HMICFRS: Counter-terrorism policing – Prevent programme (May 2020)
Response from: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hampshire
All 43 police forces were visited as a part of this inspection, we value the findings and outcomes, and any learning points on which we can implement. Terrorism is a direct threat to our national security, with the Prevent programme aiming to stop individuals becoming and supporting terrorism, police have a vital role to play in the identification of those deemed a risk, and to prevent such terror taking place.
We know only too well the devastating impact terror attacks have upon us a nation, and worldwide. With our current national threat level being rated as substantial (meaning an attack is likely), there is always the need to be vigilant and respond accordingly to the available intelligence. Encouraging residents to report suspicious activity, concerns around individuals and extremist behaviour are all a part of the intelligence picture. Counter Terrorism Policing is a collaboration of UK police forces working with the UK Intelligence Community to help protect the public and our national security by preventing, deterring and investigating terrorist activity. Challenges faced are not only in person, but via the online world, adding to the complexities of investigation and disrupting activity.
The force works hard with its collaboration partners to thwart terrorist planning; to safeguard those who are at risk of radicalisation; to protect our critical national infrastructure, institutions and crowded places, and to pursue and bring terrorists to justice. Through scrutiny of the force ensuring all terror related incidents are dealt with appropriately, with our independent custody visitors trained to make TACT (detainees held under the Terrorism Act 2000) visits and ensuring communication and messaging issued to the public is consistent, raises awareness and is reassuring, here in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton there is a drive to help keep our residents safe.
- With immediate effect, the NPCC national Prevent lead and each force Prevent lead should review the attendance of force representatives at Channel panels so that police are correctly represented by decision makers who can contribution to managing risk.
OPCC Comment: We will continue to monitor the forces efforts around Prevent and their attendance at any and all relevant panels/meetings to ensure appropriate management of risk.