Lord Carlile to lead independent review of Prevent

The government has announced that Lord Carlile has been appointed as the Independent Reviewer of the Prevent programme, which safeguards vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.

In January, the government announced the creation of the Independent Review of Prevent as part of the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act. Prevent is one of the four strands of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, and aims to safeguard vulnerable people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism by engaging with those who are identified as being vulnerable to radicalisation or targeting by terrorist recruiters.

The review will focus on the current delivery of the Prevent programme and make recommendations for the future and is expected to report to Parliament by August 2020.

Lord Carlile said: “The nature of the terrorist threat is ever-changing and government policy must evolve in order to tackle it. I look forward in my new role to seeing Prevent work in action and hearing views from supporters, critics and everyone in between to see the evidence of what is and isn’t working. The review will be strongly evidence based.

“As the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, I have a strong track record of asserting and sustaining my independence of government in assessing the effectiveness of legislation, and this role will be no different.”

Security Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Lord Carlile brings a wealth of experience and skills to this role. As the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, he showed independence and rigour and I am pleased he has agreed to lead this review. Prevent is vitally important in stopping vulnerable individuals being drawn into terrorism and has been instrumental in turning people’s lives around for the better and keeping our communities safe.

“Our Prevent Network across the country – from mentors giving individual support, to raising awareness of the dangers of radicalisation – works tirelessly to tackle all forms of terrorism. We are continually improving and evolving the programme, and I look forward to seeing Lord Carlile’s recommendations on how we can learn more about what works and where we need to improve.”

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing, said: “I am delighted that Lord Carlile, who has a wealth of experience in this field, will take up the vitally important work of reviewing Prevent – which to me is the most important pillar of the government’s counter terrorism strategy. When I speak to Prevent practitioners, especially those who work for me, I hear examples of amazing work going on across the country to protect vulnerable people from being drawn into violent extremism. We look forward to inviting Lord Carlile to see this work in action, not only because there is a lot to be proud of, but because we also want to grasp this opportunity to learn and improve.”


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