Scope of the Prevent Duty

The  Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 contains a duty on specified authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. The government has produced guidance for specified authorities, which they must have regard to when complying with the duty. This is a legal requirement from 1 July 2015.

Bodies within the scope of the Prevent Duty

The duty applies to bodies that have significant interaction with people who could be vulnerable to radicalisation. This ensures that the duty is proportionate.

These include schools, local authorities, police forces, some NHS bodies, further and higher education providers, prisons and young offender institutions and providers of probation services.

GOV.UK: Agencies responsibilities and a fact sheet.

Contest 3.0 and the objectives of Prevent

The Prevent strategy is one of the four elements of CONTEST, the national counter terrorism strategy which was reviewed and updated in 2018.  Prevent addresses all forms of extremism and has 3 strategic objectives:

  • 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.

In complying with the duty all specified authorities should demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the risk of radicalisation in their area. The guidance identifies sector-specific duties with three themes throughout:

Effective leadership - those in leadership positions to have mechanisms to understand the risks, ensure staff have the capabilities to respond to risk, communicate and promote the importance of the duty and implement the duty effectively.

Working in partnership - demonstrate evidence of productive co-operation, in particular with local Prevent co-ordinators, the police and local authorities, and co-ordination through existing multi-agency forums, for example, Community Safety Partnerships Appropriate capabilities - ensure frontline staff have the training and skills to be aware of Prevent, how to challenge the extremist ideology and able to respond obtain support for people who may be exploited by radicalising influences.

The guidance requires Local Authorities to coordinate arrangements and oversee that each of the specified authorities are meeting the principles of the Act through activity in the following areas:

  • Assess risk of radicalisation
  • Develop an action plan to reduce risk
  • Have trained staff to recognise radicalisation and extremism
  • Work in partnership with other partners
  • Be aware of referral mechanisms and refer people to Channel
  • Maintain records and reports to show compliance


Email: [email protected]

Coventry City Council

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