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Prevent Duty - Counter-Terrorism Strategy

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 requires us to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This is known as the Prevent Duty.

What the Prevent Duty is

The Prevent Duty was created by the Home Office as part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It lays out guidance for local councils to follow to prevent people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

It's ultimately about safeguarding vulnerable people from harm, just like other types of safeguarding, such as child sexual exploitation (CSE), child criminal exploitation (CCE), bullying or domestic abuse. We'll use our existing processes to effectively implement the duty.

The Prevent Duty guidance outlines our duties as a local authority. View the Prevent Duty guidance on GOV.UK

How we're implementing our Prevent Duty

Our Prevent Steering Group oversees the implementation of the Prevent Duty. The steering group is chaired by our director of children’s services.

The group reports on a regular basis to the Rochdale Safer Communities Partnership, Complex Safeguarding group and the Adult and Children’s Safeguarding Boards.

What we're aiming to do with the Prevent Duty

We aim to:

  • Increase awareness of Prevent and ensure people know where to direct individuals at risk or how to refer someone at risk of radicalisation.
  • Strengthen community resilience by supporting and empowering communities to come together and talk about controversial or difficult issues.
  • Work with local communities and voluntary sector organisations to recognise, understand and challenge those who might seek to create divisions within and between communities
  • Work with our partners to engage with and provide support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to radicalisation or being drawn into terrorism
  • Protect those who are being targeted by terrorist recruiters from all forms of ideological backgrounds, including international terrorism, extreme far right and extreme far left.
More about the aims of the Prevent Duty - training on the Home Office website which explains how it aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being radicalised.

How freedom of speech is linked to the Prevent Duty

When implementing the Prevent Duty, the Counter Terrorism and Security Act says we 'must have particular regard to the duty to ensure freedom of speech'.

It's important, especially in schools, enough time is provided for discussion, debate and respectful exchange of views around prevention and extremism.

Everyone is entitled to their own political view or opinion, but no one should enforce one view over that of others.

Preventing discrimination with the Prevent Duty

The Prevent Duty clearly says any action we take 'must not involve any covert activity against people or communities'.

Therefore we need to ensure we:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
  • Foster good relations between people who share differing views.
  • Promote equality, diversity and shared values, such as democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faith and beliefs and those without faith.
  • Keep equality and diversity at the heart of the Prevent Duty. It should be demonstrated through all our practices in tackling any instances of discrimination and being alert to potential risks from radicalisation and extremism.
  • Are committed to providing support and encouraging debate and discussion to build critical thinking and resilience.
  • Recognise there are different forms of extremism and do not seek to vilify or discriminate against any part of the community. We are careful to ensure our approach is fair.