Prevent

Prevent is a key strand in the government’s counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST).

Local authorities are seen as having a major role to play in preventing people from being drawn into terrorist activity – whatever the ideology behind it.

What is CONTEST?

The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism, so people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.

The counter-terrorism strategy is built around four strands, each with a number of key objectives.

Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks

The purpose of Pursue is to stop terrorist attacks in this country and against our interest overseas. This means to:

  • detect and investigate threats at the earliest possible stage
  • disrupt terrorist activity before it can endanger the public
  • and, wherever possible, prosecute those responsible.

Protect: to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack

The purpose of Protect is to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack in the UK or against our interests overseas and so reduce our vulnerability.

Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack

The purpose of our Prepare work is to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack where that attack cannot be stopped. This includes work to bring a terrorist attack to an end and to increase our resilience so we can recover from its aftermath.

An effective and efficient response will save lives, reduce harm and aid recovery.

Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism

The aim of Prevent is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The government regards Prevent as a key part of CONTEST and does not believe it is possible to resolve the threats we face simply by arresting and prosecuting more people.

Prevent will address all forms of terrorism but continue to prioritise according to the threat they pose to our national security.

Within this overall framework the new Prevent strategy will specifically:

  • respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it;
  • prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and make sure they are given appropriate advice and support; and
  • work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.