The Prevent Strategy is part of the Government’s wider counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST, which seeks to deal with those individuals and groups promoting division and hatred. CONTEST was introduced in 2011 along with the ‘Four Ps’ of the strategy which are; Pursue, Prevent, Prepare and Protect.
The strategy aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It has three specific strategic objectives;
- To respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat faced from those who promote it.
- To prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support.
- To work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that need to be addressed.
Warwickshire Prevent Strategy and Action Plan has specific actions related to community engagement.
EQuIP ran a series of events in conjunction with partners during 2017 to engage with communities on safeguarding issues with the aim of:
- Communities are aware of what Prevent is and how the National Strategy is being delivered in Warwickshire
- Ensure communities know what to do if they have concerns
- Provide communities with a mechanism to voice their views as to what the issues are in their communities and inform the future direction of travel for Prevent in Warwickshire
- Establish a 2-way communication mechanism between the community and statutory agencies
Under the banner of ‘Our Families, Our Future’ (OFOF) the events were held across all areas of Warwickshire with a cross section of the community including:
- Faith communities
- Young people
- Professionals/practitioners from all sectors involved in tackling extremism and radicalisation
One of the outcomes from this extensive engagement project with over 400 people was to establish and recruit a network of Safeguarding Champions who receive information from the Countywide Prevent group and disseminate it to community groups and act as a conduit between the community and the prevent group regarding the current concerns and work that is taking place within Warwickshire.