The UK Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy has been in place since 2003 and is known as CONTEST. A third edition of the Strategy was published in July 2011. The aim of the Strategy is ‘to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from international terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence’.
CONTEST has four elements:
- Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks
- Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism
- Protect: to strengthen our protection against terrorist attack
- Prepare: where an attack cannot be stopped, to mitigate its impact
Counter Terrorism in Wales
While much of the Counter Terrorism policy agenda is non-devolved, there is an impact on devolved policy areas and functions, particularly in relation to Local Authorities and Community Safety Partnerships. Consequently, in March 2008 the CONTEST Board (for) Wales was established to take forward the work.
Prevent in Wales
The Prevent strand of CONTEST has perhaps the biggest impact on Local Authorities and Community Safety Partnerships. The Prevent Strategy, published in June 2011 has 3 main objectives:
- to respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat faced from those who promote it;
- to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate support; and
- to work with a wide range of sectors and institutions (including education, faith, health and criminal justice) where there are risks of radicalisation which need to be addressed
Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and the Prevent Duty
In 2015 the new Prevent Duty placed a duty on local authorities, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
For more information contact: Rachel Morgan