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Prevent is part of the Government’s counter terrorism strategy, which aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

An independent review into the Government’s counter terrorism strategy Prevent, concludes the programme is not doing enough to protect the public from terrorism. William Shawcross’s report states the counter terrorism strategy has become counterproductive and needs reform.

“Prevent must return to its overarching objective – to stop individuals becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

“Prevent’s first objective – to tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism – is not being sufficiently met.

“Prevent is not doing enough to counter non-violent Islamist extremism”.

Mr Shawcross also states that people referred to the scheme are seen as victims rather than protecting the public from potential terrorists.

“Prevent is a crucial pillar of the UK’s counter terrorism architecture, yet it has increasingly come to be seen as synonymous with safeguarding (i.e. an emphasis on protecting those referred into Prevent from harm and addressing their personal vulnerabilities).

“Prevent too often bestows a status of victimhood on all who come into contact with it, confusing practitioners and officials as to Prevent’s fundamental purpose”.

The Government is expected to publish an updated version of the counter terrorism strategy in 2023.

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