'Terrorism will be with us for generations, the Prevent strategy needs more resources'

'Terrorism will be with us for generations, the Prevent strategy needs more resources'

Several terror attacks have taken place this year

Friday, November 10, 2017

Terrorism will be with us for generations to come and the Prevent strategy needs more resources, according to a security expert.

The Government has released figures on its Prevent programme, the aim of which is to stop young people joining terrorist movements. In 2015/16 there were 2,127 people aged under 15 who were referred to the strategy, including more than 500 girls.

Former head of the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office Chris Phillips told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "It does need resourcing, and if we want social workers to be taking responsibility for people who are potentially going to become terrorists, then we need to give them enough resources to do that job.

"What this does show us is that this is a real long-term issue. This is something that’s going to be with us for unfortunately generations to come.

"We need to have people willing to come forward and tell the police and understand that the police will deal with it quite gently."

He believes despite the programme being criticised by some, "it’s about trying to protect people and turning them away from a life which could end up in terrorism, so I can’t see too much wrong with it.

"If we prevent one terrorist attack then it’s paid for itself many times over I would suggest."

But he admits "it doesn't have any teeth in that if people refuse to engage, then it hands over to the police and security services."

Listen to the full interview above