About Prevent


Prevent forms one part of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. CONTEST is based on 4 areas of work:

  1. Pursue - to stop terrorist attacks
  2. Protect - to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack
  3. Prepare - to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack
  4. Prevent - to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism

Prevent aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, in all its forms.

Prevent works at the pre-criminal stage, using early intervention to encourage and empower individuals and communities to challenge extremist and terrorist ideology and behaviour.

What is extremism?

Extremism takes many forms, including animal rights extremism, right-wing extremism, Northern Ireland-related extremism and Al-Qaeda affiliated extremism.

Whilst Prevent is concerned with all types of extremism, Prevent work is prioritised according to the risks that we face. This means that the work we deliver locally is to address our local needs and vulnerabilities and may be different to what is being done elsewhere in London or the UK.

Prevent work in Westminster

The 3 key objectives of the Prevent Strategy are to:

  1. Respond to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat that we face from those who promote these views.
  2. Work with institutions where there are risks of radicalisation to be addressed.
  3. Provide practical help in order to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support.

The delivery of Prevent is led by local authorities. In delivering the strategy in Westminster, we work closely with a wide range of sectors and institutions which include but are not limited to education, criminal justice, faith, charities and government departments, in addition to community organisations.

The Prevent agenda is far reaching, and work that we are currently undertaking across the city includes:

  • supporting schools and HE/FE institutions
  • partnering with youth groups to engage with vulnerable young people
  • providing training on identifying vulnerabilities and the Prevent Strategy to front line practitioners
  • working with faith institutions
  • promoting safe charitable giving and supporting parents.

The police also play a significant role in Prevent, in much the same way as they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes.

Prevent Statutory Duty

From the 1st July 2015, the Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015 placed a statutory duty on local authorities and other bodies to have "due regard for the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism" in the exercise of their functions. Other specific bodies include all schools, universities, colleges and a range of public section partner organisations.

Westminster’s Prevent Team will be providing support to these sectors in the implementation of the 'Prevent Duty'.


Last updated: 16 May 2016
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