Changes to Prevent counter-terror strategy

February 9, 2023


The Government has pledged to deliver change across the counter-terror Prevent strategy after a major independent review.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Security Minister Tom Tugendhat have reacted to the 34 recommendations made by William Shawcross, who carried out the study.

Braverman says she will deliver on his conclusions to ensure a “robust and proportionate focus” on radicalising influences rather than wider issues, such as mental health”.

The Shawcross review says terrorism threat is becoming more complex, with the extreme right becoming an increasing concern.

But Islamist terrorism remains the number one concern.

A statement from the Home Office said: “Prevent will focus its activity where it will have the most impact, while remaining flexible enough to respond to evolving threats and all radicalisation risks.

“Greater emphasis will be placed on tackling Islamist ideology, which underpins the primary terror threat to the UK.”

Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, said: “I am grateful to William Shawcross and welcome his independent review.

“Prevent will now ensure it focuses on the key threat of Islamist terrorism. As part of this more proportionate approach, we will also remain vigilant on emerging threats, including on the extreme right.

“This independent review has identified areas where real reform is required. This includes a need for Prevent to better understand Islamist ideology, which underpins the predominant terrorist threat facing the UK.


“I wholeheartedly accept all 34 recommendations and am committed to quickly delivering wholesale change to ensure we are taking every possible step to protect our country from the threat posed by terrorism.”

Security Minister, Tom Tugendhat, said: “This government will always protect the British people – whether from the threat posed by terrorism, or from the hateful ideologies that underpin it.

“This review strengthens and bolsters the Prevent programme. I am determined to deliver the improvements needed to accelerate our fight against radicalisation.

“Ultimately, every community in our country deserves protection from threat of radicalisation and the violence that it brings.”

Prevent will also move from a local model of delivery to a regional one, driving up Prevent delivery standards nationwide through increased join up between the police and regional partners.

Prevent duty guidance will be updated to ensure a consistent referral process across national and local delivery, and those sectors under the duty. Further work is already underway to consider extending the Prevent duty, to broaden the touch points in place for frontline professionals to identify and refer relevant concerns to Prevent.

All local authorities in England and Wales will have access to expert Prevent support from the Home Office, enabling resource to be surged into areas to meet radicalisation risks.

Prevent will overhaul its training and guidance for all staff, and introduce a security threat check, to ensure all decision-making is aligned with the current threat.

It will ensure a greater understanding of antisemitism in Channel cases and ensure more effective disruption of extremists targeting Jewish communities.

Prevent will work closely with DLUHC and the Commission for Countering Extremism to develop new training to ensure better understanding of ideology across Prevent teams. It will also review its wider training to ensure it aligns with the findings of the independent review.

Implementation of the recommendations of the review has already started, and the majority of recommendations are expected to be actioned within 12 months. The Home Office has committed to report on implementation of the recommendations a year from now.

The statement added: “The Home Office will create an independent standards and compliance unit to provide a clear and accessible route for the public and practitioners to raise concerns about Prevent activity where it may have fallen short of its standards.

“The Home Office will also refresh the Ministerial Prevent Oversight Board to ensure recommendations are implemented swiftly and effectively.

“Prevent has already changed and saved the lives of individuals from all walks of life, with over 3,800 people offered early interventions through the Channel programme. The review will act as a blueprint for strengthening this response.”

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