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: left-wing extremism, animal rights extremism, right-wing extremism, Northern Ireland related extremism and Al-Qaeda or Daesh-inspired 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:

  • 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, identifying them and offering support
  • enable those who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate

The delivery of the first 2 objectives of Prevent is led by local authorities.  In delivering the strategy in Westminster, we work closely with a wide range of sectors and institutions. These 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 educational 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 1 July 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 sector partner organisations.

Westminster’s Prevent Team provide support to these sectors in the implementation of the Prevent duty.

Last updated: 7 September 2018
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