The Government's Counter Terrorism Strategy

The Government’s long-term Counter Terrorism STrategy (CONTEST) was introduced in 2003 and updated in March 2009.

Its aim is to reduce the risk from international terrorism, so that people can go about their daily lives freely and with confidence. The strategy is divided into four principle strands:

PREVENT - Tackling terrorism and its underlying causes by working together. The main aim is to prevent people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent also aims to challenge extremist ideologies which can be used in attempts to justify terrorism, and to provide interventions with extremists who are moving into terrorism.

PURSUE - Reducing the terrorist threat by pursuing terrorists and bringing them to justice. Gathering intelligence, disrupting activity and taking action to frustrate terrorist attacks. International cooperation with partners and allies overseas to strengthen intelligence and disrupt activity outside of the UK.

PROTECT - Protecting the public by ‘target hardening’ the UK and protecting UK interests overseas. Strengthening border security, protecting key utilities by working with private sector, reducing the risks to the transport network, and to people in crowded places.

PREPARE - Prepare for such consequences by improving resilience to cope with any attack. Identifying potential risks the UK faces from terrorism and assessing their impact, building the necessary capabilities to respond to attacks, evaluating and testing our preparedness and identifying lessons learned from real-life events.

Further information

Additional software

You may need to download Adobe Reader (opens new window) to view files in PDF format.

You may need to download Microsoft Office Word viewer software (opens new window) to view Word files.

You may need to download Microsoft Office Excel viewer software (opens new window) to view Excel files.