The County You Live, Work And Play
Anti-Terror Role For Council Staff
South Lanarkshire Council workers will be asked to take a more active role in preventing terrorist attacks in the UK.
Councillors on Tuesday’s equal opportunities forum were informed of plans to increase awareness of a key component in the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest.
The strategy has four key components – protect, prevent, prepare and pursue.
Protect is about strengthening our protection against a terrorist attack; prevent is to stop people become terrorists or supporting terrorism, prepare is to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack and pursue is to stop terrorist attacks.
The council report states: “Prevent is intended to minimise the risk of people being exposed to radicalising influences, compelling them to support terrorism or violent extremism.
“Prevent differs from the other Contest themes in that it focuses on early intervention, before any illegal activity takes place and hence operates in the non-criminal sphere.”
Council employees are expected to be aware of the possibility of radicalisation amongst clients and members of the public.
Any concerns should be reported to the appropriate people.
Currently, 215 council employees have taken part in Working to Raise the Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) sessions with the police. The report adds that additional resources and approaches are required.
Under the new proposals, members of the finance and corporate resource team will give an abridged version of WRAP to other employees.
An e-learning module has also been developed in conjunction with Police Scotland covering the main points of the prevent strategy, covering both people and property security issues.
Another e-learning module, aimed specifically at schools, has also been developed jointly by Police Scotland and Education Scotland.
The report to councillors said: “The role of local authorities has now been placed on a statutory footing with the implementation of the 2015 Counter Terrorism and Security Act.
“This places a duty on each local authority to have ‘due regard’ to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
“South Lanarkshire Council has put in place structures to take this agenda forward, and to ensure that our statutory duties are met.”