CONTEST and the Prevent Strategy
What is CONTEST and the Prevent Strategy?
The Prevent Strategy is one of the key elements of CONTEST, the Government's counter- terrorism strategy and it aims to stop people from being drawn into terrorist-related activity. Prevent has strong links to safeguarding because vulnerable adults and children can be susceptible to radicalisation and recruitment into violent extremist and terrorist organisations.
CONTEST has four strands:
- Protect: Strengthen our protection against terrorist attack.
- Prepare: Mitigate the impact of an attack.
- Pursue: Stop a terrorist attack.
- Prevent: Stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism by:
- responding to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it,
- preventing people from being drawn into terrorism and ensuring that they are given appropriate advice and support,
- working with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address.
What does the Prevent Duty mean for Statutory Organisations in Lewisham?
Since 2015, statutory agencies have a duty under the Counter Terrorism & Security Act "to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism". This means that local authorities should:
- Establish strategic and operational links with other specified authorities,
- Facilitate the assessment of risk for specified authorities, including providing advice and sharing threat assessments based on the Counter Terrorism Local Profiles (CTLP),
- Provide a range of training products (including but not limited to Workshops to Raise Awareness of Prevent - WRAP) to all specified authorities,
- Understand the full range of bodies affected by the new duties, and ensure they understand their responsibilities,
- Embed Prevent into commissioning, procurement, and grant funding processes,
- Embed Prevent into Safeguarding Policies and ensure all providers are signed up to local Safeguarding arrangements. In Lewisham, work has been taking place to ensure that all relevant agencies are complying with their obligations under the 2015 Counter Terrorism & Security Act. This includes delivering briefings, training and advice.
Lewisham Prevent Service
London Borough of Lewisham Prevent are available to assist agencies in complying with their Counter Terrorism Act duties. The support offer includes:
- Prevent in Lewisham operates a Strategic Board
- Prevent Delivery Group
- Multi-Agency Safeguarding Panel – Channel
Compliance in Lewisham
- The provision of Workshops to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP training for frontline staff),
- Management briefings regarding Prevent Duty compliance,
- Coordination of strategic and operational groups,
- The provision of Prevent-related resources and dissemination of relevant information.
Safeguarding vulnerable people against radicalisation and extremism
There have been several cases where extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable adults. This can include justifying political, religious, sexist, or racist violence, or to steer individuals towards an ideology of extremism and intolerance. A vulnerable adult might be groomed and radicalised into carrying out acts of violence and cause significant harm to others.
There are several ways in which vulnerable adults can be at risk of radicalisation.
- They can be groomed either online or in person by people seeking to draw them into extremist activity.
- Vulnerable adults can be radicalised online via networks or online chat platforms.
- Grooming can also be carried out by those who hold harmful, extremist beliefs, including peer or family members who have an influence over the person's life.
- People can be exposed to violent, anti-social, extremist imagery and narratives which can lead to normalising intolerance of others and extremist ideology.
All agencies play a vital role in ensuring vulnerable adults and our communities are safe from the threat of radicalisation, extremist ideologies and terrorism.
If you are concerned that a vulnerable adult or other family members may hold extremist views or are at risk of being radicalised, it is important to ensure that they receive support to protect them from being drawn into terrorism.
Making a Referral
If you are are a professional or work in the voluntary sector and are worried about a vulnerable person you should follow your own organisation’s safeguarding procedures.
If you are a member of the public your concerns should be reported to:
London Borough of Lewisham Gateway
020 8314 7777 (Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm)
In an emergency always dial 999.
If you have any questions regarding Prevent in Lewisham contact the Prevent Manager by email
This training package is for anyone who may be asked to contribute to, sit on, or even run a Channel Panel. It is aimed at all levels, from a professional required to input and attend a Channel Panel meeting for the first time, to a member of staff new to their role and organising a panel meeting. It covers an introduction to what Channel is, how it operates in the local area, and how to organise a Channel Panel for the first time. It also covers information sharing, including how, when and with whom to share information of a Channel case.
- If you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related, trust your instincts and call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
- If you think you have seen a person acting suspiciously, or if you see a vehicle, unattended package or bag which might be an immediate threat, move away and call 999.
- If you are involved in an incident follow police advice to: 'RUN, HIDE AND TELL
- Download the citizenAID App , which provides safety and medical advice from Google Play, Apple App or the Windows Store, for free.
Prevent Support and Advice
You can contact the Prevent team directly and we will be more than happy to provide training, advice and support. However all referrals this should be done in addition to your usual safeguarding referral pathway.
Contact the Lewisham Prevent Team for support and information on fulfilling the duty.
Lewisham Prevent Service Training
Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP)
Target Group: All professionals working with vulnerable adults in the Borough of Lewisham.
The session is intended to:
- Develop an understanding of the Prevent Strategy & roles within it.
- Develop existing expertise and professional judgement in relation to extremism and radicalisation or recruitment to extremist groups.
- Increase awareness of the national / international picture of extremism and terrorism.
- Raise awareness of the links between online risks and radicalisation.
- Improve confidence to raise concerns.
- Raise awareness of the Channel interventions, safeguarding the individual.
- Increase the whole organisations capacity to prevent extremism and safeguard vulnerable people.
The webinars will include a presentation and Q&A session.
Hosted by Lewisham Prevent Team
The training is for anyone who has been through the Prevent awareness eLearning or a Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP), and so already understands Prevent and of their role in safeguarding vulnerable people.
The package shares best practice on how to articulate concerns about an individual and ensure that they are robust and considered.
It is aimed at anyone who may be able to notice signs of vulnerability to radicalisation and seeks to give them confidence in referring on for help if appropriate. It is also designed for those (for example line managers) who may receive referrals and need to consider how to respond, whether that be establishing more context, or reaching out to partner agencies for support.
The Lewisham Prevent Service offer bespoke training packages designed to meet the needs of the audience. Contact the Lewisham Prevent Service to find out more and book your training event.
Prevent Home Office awareness eLearning
The Prevent awareness eLearning has recently been refreshed. This includes updates to reflect the recommendations from the Parsons Green review, updated information following the change in threat and recent attacks, and new case studies. A link to the training is below.
Prevent Referrals E-Learning
Guidance and Further Reading
The Prevent Duty guidance for partners and Local Authorities
Information on Channel
Home Office guide for schools about social media and radicalisation
How people become radicalised