Local Authorities have a duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the ‘Prevent Duty’) to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

CONTEST is the national counter terrorism strategy.  The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the United Kingdom and its interests overseas from international terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence. The Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) is responsible for providing strategic direction and governance on CONTEST.

The strategy has four work streams:

Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks
Protect: to strengthen our protection against terrorist attack
Prepare: where an attack cannot be stopped, to mitigate its impact

The objectives of the Prevent work stream 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 are risks of radicalisation which we need to address

The Channel programme was developed as a key part of the Prevent strategy. Channel is a Home Office funded programme to utilise the existing partnership working and expertise between the police, local authority, other partner agencies and the local community in the form of a professionals panel to identify those at risk of being drawn into terrorism or violent extremism and to provide them with community-based safeguarding strategies and interventions.  Prevent will address all forms of terrorism but continue to prioritise according to the threat posed to our national security.

Exploitation by radicalisers who promote violence

Individuals may be susceptible to exploitation into violent extremism by radicalisers. Violent extremists often use persuasive rationale and charismatic individuals to attract people to their cause. The aim is to attract people to their reasoning, inspire new recruits and embed their extreme views and persuade individuals of the legitimacy of their cause.

There are a number of factors that should not be considered in isolation but in conjunction with the particular circumstances of the individual: identity or personal crisis, particular personal circumstances, unemployment or underemployment, mental health issues and criminality.  All of these may contribute to alienation from UK values and a decision to cause harm to symbols of the community or the state.

Contact at Rochford District Council:  Prevent Lead or Safeguarding Officer: 01702 546 366