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Community Relations

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what mechanisms are in place to assess whether measures implemented as part of the Prevent strand of Project Contest (a) are effective and (b) deliver value for money. (240577)

My Department recently published an assessment of the Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) Pathfinder 2007-08 year which describes the contribution that PVE Pathfinder projects made to Prevent objectives. It also contained a review of local evaluations of pathfinder work.

Since Preventing Violent Extremism funding was issued to local authorities in March 2008, local authorities have been embedding the Prevent agenda in their performance management. All local authorities have to report on progress on the National Indicator (NI) 35 (“Building Resilience to Violent Extremism”) and in June 2008, 19 local authorities selected NI 35 as a priority indicator as part of their local area agreements. NI 35 is replicated in the Assessments of Policing and Community Safety (APACS) performance framework as a key diagnostic indicator. The introduction of the comprehensive area assessment in April 2009 will further ensure effective and efficient performance by local authorities and other local partners on Prevent.

The Audit Commission and Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary (HMIC) recent “Learning and Development Exercise” looked at what works and what barriers there are to the effective local delivery of Prevent. Work is under way to ensure that the findings of the review inform the approach of both central Government and local partners in delivering Prevent. HMIC are also carrying out an inspection of Prevent performance in all 43 police forces in England and Wales.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much money will be spent as part of the Prevent strand of Project Contest on targeting the risk of extremism amongst (a) individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system and (b) individuals who are in prison in 2008-09; (240578)

(2) how much has been spent as part of the Prevent strand of Project Contest on targeting the risk of extremism amongst (a) individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system and (b) individuals who are in prison in each year since 2003.

The Home Office has funded a number of projects. The National Offender Management Service is taking forward a multi-disciplinary programme of work to manage the risks of violent extremist offenders which contributes to both PREVENT and PURSUE objectives and spans work with offenders in prison establishments and on licence in the community. Central funding for this programme is provided through the Office of Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) Prevent budget. Since 2005, OSCT has provided HM Prison Service (HMPS) with the following funding: 2005-06—£65,463, 2006-07—£140,535 and 2007-08—£822,542. £2.7 million has been allocated in 2008-09.

£2.6 million OSCT funding has been allocated to the Youth Justice Board in this financial year to a two-year programme of work under the work stream of the Prevent Strategy aimed at 'supporting vulnerable individuals'. A total of 40 Youth Offending Team/Youth Secure Estate projects have been funded so far with a further 10 project bids expected to be submitted for a one-year funding round in 2009-10. Projects cover a wide range of interventions and are aimed at vulnerable young people who have been involved in or who may be at risk of entering the criminal justice system.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much her Department forecasts will be spent on the Prevent strand of Project Contest in 2008-09; (240580)

(2) how much has been spent on implementing the Prevent strand of Project Contest since 2003.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Dhanda) to the hon. Member for North Cornwall (Dan Rogerson) on 16 July 2008, Official Report, columns 483-84W, concerning the costs of the Preventing Violent Extremism (PREVENT) programme in CLG since its inception. My Department has budgeted to spend £8.5 million on PREVENT-related projects in the financial year 2008-09.

In addition, other Government Departments will be supporting projects, principally the Home Office which has spent £15.07 million between April 2007 and the end of November 2008. Furthermore other Departments and the police are providing funding for projects and activities contributing to Prevent. We are also making a provision of £12 million to local authorities through Area Based Grant, although as this will be un-ringfenced grant, it will be for the relevant local authority to decide how it is spent.