What is ‘Prevent’ and why does it exist?
In this blog we will introduce Prevent, what it is, how it fits into the government’s wider strategy for countering terrorism and its significance for both individuals and the organisations that must adhere to it.
What is Prevent?
Prevent was created to respond to a range of threats faced in the UK from different forms of terrorism. It’s one of four parts of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST; these are:
The process of Prevent has five stages: Channel, Referral, Preliminary Assessment, Multi-Agency Panel, Support.
What is the objective of Prevent?
Prevent aims not only to stop people becoming terrorists but to challenge and prevent support of terrorism, radicalisation and extremism, while at the same time protecting the public. This can include tackling those who support a far right group or who carry out any other extremist activities, as well as those who engage in hate or prejudice-based bullying.
The three key objectives of Prevent are to:
- Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it
- Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support
- Work with sectors and institutions where there is a risk of radicalisation which we need to address
Part of the Prevent strategy is to ‘promote British values’, which will be discussed in more detail in a later blog.
How does Prevent affect me as an individual learner?
The aim of Prevent is to safeguard learners from abuse, exploitation and radicalisation. It does not mean that controversial or sensitive issues cannot be discussed and it is not about spying on anyone – learners or staff.
Which organisations have to comply with the Prevent Duty?
Under the Counter Terrorism Act 2015, public bodies and organisations that are government funded and work with the public must comply with Prevent. This includes:
- Schools, Further and Higher Education institutions
- Social workers and children’s services
- Hospitals, GP surgeries and other medical facilities
- Government departments and bodies
- Local councils
- Police force
Prevent is also relevant for other groups such as faith-based organisations and charities.
Organisations must demonstrate active engagement with this policy and ensure that staff receive appropriate training. They should also be supported and trained to be aware of what the signs of radicalisation are, how it can happen (for example, through social media), the kinds of people who are vulnerable to radicalisation, and what steps to take if they suspect a student or staff member may be involved with extremist activities.
In the case of private training providers that receive government funding, such as CMS Vocational Training, any failure to comply with Prevent can lead to a cancellation of contracts.
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Are you an employer? Government-funded online training is available via the below link. The training is free and only requires you to create an accout on the Education and Training Foundationwebsite and complete the elearning that takes less than 20 minutes.
Prevent training for employers
Additional resources include:
Prevent & British Fundamental Values