The Safer Croydon Partnership works with the security services and the community to try and reduce the risks presented by those from within our community who might engage in an act of extreme violence, endangering every person in Croydon as well as themselves.
The Home Office has developed a counter-terrorism strategy, which has changed over the years and the current version is available below.
1) The CONTEST Strategy
The government's counter terrorism strategy is known as the CONTEST strategy.
There are four strands to CONTEST, known as the 'Four Ps'.
Pursue lies within the realm of the police and security services. It is concerned with the apprehension and arrest of any persons suspected of being engaged in the planning, preparation or commission of a terrorist act.
Prevent is concerned with working with partners to reduce support for terrorism of all kinds, challenge extremists whose views are shared by terrorist organisations and challenging and isolating extremists operating on the internet.
Protect aims to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack and reduce our vulnerability to such attacks. This involves managing the risks to crowded places and the safeguarding of hazardous materials.
Prepare seeks to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack where that attack cannot be stopped. This includes work to bring a terrorist attack to an end and to increase our resilience so we can recover from its aftermath.
The CONTEST strategy can be read and downloaded by clicking the link to the attachment at the bottom of the page.
Within the overall counter-terrorism strategy more information on each of the Four Ps listed above can be found at these locations:
Pursue - CONTEST page 44
Prevent - CONTEST page 58
Protect - CONTEST page 78
Prepare - CONTEST page 92
CONTEST seeks to deal with threats that arise from Islamist, Irish Nationalist, Extreme Right Wing, Extreme Left Wing, Anarchist, Environmentalist and Animal Rights groups or any other group that might present a threat to the security of the UK and its citizens.
There is a recognition that the greatest current threat comes from Islamist terrorists which is why most resources are directed at tackling this problem.
2) The Prevent strand
Croydon Council's engagement with counter-terrorism takes place within the parameters of the Prevent Strategy.
Croydon is not designated a priority borough, but this situation is regularly reviewed by central government and could change.
The Prevent Strategy has three main objectives:
- respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it
- prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address.
There has been further changes to this strategy with the introduction of The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 that came into force on 1st July 2015.
This Act created a duty whereby Prevent activity has to become part of the mainstream work of all local authority and other public bodies.
Croydon now has a duty to:
- establish an understanding of the risk of radicalisation
- ensure that staff understand the risk and build the capabilities to deal with it
- communicate and promote the importance of the duty
- ensure staff implement the duty effectively.
3) The Channel process
The Channel process is part of Prevent. Channel interventions can take place anywhere, regardless of whether or not a borough has been designated as a priority area.
Channel is essentially a safeguarding process, which means that partner agencies cooperate on multi-disciplinary work to minimise and manage risks to people who have been identified as being vulnerable.
They are likely to have been identified as holding extreme yet legitimate ideas but have been assessed as being at risk of moving from that position into one of criminality.
It is always good safeguarding practice to involve the vulnerable person in any support activity and offer them as much choice as possible in the intervention process. Channel is no different in this.
It should be stressed that at this stage the person has not committed any offence.
Channel is completely confidential.
It is completely open. The person at risk is approached and can decline to take part in an intervention.
Some people have been highly critical of Channel, but it should be emphasised that it is neither a profiling nor an intelligence gathering exercise.
The Channel guidance document can be accessed and downloaded through the attachment at the bottom of the page.
The local Channel panel (as is the case with every Channel panel) is chaired by an officer from within the council.
A person who has been identified as being at risk is referred to the local Channel panel. A decision is made to whether to go ahead with an intervention or the person is deemed unsuitable and is exited form the process.
If it is decided that an intervention should proceed, the person will be contacted. This contact will usually be made by the police.
An intervention provider will be appointed to work with the person at risk.
The case will be reviewed after six months to see whether the intervention can be ended or whether it should continue.
There is no danger of future career prospects being damaged through an employer asking for a Criminal Records Bureau check. No criminal act has taken place so no record would be kept.
Contacts and further information
If you have anything you wish to report please note the following numbers:
- Always dial 999 in an emergency
For non-emergencies you can contact the police via
- Anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321
You can also email us at Channel@croydon.gov.uk
All information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.
- Prevent - F.A.Qs [86.0KB]
- Channel Duty Guidance - April 2015 [541.5KB]
- Channel Referral Process flowchart [311.0KB]
- Contest - The UK strategy for countering terrorism - July 2011 [3.6MB]