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PREVENT – Anti Terrorism and Anti-Radicalisation of Vulnerable People

What is PREVENT?

The PREVENT Strategy is a cross-Government policy that forms one of the four strands of CONTEST: the United Kingdom’s Strategy for Counter Terrorism. It includes the anti-radicalisation of vulnerable adults and children.

CONTEST as a counter-terrorism strategy is organised around four work streams, each comprising a number of key objectives:

PURSUE: To stop terrorist attacks;
PREVENT: To stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism;
PROTECT: To strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack; and
PREPARE: To mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack.

Prevent addresses radicalisation to all forms of extremism and terrorism, including the extreme right-wing, for example, and seemingly non-violent extremism, which can popularise divisive and harmful views that terrorists exploit. Action to address forms of extremism such as these should be prioritised locally according to the risks faced. To assist in this the objectives of the Prevent strategy, as from 2018, 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

What do we mean by the term terrorism?

Although there is no generally agreed definition of terrorism internationally, in the United Kingdom the Terrorism Act 2000 defines terrorism as:

The use or threat of action designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public, or a section of the public; made for the purposes of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause; and it involves or causes:

serious violence against a person; serious damage to a property; a threat to a person’s life; a serious risk to the health and safety of the public; or serious interference with or disruption to an electronic system.

What do we mean by the term radicalisation?

Radicalisation is the process by which an individual, influenced by internal and external factors, starts to develop increasingly extremist ideals and aspirations to disrupt society that can lead to violent extremism or terrorism.

There is no obvious profile of anyone likely to become involved in extremism or a single indicator of when a person might move to adopt violence in support of extremist ideas.

The process of radicalisation is different for every individual and can take place over an extended period or within a very short time frame.

What do we mean by the term prevention?

Prevention means reducing or eliminating the risk of individuals or groups becoming involved in terrorism. Prevent involves the identification and referral of those susceptible to violent extremism into appropriate interventions. These interventions are aimed to stop the vulnerable being radicalised.

Extremists will always target the vulnerable in a bid to spread their firmly held, but flawed, ideologies, but we must tackle them at source and prevent people being brainwashed into terrorism.

To find out more about this aspect of safeguarding click on the link below –

PREVENT Information for partner agencies to share

If you have any concerns about an individual possibly being drawn into or supporting terrorism, discuss them first with your manager. If this is not possible, or if, having considered the case, you still believe there may be grounds for a Channel referral, contact any of the following to discuss the case:

Sussex Police Prevent Team:

Telephone: 101 | Ext. 531355



West Sussex Channel Panel Chair

Beverly Knight

Community Safety and Wellbeing, WSCC

Telephone: 0330 222 4223 | Mobile 0789 458 9071