Prevent strategy

MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Question By: 
Roger Evans
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Former Metropolitan Police Service Chief Superintendent, Dal Babu, has suggested that the Prevent strategy has a "toxic" public image and is proving to be ineffective. What steps are you, MOPAC and the Metropolitan Police Service taking in order to calm concerns about the Prevent strategy and ensure it effectively protects Londoners?


Answer for Prevent strategy

Answer for Prevent strategy

Answered By: 
The Mayor

MPS and MOPAC recognise that preventing radicalisation forms a key part of the national counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST.

Police have a role in Prevent - for example, in making sure that those vulnerable to radicalisation with whom they have contact are referred to the right interventions, in advising institutions where radicalisers may be active, and in taking down illegal material from the internet. I am regularly briefed and support their efforts. 

However, fundamentally the duty is not wholly and exclusively with the police to spot whether somebody is in danger of being radicalised. All parts of the public sector, from schools, to prisons and health have a role in working with those at risk of radicalisation. There are many good examples of Prevent work around London but there is always more that can be done.

From July 2015, this becomes a statutory duty. Most important of all is the role that communities and families must play. As Sir Peter Fahy, national police lead for Prevent said recently, blaming the authorities, police or schools can be ill-advised and create the conditions for a backlash against all Prevent work.

Although current arrangements give MOPAC very little formal role in Prevent, the Deputy Mayor and I have been active in convening major cities across the UK to share best practice, agreeing to form a London CONTEST board across partners, and securing the agreement of Home Office minister to pilot local co-commissioning of Prevent work to allow it to be better connected to local needs.