The Prevent duty
Produced in partnership with Imogen Proud of Monckton Chambers
The Prevent duty

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Imogen Proud of Monckton Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Prevent duty
  • Counter-terrorism strategy
  • The Prevent strategy
  • The Prevent duty
  • Guidance themes
  • Sector specific considerations
  • Criticism of the Prevent Strategy and duty

Since 2015, certain ‘specified authorities’ have been under a statutory duty, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (known as the ‘Prevent duty’). This Practice Note considers the origins of this duty in the government’s overall counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) and in the particular context of the Prevent strategy. It covers the statutory basis of the duty and its scope and content, before considering its application to specific sectors, namely local authorities, schools and childcare, the health sector, prisons and probation and police.

Counter-terrorism strategy

CONTEST, the Government’s overarching counter-terrorism strategy, was first published in 2006 by the Labour government. The third version was published in July 2011 under the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government.

The aim of CONTEST is to:

‘reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.’

As revised in 2011, the strategy covers all forms of terrorism. ‘Terrorism’ is defined in section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000, namely an action that:

  1. endangers life or causes serious violence to a person/people

  2. causes serious damage to property

  3. creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public

  4. seriously interferes with or disrupts an