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“Challenging period ahead” with changes to Prevent

Greater levels of co-ordination will be needed across Local Authorities in London, the Met has said.

The Met has said that changes being implemented to the Prevent programe will lead to a “challenging period ahead”. 

One of two key changes discussed at the London Assembly Police and Crime Panel meeting this week was Home Office plans for a restructure towards a regional model. 

This would see Regional Prevent advisers sitting in the same geographical areas as regional counter terrorism units. It differs from the current Prevent delivery model of funding the 40 local authorities with the highest threat. 

The Home Office has said this would “increase join-up with CTP and other regional partners, ensure each local authority has access to expert Prevent support from Home Office regional Prevent advisers, and enable resource to be surged into areas to meet radicalisation risks.”

Currently, of the 40 prioritised areas which receive additional funding due to threat, risk and harm - 22 are in London. 

The regional model will see London move from having 22 prioritised areas to seven, possibly reduced further to five. 

MPS Prevent Lead Detective Superintendent Jane Corrigan said: “That obviously causes us some concern because what we don’t have is that dedicated resource in those areas.” 

Meanwhile, the “Dovetail model” which sees some Local Authorities take ownership of Prevent, making assessments and decisions on referrals (in conjunction with the police) will cease. 

Over the next 18 months, a hybrid model will be established where police and LAs handle referrals simultaneously - initial discussions with the referee would be carried out by either authority and the polce would complete risk assessments and information gathering. 

Det Supt Corrigan said she hasn’t “seen anything but really good work from our two Dovetail sites (Haringey and Croydon)”. 

“Dovetail was basically the Local Authorities take ownership of Prevent, so at the moment for example referrals come into the police, whereas in the Dovetail model they get the referrals they make an assessment and then they make the decision in terms of progression into Channel [in conjunction with the police]. 

“I think [our sites] work really well and our partnership is very good. 

“I certainly think there will be some loss when we lose that programme. 

“What I would also say about those areas is that we probably see a higher conversion into Channel so we see higher percentage of cases hitting that threshold where people are given that intervention and support. 

“There’s a question for us in policing in terms of is our bar too high in terms of referrals”. 

In the North West CT region - all their sites are Dovetail sites. 

Det Supt Corrigan said that in London they need to take forward a recommendation to introduce the National Referral Form - not all London boroughs have done that yet. 

“For me that’s a risk,” she said. 

“Actually no one has ever died when we share information but they have when we haven’t.” 

The National Referral Form makes sure the right agencies are aware at the right time of the referral and that people aren’t doing their own individual screening of cases. 

Met Commander Dom Murphy said of the new hybrid model: “We are going to need to think about what greater levels of co-ordination across all Local Authorities mean for London. 

“That’s going to be really challenging for us and there are some Boards in place already but we need to think about how we use those Boards slightly differently to fill that space. 

“We are now going to have to come together in a different way and with the regionalisation model, potentially with less resources, to try and have the same effect. 

“It’s a challenging period ahead, we can do it and the engagements are in place and already there’s some work going on now across London to try and bring everyone together and create a process that has assurance around it for us all.” 

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