Government announces review of Prevent strand of counter terrorism strategy CONTEST


The government has announced that William Shawcross has been appointed as the new Independent Reviewer

of Prevent.

William Shawcross was formerly the Chair of the Charity Commission between 2012 and 2018 and became the

Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism.



Prevent, which safeguards vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism, is one of the 4 strands of the

government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. The independent review will consider the strategy and

delivery of the Prevent programme, and will make recommendations for the future. The terms of reference will

be published shortly.


Lords Minister Baroness Williams said: ‘Prevent plays an essential role in stopping vulnerable people being

drawn into terrorism and I am grateful to those who work tirelessly, including throughout the pandemic, to turn

lives around and keep our communities safe.’

Independent Reviewer of Prevent William Shawcross said: ‘I am delighted to lead this important review to

ensure that Britain has the most effective strategy possible for preventing people from becoming terrorists.’



‘As Independent Reviewer, I look forward to assessing how Prevent works, what impact it has, and what further can be done to safeguard individuals from all forms of terrorist influence. I look forward to hearing from a wide range of voices, particularly those who have had experience of Prevent in practice.’


He said that he intends to ‘lead a robust and evidence-based examination of the programme, to help ensure that Britain has a clear and effective strategy to protect vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.’



Prevent deals with all forms of terrorism, including Islamist and far right terrorism, and does not focus on any one community. As one part of the CONTEST Strategy, Prevent, alongside Pursue (stopping terrorist attacks happening in the UK and overseas), Protect (strengthening protection against a terrorist attack in the UK or overseas) and Prepare (mitigating the impact of a terrorist incident if it occurs) comprise the four strands of the strategy.

William Shawcross

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