Following 9/11 and subsequent high-profile violent extremist attacks, many countries around the world have increased their focus on countering violent extremism (CVE). Violent extremist groups, which have long exploited narratives of grievance, actual or perceived injustice, and promised empowerment, have experienced significant growth in recent years around the world, including on the African continent. The actions of these groups contribute towards existing humanitarian challenges that many countries face. Due to the often-violent nature of extremist groups, many governments have continued to make extensive use of security and policing based approaches to CVE. This security focus is particularly pronounced in the context of the Global War on Terror. However, as new generations of violent extremist groups emerge, there is growing consensus that such measures have not been successful to prevent the spread of violent extremism. This literature review focuses on CVE practices within the realm of security and policing to understand the dominant approaches under this particular strand of work, major global and regional policies/strategies around it, evidence of best practices and their unintended consequences, and implications for policy and research. We will draw on experiences from the African continent and other countries around the world.