Priti Patel said ‘we want to ensure that it is fit for purpose’ as the Home Office refused to confirm whether the suspect in the MP’s killing had been referred
Image: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
The Prevent anti-terror programme is under review to ensure it is fit for purpose, Home Secretary Priti Patel said today.
Ms Patel said: “Prevent is going through an independent review right now.
“It’s timely to do that. We obviously constantly have to learn not just from incidents that have taken place but how we can strengthen our programmes.”
She added: “We want to ensure that it is fit for purpose, robust, doing the right thing. But importantly learning lessons, always building upon what is working and addressing any gaps or issues where the system needs strengthening.”
Prevent has an annual budget of £46million and aims to stop vulnerable radicals joining terror networks and launching attacks.
It involves police being in contact with faith and community leaders, teachers, medical staff and others to alert authorities about individuals.
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About 7,500 referrals were made to the scheme in 2015-16, the equivalent of 20 a day, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
The review into it is being led by former Charity Commission chairman William Shawcross.
Ms Patel said: “The Government has a duty and a responsibility when it comes to the work we do in de-radicalisation – the type of programmes that we put forward, the investments that we put in place – to ensure that that system is working.”
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Former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said we need to ensure “every arm of the state is absolutely working together” to understand those vulnerable to radicalisation so that we can step to nip such attacks in the bud.
He said: “There may be records or information from schools or colleges or from the health service which can tell us much more about individuals and their activities.
“I think we need to join this up much more effectively, because what we’re talking about here is community prevention.”
A Home Office spokeswoman refused to confirm whether the suspect in Sir David’s killing had been referred to Prevent.