The Government has today (Tuesday 22 January) announced there will be an independent review of the Prevent programme, which aims to stop vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.
The Security Minister, Ben Wallace, announced in Parliament that the Government would accept an amendment to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill that was passed by the House of Lords.
Security Minister, Ben Wallace, said:
I have decided that the time is now right to initiate a review of Prevent. Communities across the country have got behind the policy and are contributing to it because they want, as we do, their own young people to be protected from grooming and exploitation by terrorists.
Over the last two years the Home Office has built on the solid work of Prevent by releasing annual statistics. They clearly show that Prevent is not about singling out any particular group or ideology but is similar to other forms of safeguarding, carried out every day by social workers, teachers and police.
I am proud we have helped divert hundreds of people away from posing a real threat and put them back on the path of living a fulfilling, law abiding life.
This review should expect those critics of Prevent, who often use distortions and spin, to produce solid evidence of their allegations.
Through Prevent, vulnerable individuals who are at risk of radicalisation can be safeguarded and supported, while also enabling those already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate.
Prevent is about working in areas where there are risks of radicalisation and offers support predominantly through local community partnerships. 181 community based projects were delivered in 2017/18 reaching over 88,000 participants.
Since 2012, over 1,200 people have been successfully supported by tailored mentoring and support provided through Channel, an important part of Prevent.
Of the 394 individuals who received Channel support in 2017/18, 179 (45%) were referred for concerns related to Islamist extremism and 174 (44%) were referred for concerns related to the right-wing extremism.
Further details of the review will be set out in due course. It will begin within 6 months of the legislation receiving Royal Assent and will report to Parliament within 18 months.
The Bill has now completed Parliamentary scrutiny and is due to receive Royal Assent shortly.