Preventing violent extremism

Report illegal or harmful information, pictures or videos you’ve found on the internet.

You can report things like:

  • articles, images, speeches or videos that promote terrorism or encourage violence
  • websites made by terrorist or extremist organisations
  • videos of terrorist attacks

Prevent Strategy – background information

The Prevent strategy has 3 key strands aimed at addressing factors in support of the overall aim of stopping people becoming or supporting terrorists or violent extremists:

The original Prevent strategy was launched in the wake of the 7th July bombings, as part of CONTEST (UK’s Counter Terrorism Strategy). Over the last six years, work has been undertaken throughout Cornwall towards it’s Counter Terrorism Local Plan (CTLP) objectives, including an awareness raising programme, establishment of referral pathways and setting up single points of contact within partner agencies.

In Autumn 2010 the Coalition Government launched a Prevent review, intending to produce a revised strategy in January 2011. This was as a result of negative national media coverage, suggesting Prevent was not focused towards preventing violent extremism, and that funds and staff were involved in unnecessary and irrelevant activities, along with reports of discontent from the Muslim community who felt they were being targeted on the basis of their faith. The Government made it clear that there was a place for Prevent, however wanted to ensure a much tighter focus and proportionate response to identified issues and risks.

Revised Prevent Strategy

On 7th July 2011 the Home Secretary launched the revised Prevent Strategy, which has been updated to reflect the ‘broader scope, tighter focus’ approach that the Government wants to adopt within Prevent. In practice this means that whilst Da’esh (ISIS) remains the biggest threat to national security, and most effort will likely be directed towards the risk they pose, any groups or individuals that present a risk (of violent extremism or terrorism) should be dealt with proportionately, regardless of their motivation.

The three key aims of the revised Prevent Strategy are:

Response to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it;

Terrorists have developed an ideology which sanctions and even requires violence against civilians. They justify the use of violence by presenting a distorted interpretation of religion, history and contemporary politics. The ideology is one factor in the radicalisation process – albeit never the only factor and seldom the most important.

Countering that ideology – exposing its inaccuracies and shortcomings – is an important part of Prevent.

British based extremist groups include: National Action, Scottish Dawn,The English Defence League, National Front, Animal Liberation Front but to name a few, who like Da’esh, can revert to extreme views and conduct acts of violence to promote their cause.

What this means in practice

Supporting our local communities, organisations and institutions to challenge the messages of violent extremists who endanger communities is critical.

Partners should support those individuals and institutions who can effectively refute the extremist narrative and who positively articulate our shared values, and should encourage new voices to enter into the debate.

Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support.

Apologists for violent extremism very often target individuals who for a range of reasons are vulnerable to their messages. Although there is presently less evidence on vulnerability in relation to violent extremism compared with other forms of crime, local partners will recognise relevant factors: peer pressure, the absence of positive mentors and role models, a crisis of identity, links to criminality including other forms of violence, exposure to traumatic events (here or overseas), changing circumstances (eg dislocation to a new environment, including migration and asylum) and a sense of isolation from a community. A range of existing structures and programmes are already in place to support people exhibiting many of these vulnerabilities (eg helplines, mentoring programmes) and it is critical that we build on and make the most of these.

What this means in practice

There are a range of agencies who will routinely come into contact with vulnerable individuals; community organisations, children’s and youth services, schools, further and higher education, housing officers, social care, Youth Offending Service and secure establishments, police, probation boards, local prisons and immigration facilities.

A key strand of activity for partners and partnerships in this area is to emphasise the connection between familiar vulnerability and the often less familiar issue of radicalisation and to consider preventative action. This should include:

Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.

Strong, organised and empowered communities are better equipped to effectively reject the ideology of violent extremism, to isolate apologists for terrorism and to provide support to vulnerable institutions and individuals. Our communities should take the initiative in these areas but we can work together to enable them to do so. Collaborative work itself undermines the narrative of separation and conflict which is often used by violent extremists, emphasising that there is more that unites us than divides us.

What this means in practice

Local communities must be at the centre of the response to violent extremism, helping to develop and deliver the response to it. Engagement may take place through:

Community forums; Residents Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Faith groups, community networks; events and conferences; research and focus groups; outreach workers; and education services.

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, which received Royal Assent on 12 February 2015, and came into effect in July 2015 placed a duty on specified authorities, including schools and colleges, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (“the Prevent duty”). The Prevent duty reinforces existing duties placed upon educational establishments for keeping children safe by:

In line with this duty, the Ofsted inspection process will evaluate the school’s approach to keeping pupils safe from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism. It is therefore crucial that all schools understand the legal requirements under this legislation.

