2.9 Safeguarding and Prevent
- 2.9.1 Prevent(Jump to)
- 2.9.2 Channel(Jump to)
- 2.9.3 Making a referral(Jump to)
- 2.9.4 Resources(Jump to)
In 2015, the Counter Terrorism and Security Act created 'Prevent Duty' on specific authorities, police, education and health services to have 'due regard to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism'.
Prevent is one of the four strands of CONTEST, the Government's Counter Terrorism Strategy. The Prevent Strategy aims to safeguard and support those vulnerable to radicalisation 'to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism'.
The purpose of Prevent is to safeguard vulnerable people from becoming terrorists, or supporting terrorism, by engaging with those who are considered to be vulnerable to radicalisation. The support includes a multi-agency approach to safeguard individuals from being exploited by extremists ad terrorists: by supporting vulnerable people and, enabling those who have already engaged in extremism and terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate. 'Prevent' work is delivered in strong partnership with our communities. Through a broad range of initiatives Prevent work tackles both the causes and risk factors that can lead an individual to become radicalised, and building resilience in communities.
The 'Prevent Strategy' addresses all forms of terrorism, including extreme right wing terrorism and Daesh or the Al-Qaida inspired and associated terrorism, and single issue terrorism. Data collated by the Home Office nationally indicates that the number of referrals regarding individuals with a mixed, unstable or unclear ideology increased by 48% in the year ending March 2020. The internet/online space has emerged as a key resource in facilitating the radicalisation process with some direct personal contact.
- Prevent Strategy here
- New sector specific statutory Prevent duty guidance here.
- The Prevent duty toolkit for Local Authorities and Partner here.
- Data published annually by the Home Office individuals referred to and supported through the Prevent Programme here.
Knowing the indicators that either an adult or younger person is at risk of, or is being radicalised could give them a voice and prevent acts of extremist violence taking place.
Anybody can be radicalised and the risk of being drawn into terrorism may be combined with other vulnerabilities, but below are some of the potential vulnerability and risk indicators.
- Have low self-esteem.
- Be confused about their faith, sense of belonging, or identity.
- Be victims of bullying or discrimination and/or feel isolated or lonely.
- Be experiencing stress or depression.
- Be going through a transitional period in their life.
- Be angry at other people, the government or about how they are treated or seen by society or have grievances.
It is very difficult to know at what stage certain views can become dangerous, or whether someone is being exploited, coerced or manipulated into becoming a part of an extremist group. Signs aren't always obvious but below are some potential indicators:
- Withdrawal from family and/or friends, or a changing circle of friends.
- Hostility towards others.
- Talking as if from a script.
- Being unwilling to discuss their views or have increased levels of anger.
- Being secretive, particularly around what they are doing on the internet.
- Using extremist terms or values to exclude people or incite violence.
- Supporting violence and terrorism towards other cultures, nationalities or religions.
- Writing or creating artwork that promotes extremist values.
- Talking about being a 'martyr'.
- Possession of extremist literature or other material, or trying to access extremist websites.
- Possession of any material about weapons, explosives or military training.
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 has also placed 'Channel' i.e arrangements to safeguard and support people from being drawn into terrorism as a statutory duty. Having a Channel Panel is a statutory duty placed on local authorities and all partners have a 'Duty to Co-operate' as far as compatible with their legal responsibilities in respect of their functions. A new statutory Channel Guidance was issued in November 2020.
Channel provides early support for anyone whois vulnerable to being drawn into any form of terrorism or supporting terrorist organisations, regardless of age, faith, ethnicity or background. Individuals can receive support before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those who want them to embrace terrorism, and before they can become involved in criminal terrorist-related activity. Cases adopted onto Channel have a vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism. Support from Channel is voluntary and confidential i.e support is provided with the consent of the individual or legal guardian. This support is bespoke based on the needs identified for an individual and varied. Progress is monitored monthly and the panel may make a decision to end the support when the risks have reduced. Each individual is reviewed at six-and twelve-months following closure to consider progress.
Channel is a multi-agency panel consisting of professionals from partner agencies and those who are in contact with the particular individual.
Anyone can make a Prevent referral if they have concerns about someone. When a referral is made information is gathered to look at the context surrounding concerning behaviour changes and to conduct a vulnerability assessment. In most cases referrals are signposted to other services, but if there are indicators that the individual may be vulnerable to being exploited or drawn into terrorism. The referral will be considered, the Prevent team will get in touch with the referring professional, and then they may be put forward to the Channel Panel.
As a professional, if you think that someone may be vulnerable to radicalisation you can make a referral using the Prevent National Referral Form.
Once you have completed this form, please email it to the relevant address from the list below:
For Brighton and Hove referrals
For East Sussex referrals
For West Sussex referrals
For initial advice and support please consult with your local area Prevent Lead. Remember the partnership message that acting early counters terrorism https://actearly.uk/
If you believe a crime is being committed, or planned, or become aware of any terrorist activity that may indicate immediate threat to life or property you should contact 999 or the Police anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321. Members of the public who raise concerns should be advised to use these contacts.
ACT Early – Acting Early Counters Terrorism https://actearly.uk/
You can also learn more about Prevent by undertaking free Home Office e-learning training https://www.elearning.prevent.homeoffice.gov.uk/edu/screen1.html
Below are some further resources in relation to Prevent: