Plymouth hosts conference on prevention of extremism


Delegates at the Prevent Conference, hosted by Plymouth City Council.

Delegates at the Prevent Conference, hosted by Plymouth City Council.

Plymouth has hosted a conference on the prevention of extremism with a range of national and regional speakers.

The event has been organised by Plymouth City Council on behalf of the Plymouth Prevent Partnership which is made up of the Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, Probation, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Plymouth University, City College Plymouth, Plymouth Community Homes, and the University of St Mark and St John, as well as a range of community and voluntary sector groups.

The conference showcases the work being done in Plymouth on the Prevent strategy which aims to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. The Council adopted a new policy in 2015 to enshrine the Prevent work that has been taking place in Plymouth for some time.

Speakers include David Hampshire, Chair of the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education, Lin Ashby from the Charity Commission, and Steve Shephard from the UK Safer Internet Centre. DI Sam Norman, who is the police regional lead for Prevent and Channel, will be in attendance, and from Plymouth City Council, Pete Aley, Head of Neighbourhood and Community Services, will chair the conference.

Councillor Philippa Davey, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities for Plymouth City Council, said: “Plymouth City Council is pleased to host this event, which will both enable us to learn from the national picture as well as showcase what is happening here in Plymouth to tackle extremism which can become a safeguarding issue.

“The Council is committed to working with our partners to support the national Prevent strategy as part of our work to keep children, young people and adults safe from harm.

“We have also recently adopted a new training package which we are making available to staff to enable them to be able to support the Prevent strategy locally.”

Local authorities are one of a number of public bodies that participate in Prevent, along with the probation, police, universities, NHS and schools.

Pete Aley from Plymouth City Council, said: “Prevent addresses the threat posed by extremism that can lead to terrorism, and often involves the exploitation of vulnerable people.

“We take a lead role in the Plymouth Prevent Group and are also a key partner in Plymouth’s ‘Channel’ Panel, which helps identify and provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism.”

Plymouth City Council is also launching new web pages with information and advice about Prevent.

For more information about the wider Prevent work in Plymouth, visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/spprevent

Pictured above are, (front row, left to right): Councillor Philippa Davey, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities for Plymouth City Council, Pete Aley, Head of Neighbourhood and Communities for Plymouth City Council, Lin Ashby from the Charity Commission, (back row, left to right): Steve Shephard, UK Safer Internet Centre, David Hampshire, Chair of the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education, and DI Sam Norman, police regional lead for Prevent and Channel.