terrorist activity, what their intentions are and how capable they are of carrying out acts of terrorism. This process is similar to making a safeguarding assessment for a vulnerable person who is at risk of being abused.

If the referral isn't malicious, misinformed or misguided it is then passed to the local Channel Panel. The panel uses its existing collaborations to assess the referral and if the person is suitable, supportive packages and interventions will be put in place.