Prevent, counter-extremism and counter-terrorism

Prevent is a part of the national counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST.

Prevent helps to protect society from terrorism by supporting people who are at risk of radicalisation and offering them appropriate interventions.

The overall aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk from terrorism to the UK, its citizens and interests overseas so people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.

Find out more about the counter terrorism strategy (GOV.UK)

The objectives of Prevent are:

  • tackling the ideological causes of terrorism
  • intervening early to support people susceptible to radicalisation
  • enabling people who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate

Prevent is delivered in Royal Borough of Greenwich by the Local Prevent Team. You can email the team at

If you believe someone is at risk of radicalisation, refer them to Prevent’s support programme, Channel.

Make a referral for support

If you believe there is an immediate risk to safety, always call 999.

The way you report your concerns depends on who you are and who you are concerned about.

A Prevent referral should not replace a referral to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, but is an addition (where proportionate). If you believe there is a safeguarding risk, please still refer to children’s and/or adult safeguarding as well.

Find out more about Making a referral to Prevent (GOV.UK)

If you suspect someone is involved in terrorism in any way, you can remain anonymous and report this by:

How to spot the signs of radicalisation

Radicalisation means someone is being encouraged to develop extreme views or beliefs in support of terrorist groups and activities. There are many different types of radicalisation and Prevent deals with all of them.

There is no single route to radicalisation. However, there are certain behaviours you can watch out for that we often see when someone is being led down the path of extremism.

Our experience shows that some of these behaviours and vulnerabilities can make a person more at risk of being exploited. If someone is displaying these behaviours, it does not necessarily mean someone is being radicalised. There can be other explanations behind the behaviours you are seeing.

If you are worried, act early and reach out for help to discuss your concerns.

  • Being influenced or controlled by a group or individual.
  • An obsessive or angry desire for change or ‘something to be done’.
  • Spending an increasing amount of time online and sharing extreme views on social media.
  • Personal crisis.
  • Need for identity, meaning and belonging.
  • Looking to blame others.
  • Desire for status, need to dominate.
  • Lack of tolerance in other faiths/beliefs.

You can learn more by doing Prevent duty training on GOV.UK.

The Channel programme

Channel is a voluntary and confidential support programme which safeguards people who have been identified as vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

This multi-agency programme involves partners from the local authority, the police, education sector, health providers and other groups.

Channel offers various types of support that will address educational, vocational, mental health and other vulnerabilities.

It is not a criminal sanction and it will not affect a person’s criminal record.

What happens after a Prevent referral

Referring possible cases of early-stage radicalisation is similar to safeguarding processes, which are designed to protect people from gang activity, drugs, and physical or sexual abuse.

When someone makes a referral, lots of agencies work together to offer support where it is necessary and proportionate to do so. This involves several steps:

  • The police carefully assess all referrals to see if they are suitable for Channel or whether a different type of support is more appropriate, such as mental health support.
  • If suitable, the referral is discussed with all relevant partners at a meeting called a Channel panel to decide if an intervention is necessary. The individual who has been referred to Prevent is informed and must give their consent (or via a parent or guardian if they are under the age of 18) before an intervention can take place.
  • If Channel intervention is required, the panel works with local partners to develop an appropriate tailored support package.
  • The support package is monitored closely and reviewed regularly by the Channel panel.

Notice, check, share procedure

The Notice, check, share procedure plays an important role in Prevent.

  • Notice something of concern
  • Check your concern and ask the opinion of someone you trust to see if they agree
  • Share the concern if you/your trusted person feels that it is warranted

To find out more about Prevent, how it protects people from radicalisation and access to helpful resources, visit: