National Priorities – Preventing Violent Extremism and Counter Extremist Activity

The ‘Prevent’ priority is one part of the wider CONTEST strategy
which is designed to reduce the risk to the UK from terrorism. Another
element of the national strategy is counter-terrorism which is largely led by the police but supported by partners. The third element is counter-extremism. Portsmouth’s counter-extremism strategy was approved by the SPP in October 2017. As a priority area, Portsmouth receives Home Office funding to employ three staff (co-ordinator, education officer, and community engagement officer) who deliver a range of activity across all three areas although this will cease at the end of 2018/19 in line with the government’s revised threat assessment of Portsmouth.

During 2017 the Home Office led a ‘peer review’ in the city covering
all aspects of delivery. The findings identified many areas of excellent
practice as well as areas for improvement such as improving the SPP’s
governance and senior leadership arrangements. The local prevent
board is now tasked with delivering against an agreed action plan. The
council’s Director of Children’s Services and senior managers from
Adult Social Care have now taken more prominent leadership roles.
Staff have also established a panel that considers individual cases
where there is concern about radicalisation and provides appropriate
referral pathways and interventions. Many of these cases involve
adults with mental health problems so strong links have also been
established with Portsmouth’s Safeguarding Adults Board. We have
also reduced duplication and strengthened community cohesion
arrangements to include counter extremism and links to hate crime.
We are developing more proactive communications plans between
partners.

National CONTEST Strategy