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Independent Review of Prevent: One Year On Progress Report

Volume 745: debated on Tuesday 20 February 2024

The Government are today publishing a progress report on our implementation of the Independent Review of Prevent recommendations.

Prevent is a fundamental part of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest. Prevent aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It does this by tackling the ideological causes of terrorism, intervening early to support those susceptible to radicalisation, and enabling people who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate.

The “Independent Review of Prevent”, published on 8 February 2023, was conducted by Sir William Shawcross. It made 34 recommendations, which the Government accepted. In the Government response, published on the same day, we set out how we would implement the recommendations. We committed to delivering a renewed Prevent capability, which holds the mission of tackling terrorist ideologies at its core and responds confidently to emerging threats facing the UK.

In the 12 months since the publication of the independent review, we have made significant progress with 30 of the 34 recommendations completed in full, and 115 of the 120 sub-actions delivered.

We have delivered a number of key changes, as part of a broader programme to strengthen and reorient Prevent, that include:

New Prevent duty guidance that came into effect on 31 December 2023, following parliamentary approval. The new guidance responds to several recommendations and was developed in conjunction with a range of key Government partners and frontline practitioners.

Refreshing existing training to reflect the recommendations in the independent review, alongside developing new training packages that increase understanding of extremist ideologies. This new training offer equips statutory partners in fulfilling their obligations more effectively and supports them to make better decisions on when Prevent support is needed.

A new Prevent assessment framework, developed by the expert Counter Terrorism Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre, that is based on the most up to date evidence and learning. This ensures that decision-making on all Prevent referrals is rigorous, consistent, proportionate, and that only those that pose a counter-terrorism risk are supported by Prevent.

New Channel duty guidance that was published on 9 October 2023, that reflects the findings of the IRP, strengthens the Home Office’s quality assurance of how Channel is delivered, and responds swiftly to tackle any disparities in operational practice.

An independent Standards and Compliance Unit, that has been stood up as a stand-alone part of the Commission for Countering Extremism. The Standards and Compliance Unit provides a clear and accessible route for the public and practitioners to raise concerns about Prevent activity where it may have fallen short of the high standards we expect. It will be active from the 28 February, with people able to make initial contact through the website.

A significant change programme has already been implemented, but there is still more to do to ensure change is firmly embedded across Government and frontline sectors. We will continue to work at pace to implement the remaining four recommendations and five sub-actions.

Additionally, we will monitor the implementation of the recommendations to ensure that Prevent continues to hold itself to the high standards we have committed to, and remains agile in responding to the ever-changing threat picture in the UK.

A copy of the progress report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and published on www.gov.uk.

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