The report provides an overview of the work undertaken by Prevent during the 2018/19 financial year, including details about the performance of the team and the outcome of the Prevent Peer Review.
David Chapot, Prevent Manager, presented the report which provided an overview of the work undertaken by Prevent during the 2018/19 financial year. The report set out details about the performance of the team and the outcome of the Prevent Peer Review. David Chapot gave a presentation and outlined the following key points:
- The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 had made it a legal requirement for local authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism (known as the Prevent Duty).
- The objectives of the Prevent strategy were outlined, including the local reporting and accountability processes.
- A steering group had been set up to scrutinise the work of the Prevent team.
- Community engagement played a vital role for the service - The team undertook 237 instances of community outreach in the borough, in addition, the team was in the process assisting in the creation of a local Faith Forum.
- The team had a commitment to offer safeguarding support to individuals vulnerable to radicalisation.
- Training was crucial as it allowed the team to address concerns in line with the Prevent strategy.
- Training in the education and non-education sector was delivered and positive feedback was received.
- The teams peer review took place from 20 to 23 November 2018. A range of external practitioners worked together to assess the work carried out by the Council.
- The peer review found that local delivery was of a very high standard and generally excellent. In addition, a range of recommendations were identified for the continued improvement of local delivery.
Councillor Iain Cassidy asked whether any additional measures had been implemented to improve local delivery, outside of the key recommendations identified as a result of the peer review. David Chapot explained that officers were consistently exploring different ways to improve all areas of the service. In particular the Council was focusing on strengthening its communication and partnership work in collaboration with relevant Council stakeholders and boards to ensure that the best outcome was achieved.
Councillor Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler queried whether the Council had identified any areas of improvement to the service that could be valuable for the future following recent attacks in London. In response David Chapot said that a review was carried out following the Parsons Green terror attack to ensure any lessons learned identified in the Home Affairs Select Committee letter were implemented.
In addition, a Channel Panel was set up with representation from relevant sectors. This acted as an early intervention service to safeguard vulnerable individuals from radicalisation. Monthly community meetings took place to determine areas of risk and any community concerns. Whilst these measures were in place there would always be areas of unknowns that were more challenging to detect at the early stages.
Councillor David Morton asked how success was monitored within the Prevent team. David Chapot explained that the team evaluates various elements of its work. The Prevent team also arranged focus groups and engaged with the Prevent Advisory Group (PAG) - a group of community organisations that scrutinised local Prevent delivery to ensure that the Council was meeting the key requirements – for feedback. In addition, the team has provided feedback forms to individuals who had engaged in the Channel process following their departure.
The Chair asked officers to explain the role of whistle-blowers and if any referrals had been received. Officers explained that the Council worked in collaboration with the Police as they played a vital role in managing risks for individuals. In addition, the Council did receive some referrals from whistle-blowers, and reassurances were provided that any information received was kept confidential.
David Chapot explained that cross departmental working was vital to this service to manage risks and improve delivery. The Prevent team worked with a number of different teams across the Council. These included Children’s Services, Adult Social Care, Mental Health, and Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation.
That the Committee reviewed and commented on the contents of the report.