What is Prevent?
Prevent is a national initiative aimed at reducing the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
The delivery of Prevent is grounded in early intervention and safeguarding.
Prevent addresses all forms of terrorism. The allocation of resources is proportionate to the threats we face.
The most significant of these threats is currently from terrorist organisations associated with:
- Al Qa’ida
- terrorists associated with extreme right-wing ideologies
- lone actors inspired by such organisations
This list is not exhaustive. The risk and threat to the UK is subject to constant review and updated accordingly.
Prevent has three objectives:
- tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism
- safeguard and support those most at risk of radicalisation through early intervention, by identifying them and offering support
- enable those who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate
There is an ongoing committment to protecting freedom of speech. However, preventing terrorism means challenging extremist (and non-violent) ideas that are also part of a terrorist ideology. This includes instances of unclear, mixed or unstable ideology. Prevent also facilitates interventions to stop people moving from extremist activity to terrorist-related activity.
The UK government's Counter-Extremism Strategy defines extremism as:
‘The vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and respect and tolerance for different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.’
What is Channel?
Channel forms a key part of Prevent. The process adopts a multi-agency approach to identify and provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism.
There is no fixed profile of a terrorist, so there is no defined threshold to determine whether an individual is at risk of being drawn into terrorism. However, signs that extremist views are being adopted can be used to assess whether the offer of early support should be made.
Unlike mainstream safeguarding for adults and children, there is no threshold to make a Prevent referral for an individual to access assessment and specialist support. There may be cases that require a safeguarding response in conjunction with Prevent.