Prevent is one of four national strands within CONTEST; the UK’s long term Counter Terrorism Strategy.
Its primary aim is to prevent individuals being drawn in the direction of terrorism and to target the underlying causes. It seeks to deter people from getting involved with terrorist groups and protect those most vulnerable to terrorist ideologies.
Building on the existing relationships and community links of neighbourhood police officers, the Prevent strategy seeks to address social grievances by learning more about the concerns of local people and responding to them more effectively. Whether real or perceived, beliefs about discrimination and inequality often form the foundation of extremist views and may be exploited by terrorists seeking to justify violence, or recruit others to their cause.
Through more effective engagement, Prevent helps us to develop a clearer understanding of how communities are made up, what specific problems they face and what issues residents feel threaten the stability or quality of life of local people. In doing so the police are in a stronger position to reduce the potential for violent extremism, by negating negative influences and helping to build more resilient communities.
In turn, information developed through stronger community networks and enhanced working relationships with Primary Care Trusts, local authorities, schools, universities and partner agencies, helps to inform local policing efforts. Where appropriate, it also steers multi-agency projects to improve communities and identify positive ways of discouraging people from becoming involved in criminal or extremist activity.
For more information about the Prevent Agenda please visit: