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Council takes on role to Prevent people being drawn into terrorism

Wolverhampton City Council has formally taken on its role to stop people from being drawn into terrorism.

The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 created a statutory "Prevent" duty for local councils - as well as other public bodies - to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism".

The new duty, which also affects the police, higher and further education providers, schools, health services, prisons and probation services, came into force on 1 July, 2015.

Though Wolverhampton is an area classed as "low risk" for extremism, organisations across the city continue to work closely together to safeguard residents.

Over recent months, steps have been taken to strengthen the council's response to the new duty and increase joint working with partners to identify and support individuals at risk of being drawn into extremist ideology.

This has included training for all employees and councillors, with targeted training provided to social workers and other employees who work with vulnerable clients.

In addition, a multi agency Channel Panel is already well established which meets to review cases where people have been identified as being at risk from radicalisation.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "We are in a strong position in Wolverhampton to comply with the Prevent duty.

"We have been working with our partners on supporting vulnerable individuals as part of our safeguarding practices for many years, so are able to build on these strong foundations to sharpen our collective response.

"Wolverhampton is classed as an area of low risk, however we are not complacent; we are gearing up to respond to any eventuality and must do more to raise the profile of Prevent across our workforce and within our communities with the support of community leaders and the faith sector.

"We all have a role to play and a responsibility to safeguard our citizens, especially those who may be drawn into extremist views."

Over the coming weeks, information will be circulated to community groups and organisations throughout Wolverhampton explaining how they can play their part in countering the terrorist narrative.

Further information is available by contacting Karen Samuels, Wolverhampton City Council's Head of Community Safety, via karen.samuels@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

  • released: Friday 10 July, 2015