Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 12th November 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran Conservative 6:00 pm, 12th November 2018

My Lords, I shall speak very briefly to this amendment. It is an understatement to say that noble Lords feel strongly about Prevent and the need for an independent review. I agree with noble Lords who have talked about a lack of trust in Prevent. My own experience has been of talking to some very successful Prevent projects which, when I suggested that I might refer to them in my speech at Second Reading, asked me not to refer to them in public. Those are ones I wished to cite as doing a fantastic job, so I think that an effort to address some of that mistrust is very well placed.

My reflection is that there is a lot of existing information which, as the noble Lord, Lord Stunell, suggests, might help to fill some of the gaps that noble Lords have talked about. Critical within that is the role of the new Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, but also, from the police perspective, there is what I used to call HMIC, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, but now have to remember is called HMICFRS, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. The first annual review of the counterterrorism independent advisory group will be published in June next year. Through a more multiagency lens, which I think is really important in this area, there are the local strategic oversight boards and the scrutiny panels. I confess to the noble Lord, Lord Carlile, that I have not yet attended one—it is clearly in my plan—but I understand that the scrutiny panels are open to the public. There have also been some multiagency peer reviews as well as some more recent independent evaluations, such as that by the University of Huddersfield.

I want to hear the thoughts of my noble friend the Minister about the potential to aggregate and analyse this information. It feels to me like a missed opportunity to bring data transparency to the programme, but also for those who are implementing Prevent on the ground to share learning—and then, of course, potentially to share some much more publicly. I appreciate that this may not address the full range of concerns raised by noble Lords, but I think it could go some way towards a practical solution that can be delivered quite quickly ahead of a more formal independent review.