Prevent: a very risky strategy

In recent weeks, there has been much attention paid to, and some considerable opprobrium poured on, the UK government’s latest version of its Prevent strategy. Prevent is one part of the four Ps (the others are Pursue, Protect and Prepare), originally framed within CONTEST – the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy. CONTEST – driven by a dawning recognition of the problems posed by homegrown terrorism – was first published in 2006, the year after the 7/7 London bombings, and (together with Prevent) has undergone significant revisions since, including: to demand adherence to specific values; to differentiate and broaden its remit; and to monitor outcomes more rigorously.