Community engagement is a vital component of the Local Authority Prevent team’s local delivery, and builds on the team’s seven years of engaging with charities, community organisations and faith groups locally. Engagement keeps the team up to date with community concerns and helps ensure that community members understand the aims of Prevent, which is crucial due to the voluntary nature of Prevent support.
At the forefront of the team’s community engagement work is the Prevent Advisory Group (PAG), a monthly forum which draws over twenty community organisations and faith groups to discuss Prevent delivery locally, in addition to other pressing concerns. PAG is a vital network of community partners who work in collaboration with the Prevent Coordinator to deliver projects locally. In the past financial year, these projects have included parenting classes for vulnerable families and school projects discussing themes like critical thinking and online safety with pupils. Mosque Advisory Groups (MAGs) and Madrasah network sessions are also hosted by the Local Authority Prevent team and are a platform to discuss concerns and offer practical advice and guidance.
Additionally, the Prevent team helps to organise Community Question (CQ) events, which provide an opportunity for community members to discuss concerns and challenges with community leaders and topic experts. Previous topics include mental health, terrorist propaganda online, Stop & Search and Schedule 7 stops, alongside far-right extremism.
The Local Authority Prevent team also plays a Pan-London role by chairing the London Prevent Network and the London Prevent Education Officers Network. These networks help to facilitate best practice for Prevent coordinators and Prevent Education Officers respectively, while allowing Prevent practitioners to discuss challenges and topical issues in an informal setting.