Skip to main content

Community Relations

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department at which sites the Channel Project has been rolled out to date; and at which sites she plans to roll out the project in the future. (245498)

To date Channel Project sites are currently operational in London, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Bedfordshire and more recently in South Wales. Plans are in place to expand the project further in London, West Midlands, Lancashire, Thames Valley, South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to publish the full evaluation of the Channel Project referred to on page 46 of the Audit Commission report Preventing Violent Extremism: Learning and Development Exercise. (245499)

An OSCT process evaluation of the Channel Project is currently underway. We will be sharing implementation lessons in spring 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures she has put in place to (a) provide accountability and (b) maintain community confidence in relation to the Channel Project. (245500)

The Prevent Strategy: A Guide for Local Partners in England makes it clear that the police and local authorities need to take a lead in ensuring that local partnerships have been clearly tasked with driving delivery of a jointly agreed programme of action that:

Meets the specific objectives of the Prevent strategy;

Is jointly agreed and managed by the police, local authority and other partners;

Is proportionate to the level of threat in the area;

Reflects local needs; and

Sets out clear and tangible milestones in tracking progress.

The guide makes it clear that local communities should be actively engaged in multi-agency partnerships and should shape the development and implementation of the jointly agreed programme of action.

Where Channel is operational it will form an important part of local areas' programmes of action.

All local authorities have to report on progress on the prevent strategy through National Indicator 35 —‘Building Resilience to Violent Extremism’, which is replicated in the Assessments of Policing and Community Safety performance framework. 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.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which areas (a) have set up multi-agency partnerships focused on preventing violent extremism, referred to on page 9 of the report The Prevent Strategy: A Guide for Local Partners in England published in June 2008, (b) have set up groups focused specifically on the Prevent Strategy and (c) are using an existing group, such as a Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership or Local Strategic Partnership. (245559)

Government offices provide information on Prevent partnership working each quarter for the 78 areas that received preventing violent extremism funding this financial year as part of their area based grant. The last return provided in September 2008 reported that 60 of these areas had a multi-agency Prevent partnership in place. We do not specifically request information on whether the named partnership is a new group but we understand that most areas have decided that an existing partnership, such as a crime and disorder reduction partnership or local strategic partnership, should be tasked to oversee their work on Prevent at a strategic level.

Government offices continue to work with local areas to ensure that effective delivery arrangements are in place and are providing challenge and guidance to those areas that have yet to agree a multi-agency partnership to lead on Prevent.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who will have overall responsibility at a local level for the regular assessment and reviews of the threat of individuals and communities becoming involved in violent extremism, referred to on page 12 of the report The Prevent Strategy: A Guide for Local Partners in England; how often such assessments will be carried out; and if she will make a statement. (245560)

The police are developing a new process for sharing information which will enable all BCU Commanders and Local Authority Chief Executives to see an assessment of the vulnerabilities in their areas, and will be responsible for co-ordinating this activity with a range of partners. Assessments will be reviewed at least annually, depending on the threat in a particular area.