Local authorities and partner agencies all have a role to play in working with local communities to support people who are vulnerable to being drawn into criminal activity. This could be in relation to drugs, knife crime, guns, gangs or involvement in violent extremism.
Prevent is a challenging and complex area that requires national and local organisations to work together. It needs to include the experiences, energy and ideas of our local communities, as well as those of the members, staff and volunteers of local authorities and partner agencies.
Our recent partnership event 'Working with individuals vulnerable to extremism' launched the Multi Agency Prevent Practice Guidance. This guidance can be downloaded from the right hand side of the page.
What is Prevent?
Prevent is part of the national counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. Prevent aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism and extremism. This includes:
- Challenging ideology - All terrorist groups have an ideology and frequently use the internet to air their views
- Supporting vulnerable people - Radicalisation is a process, not one event and during that process it is possible to intervene and safeguard the vulnerable.
- Working with key sectors - A wide range of agencies are working to help deliver Prevent, including education, health, faith, criminal justice and charities.
For more information on Prevent please view the Prevent Strategy 2011.
From the 1st July 2015 many public facing organisations providing services to children, young people and adults are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, to have 'due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism'.
This duty is known as the Prevent duty and the Government's guidance outline specifies authorities responsible for this duty.
It is essential that staff within agencies and organisations that provide services to children, young people and adults are able to identify individuals who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and know what to do when they are identified.
Protecting individuals from the risk of radicalisation is an integral part of safeguarding duties and is similar in nature to protecting children and adults from other harms (e.g. drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influence.
Governance arrangements for North Yorkshire
In response to the Prevent Strategy 2011 a multi-agency 'Prevent Strategic Board' (formally the Prevent Implementation Board) was formed. Representation on this board is at a Chief Officer level from the specified authorities and is currently chaired by Chief Executive of a District Council. The delivery arm for this board is the multi-agency Local Prevent Groups (formally known as the Bronze Groups) which are district based.
As staff or volunteers of local authorities and partner agencies you are working with the community on a regular basis. You are the eyes and ears in the community. If you have any concerns about grievances or tensions in your community you should make sure you report them appropriately within your own organisation. Concerns could include hate crime, anti social behaviour, graffiti, or a change in the behaviour of individuals that causes you concern, as well as concerns about individuals or groups that are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
What do you need to do?
- Attend any Prevent training or awareness sessions supported by your organisation.
- Understand who you need to report concerns to within your own organisation.
- Be aware of the process and support available if you report a concern.
If you are concerned about individuals or groups that are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism you must raise this concern within your own organisation.
Prevent training resources can be found here.
For North Yorkshire County Council staff, relevant contacts are as follows:
Children and Families service - Jess Markwart, Group Manager Access and Multiple Vulnerabilities, 01609798430 email@example.com
Health and adult services - Claire Lindsey, Adults Safeguarding Manager, Care and Support, 01609 534682 Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org
There is also a range of telephone numbers for members of the public who are concerned about individuals who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism:
- North Yorkshire Police - 101
- safeguarding children and adults in North Yorkshire - North Yorkshire County Council's customer resolution centre 01609 534527
- safeguarding children in York - 01904 551 900
- safeguarding adults in York - telephone 01904 555 111