Quick Exit

Prevent and Radicalisation


Radicalisation: “…the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups”. HM Government Prevent Strategy 2011

Extremism: “Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Also included in the definition of extremism are calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas”. HM Government Prevent Strategy 2011

Terrorism: “An action used to further an ideological aim that:
a) Endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people
b) Causes serious damage to property
c) Seriously interferes with or disrupts an electronic system
d) The use of threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause. Counter Terrorism Act, 2000

Prevent Duty – Safeguarding from radicalisation

What is Prevent?

Prevent is about safeguarding our communities from the threat of terrorism by stopping people from supporting terrorism or becoming a terrorist themselves.

The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 placed a duty on specific authorities (local authorities, police, education, health and prisons) to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’ and to address this with a proportionate response. Having said that, it is important to remember that safeguarding is everyone’s business and therefore agencies outside of this list should also be aware of the risks of radicalisation and what to do if they are concerned about someone.

The Prevent strategy, 2011 is one element of the UK’s national counter-terrorism strategy. It has three key objectives:

  1. To respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it
  2. Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support
  3. Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address

What support is available?

Anyone can make a Prevent referral if they have concerns that someone is at risk of radicalisation. A referral is made to the local Counter Terrorism Police who will gather information to look at the context surrounding concerning behaviour changes and decide on the most appropriate course of action. In most cases, referrals are signposted to other services, but if it is recognised that there is an ideology present, capability or intent to act then they may be put forward for support from Channel.

What is Channel?

Channel is a multi-agency panel consisting of professionals from services in contact with the individual of concern. This will include a chair from the local authority and a Prevent police representative. Participation in Channel is voluntary and confidential, and for children and adults. If consent is obtained, the panel look at risk and protective factors and how support can be provided to build resilience and divert the person away from being drawn into terrorism. Progress is monitored monthly and when it is agreed the individual has no further terrorism related concerns, they will leave the programme. Six and 12 month reviews are carried out following Channel closure to review progress.

Support is provided via Channel from services including, but not limited to:

  • Mental health
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Substance misuse services
  • Adults’ and children’s social care
  • Home Office intervention providers
  • Mentoring services
  • Community policing
  • Diversionary activities such as sport and activity clubs

While Wiltshire is considered a low-risk area, it is important to be aware of vulnerabilities in people we know and meet and that advice is sought if there are concerns.

Spotting the Signs

There are many factors that could make someone vulnerable to radicalisation including:

  • Feelings of grievance and injustice
  • Being at a transitional time of life
  • Experiencing a traumatic event
  • A desire for political or moral change
  • Struggling with a sense of identity, meaning and belonging or questioning their place in society
  • A desire for status
  • Being influenced or controlled by a group
  • Experiencing racism or discrimination

What if I have a concern?

There are several ways you can seek advice:

  • Speak to your designated safeguarding lead (if applicable)
  • Call 101 and state you would like some advice or make a Prevent referral
  • Email: PreventReferrals@wiltshire.police.uk
  • If you see or hear something that could be terrorist related call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321
  • If you require urgent police assistance dial 999

Wiltshire Police have produced a practitioner guide to help those who are in a position of care and trust understand what to do if they have a concern that someone may be on the route to radicalisation. You can download the guide here to find out more about local emergency points of contact and where you can access advice and guidance.

It is crucial to note that Prevent is a supportive space and does not get people in trouble or criminalise them. It is about safeguarding them from the impact of extremism and radicalisation.

What if I come across extremist material online?

If you come across extremist material online such as articles, images or speeches that promote terrorism or encourage violence or acts of terrorism you can report it to be removed.

If you come across extremist graffiti, stickers or posters while out and about, please don’t touch it but photograph what you have seen and report it to the police on 101.

Multi-agency ‘Radicalisation and Extremism’ training

The SVPP has a half-day multi-agency training course on radicalisation and extremism. The course aims to:

  • help you identify how someone might be vulnerable to radicalisation
  • recognise how grooming is a part of the radicalisation process
  • understand the Prevent programme and the Channel Panel process
  • know how you can help a vulnerable child who may be at risk of radicalisation

You can view course dates and book onto the course of your choice by going to our Training Hub.

You can also do the free Home Office Prevent Awareness online training, available on the Home Office website.

For further information please visit the links below.

National Guidance

Useful resources

  • Let’s Talk About It provides a greater understanding of the support Prevent can offer, by highlighting issues and initiating discussions around the potential threats we face as a community, we can create greater understanding and wider awareness.
  • Educate Against Hate gives teachers, parents and school leaders practical advice and information on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation.
  • Prevent Factsheet 2021
  • Act Early provides resources and information about what to do if you are worried someone you know is in danger of being radicalised. The site tells you some signs to look out for and who to go to for help.