Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism

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This article is part of the Counter-Terrorism Portal project of Spinwatch.

The Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) is a directorate within the Home Office which leads work on counter-terrorism in the UK. It is part of the UK intelligence community. 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 being an intelligence agency'.[2] The Office's head, Charles Farr, is a former senior intelligence officer, as is another un-named senior officer.[2] In 2010 the OSCT website stated (prior to the incoming Cameron government) that one of its official functions was to 'manage the Home Secretary’s statutory relationship with the Security Service'[3]

Preventing Violent Extremism

The OSCT, for the year 2009-10, has a total funding of £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 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 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]




  1. About us, Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, Home Office, accessed 17 October 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vikram Dodd, Government anti-terrorism strategy 'spies' on innocent,, 16 October 2009.
  3. Home Office. Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism About us, This snapshot taken on 19/04/2010, shows web content selected for preservation by The National Archives, accessed 16 January 2011.
  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