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What is Prevent?

Prevent is one of the four P’s of the Government's Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST).  The others being Pursue, Prepare and Protect.  The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism.

Prevent aims to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

To do this Prevent looks at three key areas:

Ideology: An ideology is a set of opinions or beliefs of a group or an individual.  Prevent looks to counter any negative ideological narrative and challenge it.

Individuals: Prevent also looks to prevent individuals from being drawn down a negative path and offer support and guidance accordingly.

Institutions: Institutions are where places are used as a platform to help individuals and the ideology.
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on certain bodies to have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.  This includes:

  • Local authorities
  • Schools (Including further and higher education)
  • The health sector
  • Prisons and probation
  • The police

Vulnerabilities and Signs

Individuals at risk of being radicalised often display certain vulnerabilities and signs.  Some of these are shown below.  It is important to note that these are not exhaustive lists:


  • Significant life event
  • A desire for political or moral change
  • Feelings of grievance and injustice
  • Desire for excitement and adventure
  • Desire for status
  • Need for identity, meaning and belonging
  • Feeling under threat
  • Mental health issues


  • Depressed
  • New friendships
  • Fixated on a subject
  • New found arrogance
  • Withdrawn
  • Limited or repetative vocabulary
  • Use of discrimatory language
  • Change of appearance

Notice. Check. Share

We ask that if you become concerned about an individual you use the Notice, Check and Share Principals:

Notice: Firstly notice the concern.  This could be something that is being said or a certain behaviour you have noticed.

Check: Once you have noticed the concern we ask that you check the information you have.  Do this with a trusted friend or co-worker/supervisor etc.

Share: Once the concern has been noticed and checked then we ask you share the concern.  It is vitally important the sharing occurs.  If this does not take place the risk potentially stays with the person who has the information and no support of help can be provided.

To make referrals to Prevent please visit the Essex Adult or Child safeguarding board websites linked below and complete a referral form.

It is important to note that Prevent is all about Safeguarding and does not work in the criminality arena.

If you would like to speak to one of the Essex Prevent team please contact 101 and ask to be put through to the department.

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