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The UK and terrorism


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The UK and terrorism
Charles Farr, Director General
Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT)

Published in: Education
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The UK and terrorism

  1. 1. #UUKSD Wifi Network: Woburn House Conference Centre Password: pplyfr Implementing the new Prevent statutory duty: understanding expectations and ensuring compliance
  2. 2. UUK, Monday 23 June: Implementing the new Prevent statutory duty The terrorist threat, Prevent and universities. Charles Farr, Director General, OSCT OFFICIAL
  3. 3. The terrorist threat to the UK • The terrorist threat level is ‘ severe’ – meaning that an attack in this country is ‘highly likely;’ • But the threats we face have changed: ISIL is much larger and better resourced than AQ and is trying to create and establish a state; • Unlike AQ, ISIL is also trying to radicalise large numbers of people here and in other western countries and has attracted far more foreign fighters and supporters; social media propaganda is intense; • Foreign fighters and supporters are encouraged either to travel or to conduct simple but effective terrorist attacks here; • In recent polling 10% of UK Muslims polled (aged 18-34) were sympathetic to people leaving to ‘join fighters in Syria’. OFFICIAL
  4. 4. The threat in universities • Extremist speaker events - despite increasing challenge by universities at least 62 events featuring hate speakers were held on campuses in 2014. • Support, fundraising and travel to Syria and Iraq continues: - February: A University of London student was convicted of preparing for terrorist acts in Syria having been arrested at Heathrow - sentenced to 3.5 years. - March: A Queen Mary student was arrested by Turkish police as he attempted to travel to Syria along with two sixth formers. OFFICIAL
  5. 5. Prevent first principles • Prevent Strategy (2011) is part of our counter terrorism strategy, CONTEST. Its aim – “to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism” through: • Countering ideology: taking down harmful internet content; supporting organisations to develop effective responses; • Supporting individuals who are at risk of radicalisation notably (but not only) through Channel; • Working with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation and opportunities for countering radicalisation: education, health, local authorities, policing, prisons, charities, faith based organisations etc. OFFICIAL
  6. 6. Prevent response to ISIL • Prevent programme is working with key social media provides to alert them to ISIL on line content, contrary to terms and conditions of service; • Prevent is supporting community based organisations who are campaigning against ISIL and warning about the threats it presents; • Programmes to support vulnerable people are dealing with both aspiring travellers, travellers who have been stopped (eg in Turkey) and people who have returned; • Prevent is working closely with schools and also with other sectors to explain what ISIL is doing and how; • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 creates duty on specified authorities to ‘have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. Part of a wider package of measures to deal with terrorism in Syria/Iraq. OFFICIAL
  7. 7. Prevent duty: first principles OFFICIAL • The duty does not itself affect or change the nature of our Prevent work – the strategy (2011) still stands and currently remains the basis for our work. The duty refers back to the language of the strategy. • The duty does not change the sectors/institutions who we want to work with: education, health, criminal justice, faith based, internet, charities, local authorities etc. • The duty is intended to be applied proportionality to risk: due regard means ‘authorities should place ..appropriate weight to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism’. • The purpose of the duty is to ensure a broadly consistent and common geographical and sector based approach to Prevent.
  8. 8. Prevent duty: key themes OFFICIAL • There are five key themes throughout the guidance to the duty which apply across all sectors: • Understand risks (and risks of what) • Ensure effective leadership • Understand and use the Prevent partnerships we/you have created • Develop capability/knowledge and use the capabilities we have developed already • Within existing legislation establish appropriate information sharing arrangements.
  9. 9. Prevent: conclusions OFFICIAL • ISIL is not more of the same: it represents a different kind of threat. • ISIL makes Prevent increasingly important…. • …particularly Prevent work with young people, notably of university age • The duty is based on the existing Prevent strategy; • Many organisations are already meeting the requirement of the duty and ‘have a clear understanding of their Prevent related responsibilities’ • We ‘do not envisage the duty creating large new burdens’.
  10. 10. #UUKSD Wifi Network: Woburn House Conference Centre Password: pplyfr Implementing the new Prevent statutory duty: understanding expectations and ensuring compliance