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What is PREVENT?

The Prevent Strategy is a cross-Government policy that forms one of the four strands of CONTEST: the United Kingdom’s Strategy for Counter Terrorism. It includes the
anti-radicalisation of vulnerable adults and children.

CONTEST as a counter-terrorism strategy is organised around four work streams, each comprising a number of key objectives:

  • PURSUE: To stop terrorist attacks;
  • PREVENT: To stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism;
  • PROTECT: To strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack; and
  • PREPARE: To mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack.

Prevent is designed to stop people from supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists themselves. The importance of identifying radicalisation as early as possible continues to be highlighted: when successful, radicalised individuals can be prevented from perpetrating criminal acts which significantly affect their own lives as well as those of their victims and their families and local communities.

Prevent now addresses radicalisation to all forms of terrorism, including the extreme right-wing, for example, and the non-violent, which can popularise views that terrorists exploit. Action to address forms of extremism such as these should be prioritised locally according to the risks faced. To assist in this, though the current Prevent strategy has widened its scope, its focus has been reduced to these key objectives:

  • IDEOLOGIES: To respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it;
  • INDIVIDUALS: To prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support; and
  • INSTITUTIONS: To work with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, the internet and health) where there are risks of radicalisation.