Lord Carlile to lead independent review of Prevent

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The government has today (12 August) announced that Lord Carlile has been appointed as the Independent Reviewer of the Prevent programme, which safeguards vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.

Prevent is one of the four strands of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST.

In January, the government announced the creation of the Independent Review of Prevent as part of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act.

Security Minister Brandon Lewis said:

Lord Carlile brings a wealth of experience and skills to this role. As the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, he showed independence and rigour and I am pleased he has agreed to lead this review.

Prevent is vitally important in stopping vulnerable individuals being drawn into terrorism and has been instrumental in turning people’s lives around for the better and keeping our communities safe.

Our Prevent Network across the country – from mentors giving individual support, to raising awareness of the dangers of radicalisation – works tirelessly to tackle all forms of terrorism.

We are continually improving and evolving the programme, and I look forward to seeing Lord Carlile’s recommendations on how we can learn more about what works and where we need to improve.

Independent Reviewer of Prevent Lord Carlile said:

The nature of the terrorist threat is ever-changing and government policy must evolve in order to tackle it.

I look forward in my new role to seeing Prevent work in action and hearing views from supporters, critics and everyone in between to see the evidence of what is and isn’t working. The review will be strongly evidence based.

As the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, I have a strong track record of asserting and sustaining my independence of government in assessing the effectiveness of legislation, and this role will be no different.

The review will focus on the current delivery of the Prevent programme and make recommendations for the future and is expected to report to Parliament by August 2020. The terms of reference for the review will be published shortly.

The purpose of Prevent is to safeguard vulnerable people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, by engaging with those who are identified as being vulnerable to radicalisation or targeting by terrorist recruiters.

Prevent deals with all forms of terrorism, including Islamist and extreme right wing, and does not focus on any one community.

As part of Prevent, the Channel programme provides tailored support for a person vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and works in a similar way to safeguarding processes designed to protect people from gang activity, drug or sexual abuse – with individuals offered dedicated support and advice. Since 2012, 1,267 people have been successfully supported through the scheme.

Of the 394 individuals who received Channel support in 2017/18, 179 (45%) were referred for concerns related to Islamist extremism and 174 (44%) were referred for concerns related to right wing extremism.

In 2018/19, 203 community-based projects were also delivered by Prevent reaching over 142,000 participants. Of these projects, 47% were delivered in schools, aimed at increasing young people’s resilience to terrorist and extremist ideologies of all forms, including right wing extremism.

As one part of the CONTEST strategy, Prevent, alongside Pursue (stopping terrorist attacks happening in the UK and overseas), Protect (strengthening protection against a terrorist attack in the UK or overseas) and Prepare (mitigating the impact of a terrorist incident if it occurs) comprise the four strands of the strategy.

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