What is Prevent?

Prevent is part of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy known as CONTEST. 

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

The CONTEST strategy is based on four key elements:

  • Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks
  • Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
  • Protect: to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack
  • Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack

The Prevent Strategy aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, and has three key objectives to:

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

Why Prevent?

The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on local government, criminal justice, education, child care, health and social care and the police to all to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. Under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, all of the listed agencies – including local authorities and the police – need to have an understanding and awareness of what Prevent is, how to recognise signs of radicalisation, how to report and what will happen to the individual concerned.

For more information see:

·         Prevent Duty Guidance

·         Prevent – teaching and learning resource

·         Action Counters Terrorism campaign

·         ACT: Action Counters Terrorism 

Where to report a concern or something suspicious

If you have a concern about an individual, where you have noticed that changes in behaviour, emotions, ideologies or beliefs have developed into more extreme views, please report it. We ask you to recognise and consider where an individual could be at risk or vulnerable to radicalisation. Check with that person about changes that you have noticed, ask them are they OK and if you still have concerns, report it. If you have concerns don’t rely on other people to report it, you can either report it to the national confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline, or if you require further clarification please then contact your local authority lead.

National Anti-Terrorist Hotline: 0800-789-321 

Police: 101

Marc Stephenson, Community Protection Service Manager – Prevent Lead for Stockton: 01642 528439

The Prevent Process

After a referral has been made, a multi-agency meeting is held to discuss the concerns and the current situation that individual is facing. This meeting is known as a Channel Panel and is a process for safeguarding individuals by assessing their vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism.

The Channel process is about looking at early interventions to protect and divert people away from the risk they may face of being drawn into any terrorist-related activity. The assessment stage would look to identify how engaged the person is within terrorist activity and what their intentions may be.

This process would consider what vulnerabilities they may have been exposed to and how they are being exploited and drawn into radicalisation. It is an overt process with active involvement from the individual and their families, where support packages are developed to help the identified individuals.  The group may look to a bespoke specialist or mentor that could be introduced to the individual to provide them with a better understanding and awareness of a particular viewpoint.

To make a Prevent Channel Referral, please complete the Cleveland Police form and email it to prevent.contest@cleveland.pnn.police.uk

Alternatively, please call the Police Prevent Team on 01642 302028 or 01642 301332.

What is the current National Threat Level?

Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack. The national definitions for each threat level are detailed below. The current UK threat level for international terrorism is: SEVERE.  This means that a terrorist attack is ‘highly likely’. It is not set at this level to panic anyone however, it does highlight to us how necessary it is for us to be aware of Prevent, and the need to support and safeguard vulnerable people within our community.

  • LOW means an attack is unlikely.
  • MODERATE means an attack is possible, but not likely
  • SUBSTANTIAL means an attack is a strong possibility
  • SEVERE means an attack is highly likely
  • CRITICAL means an attack is expected imminently

Useful Links

ACT for Youth: RUN HIDE TELL

Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP) have collaborated with specialists from the PSHE Association and Girl guiding to take terrorism safety advice into the UK’s classrooms and youth organisations for the first time.

Security experts from CTP have commissioned the creation of an animated core film designed to teach young people how to react if caught up in an a gun or knife terror attack. The film aimed at 11 to 16 year olds will also show them what to do if they see suspicious behaviour or a suspicious item.

For further information please refer to the NSPCC website

Supporting children worried about terrorism

Police have issued new guidance to young people about what to do in the event of a terror attack. If you’re concerned about how a child is feeling following recent attacks or would like advice on how to talk to your children about terrorism, you can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

For further information please refer to the NSPCC website

Message from Cleveland Police

Prevent is part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy

The role of our Prevent Team officers is to provide practical support to tackle the problem of terrorism and extremism at its roots and prevent vulnerable people and communities from being drawn into terrorism. This includes far-right extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism.

We work with a range of partners including:

  • local authorities
  • schools and colleges
  • faith leaders
  • community groups, including women’s groups and youth groups
  • voluntary services

Find out more about the Prevent strategy

How you can help

The journey to becoming radicalised is different for everyone and there are many reasons why a person becomes vulnerable.

If you’re worried that any of your friends, neighbours or relatives is at risk of getting involved in terrorism or extremism, there are signs to look out for. These include someone who:

  • is at a transitional phase in their life, perhaps leaving or starting college, or changing jobs
  • is looking to find an identity, a sense of belonging, status or excitement
  • is susceptible to being influenced or controlled, or wants to dominate others
  • has a sense of grievance, injustice or who feels under threat
  • has an emotional desire for political or moral change
  • is secretive about social networking contacts

Find out more about what to look out for at Let’s Talk About It External Link

Tell us about your concerns

If you have concerns about any of your friends, neighbours or relatives, you can tell us about them by clicking the ‘Prevent referral form’ below to complete our quick and simple online form. If it’s an emergency, please call 999.

Or you can call anonymously on 0800 789 321.

If you see online material promoting terrorism or extremism, you can report it online.

Raise awareness of Prevent at community events

Our Prevent team works with local communities to raise awareness of Prevent. 

We’ll attend your event to make sure our communities understand the work we’re doing and have a say in the way we do it.

We’ll tell you more about the signs and behavioural changes to look out for in someone who might be becoming involved in terrorism or extremism and explain who might be at risk.

What happens next

Anyone who’s referred to the Prevent team is assessed by the police and local authority to see if they’re suitable for Channel, the specialist support scheme.

The scheme includes theological or ideological mentoring alongside help with mental health, emotional and drug or alcohol abuse issues, as well as education and career advice.

More about Prevent

Prevent isn’t about spying on our communities. It isn’t targeted at religion – extremists can come from any background. It’s not about blame. There’s no hidden agenda to criminalise any individual or to target any community or group.

Prevent referral form

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