Counter-terrorism inspections

Part of: Large-scale policing

Current events show the dynamic nature of terrorist threats and how it affects policing. The 2017 attacks in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge have highlighted the devastating loss of life and unprecedented demands on policing resulting from terrorist attacks.

The expectations of the public that the current state of policing will keep the country safe is a primary reason for HMICFRS to engage in a programme of counter-terrorism inspections designed to provide that reassurance.

In 2015, HMICFRS commissioned the counter-terrorism insight programme that considered the changing threat posed by terrorism and international terror groups in particular. This programme sought to establish the areas of highest risk identified by both the public and law enforcement agencies for counter-terrorism policing.

The findings from this work have shaped HMICFRS’s counter-terrorism work from 2016/17 onwards, leading to a series of counter-terrorism (CT) policing inspections.

HMICFRS’s work on counter-terrorism is designed to identify best practice and help improve CT policing and the management of risk at the highest levels.

Prevent inspection

As part of HMICFRS’s Counter-Terrorism inspection programme, HMICFRS is preparing to undertake an inspection of police forces’ role in Prevent – the Government’s strategy for stopping people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Prevent reference groups

To develop this inspection, HMICFRS is drawing on the expertise of the Prevent public reference group and the Prevent (PDF document) users reference group meetings.

The public reference group was attended by people with some knowledge and understanding of Prevent, such as academics, think tanks, and parent-representatives.

The Prevent user reference group was attended by Government departments and agencies who use Prevent or oversee those who do, such as in education and health sectors.

Reference groups’ discussions focused on the following questions.

  • What is the role of the police in stopping people being drawn into terrorism?
  • What skills/powers/abilities are needed to do this and do the police have them?
  • Where have police succeeded or failed in stopping people being drawn into terrorism?
  • What key areas should HMICFRS focus on?