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About Prevent

Find out about the Prevent counter-terrorism programme.

Published: 4 January 2021

Last updated: 25 January 2021

Prevent forms one part of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. 

CONTEST is based on four areas of work: 

  1. Pursue - to stop terrorist attacks 

  1. Protect - to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack 

  1. Prepare - to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack 

  1. 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: 

  • right-wing extremism

  • left-wing extremism 

  • Northern Ireland related extremism

  • Al-Qaeda or Daesh-inspired extremism 

  • animal rights extremism 

Whilst Prevent is concerned with all types of extremism, our 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 three key objectives of the Prevent strategy are to: 

  1. tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism  

  2. safeguard and support those most at risk of radicalisation through early identification, intervention and support 

  3. 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 the 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 to front line practitioners on the Prevent strategy and identifying vulnerabilities  

  • 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 they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes 

Prevent statutory duty

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. 

Our Prevent Team provides support to these sectors in the implementation of the Prevent duty. 


Find out how you can contact the Prevent team.