Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism

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Group.png Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism  
(Intelligence agencyPowerbase WebsiteRdf-icon.png
Abbreviation OCST
Formation 2007
Parent organization Association of Chief Police Officers, Home Office
Leader Director General of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism
Tom Hurd.jpg
Incumbent: Tom Hurd
Since April 2016
Subgroups Research Information and Communications Unit
Interests “counter-terrorism”
SubpageOffice for Security and Counter-Terrorism/Director General

The Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) is a directorate within the Home Office which heads "counter-terrorism" in the UK, including preparation of legislation. As of October 2009, it reports to Home Secretary Alan Johnson and Minister of State Phil Woolas.[1]

According to the Guardian, the OSCT is widely regarded in Whitehall as an intelligence agency. The Office's head, Charles Farr, is a former senior intelligence officer, as is another un-named senior officer.[2]


On 22 November 2017 Robert Stuart reported his suspicions about Ian Pannell, Darren Conway and Hand in Hand for Syria to the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism.[3]

Preventing Violent Extremism

Full article: CONTEST/Prevent

The OSCT, for the year 2009-10, received £8.5 million in relation to preventing violent extremism.[4]

The OSCT in 2009-10 is providing £5.6 million of direct funding to the UK's National Offender Management System in regards to a programme of preventing violent extremism and radicalisation. This programme, however, spans across the entire Contest 2 strategy.[5]

The Youth Justice Board is in receipt of £3.5 million of this £5.6 million and is delivering Prevent programmes through Youth Offending Teams.[6]

The OSCT spent £600,000 on the Channel Programme in 2006-07 and has spent £1 million in 2008-09. [7]


At the National Union of Teachers' 2016 conference in Brighton, the union members voted overwhelmingly against the Prevent strategy and supported its abolition, citing concerns of implementing the strategy and causing "suspicion in the classroom and confusion in the staffroom".[8]


An event carried out

CONTEST2003 - Present


  1. About us, Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, Home Office, accessed 17 October 2009.
  2. Vikram Dodd, Government anti-terrorism strategy 'spies' on innocent,, 16 October 2009.
  4. Home Office Freedom of Information Request 12172 - accessed 17/11/09
  5. Delivering the Prevent Strategy: An Updated Guide for Local Partners HM Government, August 2009, p. 26 - accessed 17/11/09
  6. ibid
  7. House of Commons Hansard, Column 1376W 22 July 2008 - accessed 18/11/09
  8. Adams, Richard (28 March 2016). "Teachers back motion calling for Prevent strategy to be scrapped". The Guardian. Brighton, United Kingdom. Retrieved 28 March 2016.

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