Councils have been handed administrative control of the controversial Prevent counter-terror strategy, as ministers seek to make it more amenable to communities, The MJ has learned.
But Home Office officials have already slowed the pace of the reforms amid concerns that recent Project Dovetail pilots failed to resolve challenges around police data sharing, managing referrals in smaller towns, and oversight of programmes in areas where police and local authority boundaries overlap.
A letter sent to local authorities by the Home Office’s head of Prevent, Matt Collins, confirmed councils will be given administrative and budgetary control of a key tenet of the strategy – the multi-agency Channel panels created to spot signs of radicalisation and provide intensive support for those vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
Until now, Channel panels have been chaired by local authorities, but administrative support and budgets have been provided by police.
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