In order to support schools with regard to the new duty, local workshop sessions are being delivered into cluster areas by Cornwall Council Prevent Lead Officer Steve Rowell. The sessions include Home Office approved training (WRAP) and additional advice with regard to the new duty.

Additional training is being offered to all statutory front line staff particularly those who work with or come into contact with vulnerable people and Voluntary and Community sectors who work with or come into contact with vulnerable people.

For additional information or to discuss any concerns regarding terrorism and radicalisation in Cornwall contact:

Steve Rowell MICJP

Preventing Extremism/Terrorism Lead Cornwall & Serious Organised crime Operational Lead Cornwall

Cornwall Fire Rescue & Community Safety Service
Penzance One Stop Shop
St Johns Hall, Alverton Street, Penzance, Cornwall. TR18 2QR

Phone: (01736) 336587

E-mail : [email protected]  or [email protected]

Secure E-mail : [email protected]

Extremism Awareness Training


Stay Safe “Firearms and weapons attack”


Discuss concerns

Independent Review of Prevent

What is the Independent Review of Prevent?

During the passage of the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 on 12 February 2019, the government committed to carrying out an independent review of Prevent.

William Shawcross was appointed as the Independent Reviewer of Prevent on 26 January 2021. The independent review considered the UK’s strategy for protecting people vulnerable from being drawn into terrorism, and made recommendations to improve Prevent.

The Independent Review of Prevent and HM Government’s response was published on Wednesday 8 February 2023.

What changes are being made to Prevent following the Independent Review of Prevent?

The Independent Review of Prevent paves the way for a stronger, more transparent, and proportionate approach to stopping people from being radicalised into supporting terrorism.

To address the disparate terrorist threat, Prevent will move from a local model of delivery to a regional one, driving up Prevent delivery standards nationwide through increased join up between the police and regional partners.

Prevent Duty Guidance will be updated to ensure a consistent referral process across national and local delivery, and those sectors under the Duty. Further work is already underway to consider extending the Prevent Duty, to broaden the touch points in place for frontline professionals to identify and refer relevant concerns to Prevent.

All local authorities in England and Wales will have access to expert Prevent support from the Home Office, enabling resource to be surged into areas to meet radicalisation risks.

Prevent will work closely with DLUHC and the Commission for Countering Extremism to develop new training to ensure better understanding of ideology across Prevent teams. It will also review its wider training to ensure it aligns with the findings of the Independent Review. These improvements will ensure Prevent fully aligns with the threats we face and the ideologies underpinning them.

When will the government implement the Independent Reviewer’s recommendations?

We intend to implement the majority of these recommendations within the next twelve months. To ensure transparency, the Home Office will report on implementation of the recommendations a year from now.

Key Prevent statistics and facts

Since the introduction of the Prevent Duty in 2015, over 3,800 referrals have been supported through the Channel Programme. Channel aims to move individuals away from violent ideologies that could have resulted in harm to themselves or others. 6,406 referrals to Prevent were made in the year ending on 31 March 2022.

This is an increase of 30% compared to the year ending March 2021 (4,915), likely to have been driven by the associated impacts of lifting the public health restrictions that were in place to control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Of those in custody for terrorism-connected offences in Great Britain as at 30 September 2022, 65% were categorised as holding Islamist-extremist views, 28% were categorised as holding Extreme Right-Wing ideologies, and the remaining 8% were categorised as holding beliefs related to other ideologies. These figures include both those that had been convicted and those being held on remand (that is, held in custody until a later date when a trial or sentencing hearing will take place).

Of all the Prevent referrals in 2021/2022:

The threat from Islamist terrorism remains the foremost and most significant. Through the implementation of the Independent Review of Prevent, greater emphasis will be placed on tackling Islamist ideology.

There were 804 referrals adopted as a Channel case in the year ending March 2022. 13% of referrals to Prevent were adopted as a Channel case.

Prevent addresses all forms of terrorism. Of all the Channel cases adopted in 2021/2022:

Individuals aged 15 to 20 accounted for the largest proportion (30%) referrals, with individuals aged under 15 accounting for 29%, followed by individuals aged between 21 and 30 (16%).


The Desistance and Disengagement Programme (DDP) works with individuals who have crossed the line into terrorist activity, aiming to reduce the risk they pose to the UK. The programme works by providing intensive, tailored interventions which support them to stop engaging in terrorist related activity (desist) and to move away from terrorist ideology (disengage).

The programme runs alongside existing statutory risk assessment and management processes such as the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) for managing offenders, to ensure it bolsters and complements work being done through existing frameworks. It is not a replacement for any police investigation or prosecution on individuals who have committed terrorism offences, either abroad or at home.