Intelligence suggests that the UK is currently “highly likely” to be subject to a terrorist attack. This is not necessarily from foreign nationals, but also from individuals born and bred in the UK. The recent murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich has raised the profile of the radicalisation agenda within the UK, and central government are currently reviewing the processes that are in place to help minimise the radicalisation of vulnerable people within the UK.
The threat of the use of violence for extremist ends can be from a range of sources, including extreme political, religious and "rights" groups. PREVENT is not about denying the civil freedom to hold radical views that do not lead to the use of violence. The PREVENT programme is the one of the Government’s responses to the terrorist threat in the UK and has three key elements:
- First, the Government will respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat from those who promote it. In doing so, we must be clear: the ideology of extremism and terrorism is the problem; legitimate religious belief emphatically is not.
- Second, the Government will prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support. They will build on the successful multi-agency ‘Channel’ programme, which identifies and provides support for people at risk of radicalisation.
- Third, the Government will work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation. This includes Health, Social Care and Education providers as well as addressing the challenge of radicalisation on the internet.
All organisations providing health funded services are required, through the national contract, to adhere to the requirements of the PREVENT strategy. This includes the training of all relevant front line staff in the responsibilities of PREVENT as well as introducing and embedding processes to identify and protect those who may be at risk of radicalisation as well as escalating concerns regarding potential terrorist events to the Police. If a PREVENT referral is received, all health organisations are required to provide information on the individual named in the alert as well as information on family members. This information will then be considered against the information provided by other agencies to determine if there is a potential concern that should be addressed.
We are currently working with the main health providers within Devon to determine a consistent approach to delivering the PREVENT agenda and in particular how we will ensure that there is an appropriate and timely response to the request for information from the Police, as well as ensuring that any concerns that are noted within the health care system are escalated to the relevant authority.