Statutory Prevent Duty

Overview of the Statutory Prevent Duty

The Home Office currently states that the UK continues to face a threat from terrorism. One security concern is the potential for British citizens and residents to become radicalised and commit acts of terrorism in the UK and overseas.

The national Prevent strategy 2011 is part of the overall national counter terrorism strategy, Contest. The Prevent strategy uses an early intervention multi-agency problem solving approach to manage risk and works in pre-criminal space. The main aim of the Prevent strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The national Prevent strategy has three specific strategic objectives:

  • Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it
  • Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support
  • Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address

In December 2014 the Home Office carried out consultation and issued draft guidance regarding the introduction of the statutory Prevent Duty. The Counter Terrorism and Security Act received Royal Assent 12 February 2015.

Section 26 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 states that local authorities are deemed as specified authorities and as such are responsible for the implementation of the Prevent Duty - “in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

Whilst the duty applies to local authorities, the police, it also applies to prisons, health, providers of probation services, schools, colleges, and universities. The delivery of Prevent also sits within statutory responsibilities under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 – Community Safety Partnerships to do all it reasonably can to prevent crime and disorder in its area.

The Secretary of State issued Prevent Duty guidance in March 2015 The Prevent strategy works in pre criminal space and is part of CONTEST, the overall counter-terrorism strategy which states that specified authorities listed should use a risk based approach to radicalisation in complying with the Prevent duty, demonstrating awareness and understanding of the risk of radicalisation in their area, institution or body.

Specified authorities will be inspected and asked to demonstrate how we are complying with the duty. The Secretary of State has the power to take direct action to enforce compliance where the Secretary of State is satisfied that a body has failed to discharge the duty. These directions are enforceable by a court order.

Specified authorities are required to:

  • Embed compliance to the Prevent duty in overall day to day business, paying due regard to the prevent duty when developing new plans and when existing plans are refreshed.   Recording how directorates adhere to the Prevent duty will be beneficial to the statutory inspection process
  • Continually assess risks and potential risk associated with radicalisation.  Significant elements of this will include the Counter terrorism local profile, the sharing of information throughout the Safer Sutton Partnership to safeguard people who may be vulnerable to being drawn into carrying out acts of terrorism
  • Develop a multi-agency Prevent Duty delivery plan to reduce risks associated with radicalisation, terrorism, counter ideology work to promote community cohesion and social inclusion, challenge extremist ideas where they are used to legitimise terrorism
  • As preventing terrorism is everyone’s responsibility we will train our staff to understand and recognise radicalisation to safeguard people who may be vulnerable to being drawn into radicalisation. We will broadly communicate the importance of the statutory Prevent duty and the requirements of section 36 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 – assessment and support local panels known as “Channel Panel’s”, these use a multi-agency approach to manage risk and offer support.

The internet and social media provides many opportunities for those with extreme views to target young or vulnerable individuals.  The Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit put considerable effort into removing terrorist and extremist material however communities defeat terrorism, which is why we must maintain the strong relationship between the public and police. Police depend on information from the public in our efforts to keep us all safe and we are asking anyone who has concerns about online content to report it

Sutton Context

The Safer Sutton Partnership Service are committed to keeping Sutton safe for its residents and visitors. This includes a commitment to safeguard the vulnerable in our society from the risk of radicalisation in all forms; extreme right wing, extreme left wing, religious and all other forms of extremism. The service will promote a better understanding of this safeguarding duty, under the Prevent strategy, through wider delivery of Prevent training and seek to address any prejudice that may exist. The distinction between those that observe faith and religion and those that hold or develop extreme views or glorify extremism are clear and we are committed to ensure that our professionals and partners working in and for Sutton are equipped to recognise the same.

While effectively challenging any extreme ideology in Sutton, the service will ensure no particular community, either directly or indirectly, is unduly prejudiced through the process. The approach in Sutton is one of transparency and proportionality.

The service will also seek continuation of the cooperation and support from the local Partners, Politicians, Faith Leaders, Community and Voluntary Sector and residents to ensure all forms of extremism are challenged to keep Sutton Safe and to protect those who are vulnerable to extremism in our society.

The local delivery of Prevent and Channel Panel is governed by Safer Sutton Partnership Board and partner agencies are able to refer and escalate any relevant issues to the board through their representation at the board or by contacting the Safer Sutton Partnership Service.

Reporting concern

Similar to any other Safeguarding issues, any concerns that a person or their family may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, should be raised with the individual agency safeguarding lead and/or consult with the Prevent practice lead, (if available).  

For non-urgent advice from the Sutton Prevent lead please contact:
For urgent Prevent matter please report to Anti-Terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321.
In an emergency please call 999. 
Professionals can download and complete the National Prevent Referral Form to make a referral. 

Where there are concerns that an adult is at  risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism concerns please contact the Prevent Lead for Sutton or make a referral to For urgent Prevent matter please report to Anti-Terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321.

Prevent Training

It is essential that all people have a good understanding of Prevent and are trained to recognise vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism and aware of the local Prevent/ Channel Panel referral process. Home Office E-learning is available to anyone interested in prevent.

Prevent poster

Hate Crime

If you are concerned that someone has been a victim of a hate crime, or you want to report a hate crime, please refer to the Crime prevention page.

Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person's:

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity

Stop Hate UK

Stop Hate UK is one of the leading national organisations working to challenge all forms of Hate Crime and discrimination, based on any aspect of an individual’s identity. Stop Hate UK provides independent, confidential and accessible reporting and support for victims, witnesses and third parties.

24 hour free 3rd party reporting of hate incidents please call free phone number 0800 138 1625.