The threat of terrorism is an unfortunate part of our day to day lives.
On 19 February 2020, I attended a stakeholder meeting organised by Counter Terrorism Policing and the Home Office as part of their engagement with business, trade unions and professional bodies across the country to raise awareness of the government’s Prevent programme.
The government’s Prevent programme is part of its four-pronged counter-terrorism strategy which also includes, Prepare, Pursue and Protect. It is aimed at preventing terrorism by using multi-agency safeguarding principles to identify people who are vulnerable and provide early intervention to prevent them from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTSA), imposed a legal duty upon “specified authorities” (such as county and district councils, education & further education institutions and health authorities) to ‘have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. There are no plans to expand the legislation to the private sector, but the government and Counter Terrorism Policing are seeking to engage with the private sector, expanding the audience that may benefit from early intervention.
Importantly, the Prevent programme covers all aspects of terror threats to society. I strongly believe it is in our public interest remit to protect people, regardless if they are at home, work or going about in their day to day lives. Chief Superintendent Nik Adams, the National Coordinator for Prevent states that in a survey of the public, over two thirds agreed that the police should be using early intervention to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. 71% said they would refer someone they knew if they were concerned about radicalisation.
The core focus of the Prevent programme is referring those at risk. However, of the 7,318 Prevent referrals in 2017/18, less than 1% came from businesses, which is a worrying gap in the UK’s safeguarding scheme.
We all have a duty to prevent terrorism and the CIOB are now working alongside Counter Terrorism Policing and the Home Office to support their work to tackle this agenda.
Through our Academy, we are releasing an Action Counter Terrorism eLearning course. Devised by Counter Terrorism officers and security experts, the ACT Awareness eLearning package is open to anyone who wants to become a Counter Terrorism Citizen so they can learn how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and understand what to do in the event of a major incident.
In addition, we are also partnering with Counter Terrorism Policing to communicate the construction industry’s role in delivering the government’s Prevent programme. I strongly believe by adding Prevent training, businesses will feel more confident in their organisation’s security, which can only be a good thing for society at large.
If you spot any signs of something that could potentially be related to terrorism, please go to: https://act.campaign.gov.uk/.
For further information and advice about Prevent, please go to: https://educateagainsthate.com/resources/lets-talk/.