Prevent Duty FAQs

The University is being required under the duty to prevent people being drawn into terrorism The Oxford English Dictionary defines terrorism as: “The unlawful use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”. Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000 provides a more detailed definition.

We understand concerns regarding the media portrayal of the Prevent Duty. The HM Government guidance on Prevent makes clear that the duty applies to preventing people from being drawn into all types of terrorism, and the University will approach the duty in this manner. We will also be mindful of our responsibilities under the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act. 

Existing University policies and processes such as Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study Procedures provide a means for staff working closely with students where there are concerns about their wellbeing and welfare. Where appropriate, a concern may be passed to an internal referral panel to review the circumstances and assess whether the concern is a Prevent issue, or whether it should be dealt with by an alternative University support process.  There is no single means of assessment as each situation is unique and will be considered on a case by case basis. 

Advice may be sought based on anonymised information from appropriate external partners with relevant expertise. If the internal referral panel finds that the concern is a Prevent issue, the individual involved will be consulted prior to a referral to the “Channel” process. Channel is a Government programme focused on providing support to individuals who are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It consists of an external multi-agency group, made up of support organisations within the local community. The membership of the group is assigned based on the context of the individual support requirements. Consent from the individual is required for this process. 

Personal information will only be shared when it is strictly necessary to do so, and the preferred route will always be to obtain prior consent from the individual. On very rare occasions, information may be shared without consent if the safety of an individual or others is at risk. 

If a Prevent referral is made maliciously, it will be treated under the harassment and bullying procedures. Our Dignity and Respect Advisors can provide support, or the individual can make a formal complaint. The University will not tolerate any form of harassment or bullying, and will respond promptly and sensitively to formal complaints and where appropriate take disciplinary action.

The University will always aim to allow an event to go ahead, providing that it is within the law. We will work with the organisers towards this goal. The Speakers and Events policy considers Prevent issues alongside other issues, such as but not limited to: Hate Speech laws and requirements of the Equality and Human Rights Acts. When a speaker or event is considered potentially to contravene the Prevent Duty, there will be a referral to an internal review process.