Prevent, counter-extremism and counter-terrorism
Prevent is part of the national counter-terrorism strategy and aims to stop people being drawn into or supporting terrorism.
The Prevent strand of the strategy focuses on three key areas to:
- respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat from those who promote it
- prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and make sure that they're given appropriate advice and support
- work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address.
Prevent in Royal Greenwich
By adopting a multi-agency approach to protect and support people at risk from radicalisation, we aim to safeguard children and adults from being drawn into terrorist-related activity and promote positive community cohesion. We do this by:
- training staff and partners to identify the risks posed by extremist ideology
- working with partners to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to recognise radicalisation and report it to the local authority
- ensuring that publicly owned venues and resources do not provide a platform for extremists and are not used to promote or spread extremist views - our No Platform for Hate Protocol outlines more on this
- running our Channel programme to support individuals who may be at risk of radicalisation
- delivering workshops to the education sector to promote equality, diversity and tolerance
How do people become radicalised?
The process of radicalisation is different for everyone, it can occur quickly, or over a longer period. Sometimes there are clear warning signs, but sometimes it’s much less obvious.
Possible signs that a person has been exposed to radicalisation, can include:
- refusal to engage with peers who are different to themselves
- refusing to listen to different points of view
- changes in behaviour and peer group – rejecting activities they used to enjoy
- secretive behaviour, especially around internet use
- support for extremist groups and ideology
How do I report concerns?
If you are concerned that someone you know, or have come across, is at risk of being exploited for extremist purposes, you should inform the local authority, who will assess the individual and provide them with appropriate support if they are at risk.
To report concerns about adults, children and young people, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you suspect someone is involved in terrorism in any way, you can remain anonymous and report this by:
- calling the police or reporting your suspicions to them online
- reporting suspicious activity to MI5
- reporting online terrorist material
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.
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 they consider it necessary and proportionate to do so. This involves a number of steps:
- The local authority and 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.
Channel panel meetings are held monthly. If you have any concerns about someone and would like more advice, please email email@example.com.