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Prevent: Violent Extremism and Terrorism

Find out about Prevent, how it helps to stop people becoming involved in extremism and terrorism and what to do if you are concerned about someone.

Violent extremism

Extremist or terrorist behaviour can be displayed by anyone who feels or perceives, a very strong sense of injustice in relation to any form of belief or ideology.

Ideological causes vary. They range from animal or environmental rights to political and religious extremism.

Not everyone who has extreme views will commit acts of violence or terrorism or belong to a terrorist group. There are circumstances though where threats are posed both online and in public spaces.

In order to address the growing threat of extremism, in March 2024 the Government issued a new definition of extremism:

Extremism is the promotion or advancement of an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance, that aims to:

  1. negate or destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms of others; or
  2. undermine, overturn or replace the UK’s system of liberal parliamentary democracy and democratic rights; or
  3. intentionally create a permissive environment for others to achieve the results in (1) or (2)

There is further context which is an essential part of the definition and which should be read as a whole in order to understand how it will be applied and the types of behaviour that may be relevant.

  • Terrorism - An act or threat of violence designed to influence the government or intimidate the public. Its purpose is to advance a political, religious or ideological cause.
  • Radicalisation – The process of an individual legitimising support for, or use of, terrorist violence. The aim is to reach a specific political or ideological purpose.


Under the Prevent Duty, we have a role to play in:

  • raising awareness of Prevent
  • helping to identify individuals who may be at risk of supporting terrorism
  • helping to safeguard those who may find themselves in that situation.

Prevent is one strand of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy, CONTEST.

Prevent aims to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The Prevent Duty also helps to ensure that people who are susceptible to radicalisation are supported as they would be under safeguarding processes.

This Home Office video explains more.

There are 3 other strands with different aims under Contest:

  • Pursue. To stop terrorist attacks
  • Protect. To strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack
  • Prepare. To lessen the impact of a terrorist attack

As part of Prevent, we aim to:

  • Increase awareness of the signs of radicalisation
  • Intervene early to support people at risk of radicalisation
  • Tackle the ideological causes of terrorism. This will help people make informed choices.
  • Enable people who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate.
  • Signpost parents, carers, family and friends to Prevent or other safeguarding services.
  • Encourage people to be safe online so that they are less exposed to harm.


  • Channel is part of the duty which local authorities have responsibility for. 
  • Channel is a multi-agency approach. The aim is to identify individuals who are at risk of getting drawn into extremism or terrorism. We can then provide support. We want to do this before any criminal act takes place. 

Standards and Compliance Unit

  • The Commission for Countering Extremism is the Home Office’s independent adviser on Prevent.  They have launched a new Standards and Compliance Unit (StaCU) which will oversee the delivery of Prevent nationally.  The Commission is also responsible for reporting to Ministers.  
  • If you have any complaints, concerns or feedback about how Prevent is being delivered you can contact StaCU. 
  • Check the FAQs or read how to contact StaCU for more information.  You can also submit your concern from that web page. 

Check the FAQs or read how to contact StaCU for more information.  You can also submit your concern from that web page.  


Contact Community Safety Partnership