The Prevent Strategy, first published by the Government in 2011, is part of an overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. The objectives of Prevent are to:
- tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism
- safeguard and support those most at risk of radicalisation through early intervention, identifying them and offering support
- enable those who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015) imposed a statutory duty on universities to "have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism." This is now commonly known as "the Prevent duty".
Compliance with the duty is monitored by the Office for Students (OfS). In order to comply with the Prevent duty, institutions must:
- assess the risks associated with people being drawn into terrorism and access the context of their local situation and draw up a proportionate action plan to mitigate those identified risks
- have responsive, effective welfare support systems, ensuring concerns about students’ wellbeing can be acted on in a joined up way, drawing on links to local Prevent structures (such as local authorities or the police) if necessary
- have systems in place for assessing and mitigating risks around external speakers and events on campus, while maintaining the existing duty to promote freedom of speech
- ensure senior managers and governors are engaged with the Prevent duty, build links with external Prevent partners, and arrange ongoing Prevent training for relevant staff
- implement an IT usage policy which covers the Prevent duty
- ensure that students’ unions and societies are aware of, and are consulted with on policies concerning activities on campus.
Two useful external links to follow are: