2009 - CONTEST is the name of a counter-terrorism strategy developed by the United Kingdom's Home Office in early 2003. The official objective of the strategy is "to reduce the risk from international terrorism, so that people can go about their daily lives freely and with confidence." The Home Office counter-terrorism strategy is divided into four strands - Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. As a Probation Service employee it is clear to me that the PREVENT strand is the most pertinent to my organisation and therefore the focus will be on this aspect of CONTEST.

Countering the terrorist threat

Our counter-terrorism strategy sets out a comprehensive plan for dealing with the terrorist threat.

It involves the work of thousands of people:

The strategy has four key elements:

These four areas of work complement and reinforce each another to reduce the terrorist threat to the UK and our overseas interests.

PURSUE terrorists wherever they are and stop terrorist attacks

As a result, many terrorists who planned to kill UK citizens are behind bars, and terrorist plots that could have caused hundreds of deaths have been prevented

Plots that have been stopped include two in 2004 in which conspirators considered using radiological materials in a ‘dirty bomb’, other plots uncovered featured 2005 plans by a London-based terrorist cell to buy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, and a plot in early 2007 to kidnap and kill a British soldier.

PREVENT people from becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism

Part of this work involves challenging those who support violence. But we also want to actively promote the shared values (including democracy and the rule of law) on which our society and the cohesion of our communities depend.

From our experience and research, we now know more than ever before how some British citizens are drawn into terrorism. We are using this understanding with partners to divert people away from this path.

We work directly with people in their communities to:

Protecting vulnerable individuals who might be attracted to the ideology of violence is not just a job for the police, but also for local government, schools and universities, local communities and all of us who come into contact with them.

PROTECT the UK by strengthening our defences against terrorism

Terrorists aim to attack high profile targets, where they can have maximum impact and cause the most casualties.

We have developed comprehensive plans to protect these targets:

The National Identity Register and identity cards will make it harder for terrorists to use multiple identities

PREPARE to respond to an attack to lessen its impact

The attempted terrorist attack in Exeter in 2008 showed that we need to be prepared throughout the country to deal with a terrorist incident.

We have studied every attack and plot against the UK to learn everything we can about how to improve our resilience.

Thousands of emergency services workers and key officials have been trained and equipped to deal with an incident, including attacks with chemical, biological and radiological weapons.

Every region in the country has plans to deal with an attack and ensure a return to normal as soon as possible.

Training goes beyond officials to store, pub and club managers and security guards, who all work in crowded places that might be targeted by terrorists. This means that:





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