We are required by law to work to protect people from radicalisation. Find out how we do this and how you can help us.
Our Prevent duty Toggle accordion
We are required by law to work to protect people from radicalisation. One of the ways we do this is through the government’s Prevent programme.
Prevent is not about:
- spying on a specific group, or section of our community
- trying to divide faiths
- stopping debate and free speech
- censoring people
- encouraging Islamophobia or views against Islam as a religion
- focusing entirely on the threat from Islamic extremism – there are many forms of extremism and we challenge all of them
Prevent is not a tool for spying
We are not allowed to carry out any covert activity or spy on anyone in the community through the Prevent programme.
Prevent is not about spying or intruding into anyone’s individual or family life. It is about supporting people who could get drawn into radicalisation and extremist ideas, before they act on those ideas or carry out any criminal acts.
One way we do this for example, is by helping teachers to spot behaviour that could be a concern at school.
If a teacher has concerns a pupil is being radicalised on the internet, they can help ensure that child gets the right support at an early stage.
The Prevent strategy does not target Muslims
Prevent is about safeguarding people who are at risk of radicalisation. It does not target a specific faith or ethnic group, it protects anyone being targeted by terrorist recruiters or who could be at risk of radicalisation.
Evidence suggests the greatest threat comes from terrorist recruiters inspired by Da’esh, but an increasing number of cases are linked to far-right extremism.
Thanks to Prevent, large numbers of people across the UK have been protected from targeting by extremists and terrorist recruiters.
Our focus Toggle accordion
Our Prevent duty programme is about:
keeping vulnerable people safe from harm
- tackling all forms of extremist views when people express them, regardless of where a person comes from
- working with our local community where there is a risk of anyone being radicalised
At the heart of Prevent
At the heart of Prevent we want to keep children and adults safe from extremist grooming and offer help early – before someone becomes radicalised.
This focuses our work on four areas:
- strengthening our protection against terrorist attacks
- where a terrorist attack cannot be stopped, reducing the impact of it
- stopping terrorist attacks
- reducing the number of people becoming or supporting violent extremists
This work is similar to the work we do to keep children and adults safe in other areas, for example from sexual exploitation, gang culture and other criminal behaviour.
Our Prevent strategy and delivery plan
Prevent strategy and delivery plan (PDF, 757.43 KB)
We work with people and groups before a crime has been committed, to ensure they understand extremist views are unhealthy and will not be tolerated.
This work focuses on:
- Ideology: challenging the ideological arguments or beliefs of terrorism and the threat we face from anyone trying to promote it
- Individuals: preventing people from being drawn into terrorism and make sure they are given appropriate advice and support
- Institutions: working with schools, colleges, community centres and places of worship where people may be affected by radicalisation
This involves training people and guidance so they know how to spot the signs of radicalisation and then supporting anyone showing concerning behaviour.
Programmes to help Toggle accordion
The Channel programme is just one programme we run through Prevent. It is designed to help keep vulnerable people safe from being drawn into violent extremist or terrorist behaviour.
If you, or someone you know, has been exposed to extremist or terrorist ideas they can voluntarily go on a Channel programme.
A team of experts will work with the person and if they need it, support will be provided to help ensure they don’t become radicalised.
Channel is completely voluntary and confidential. It does not lead to a criminal record.
The kind of support someone receives will vary and will be decided through an assessment, but could include activities such as sport, education, employment, or housing assistance.
Extremism and radicalisation explained Toggle accordion
What counts as an extremist view
An extremist view could mean any kind of view that opposes fundamental British values, our society or our way of life.
Rather than respect different faiths and beliefs, extremist views often attack people’s differences.
Extremist views take many forms from Islamic extremism to far-right extremism – and all types are dealt with through the Prevent programme.
What it means when someone is radicalised
Radicalisation is the process someone goes through when they start to believe extremist ideas and develop support for terrorism.
Many factors could lead to someone being radicalised and part of our work is to try and stop this from happening.
What causes people to become radicalised
We know that people become radicalised for different reasons, and that’s why we work with lots of different organisations to spot worrying behaviour so we can help people at risk of radicalisation, early on.
Mental health, substance abuse and social circumstances like a breakdown in a family can all be crucial factors in radicalisation but everyone is different.
Most people do not become radicalised because they don’t agree with the UK’s foreign policies. A number of complex factors can lead to someone being radicalised and every individual will be different.
Many people may disagree with foreign policy decisions – but they do not decide to use violence.
Advice and how you can help
Warning signs that someone is being radicalised Toggle accordion
Every individual is different but the warning signs could include:
- cutting ties with friends and family
- starting to support violence
- being un-interested in activities they previously liked to do
- researching extremist material on a computer or phone
- following or speaking to extremists on social media
Concerns about a person becoming radicalised Toggle accordion
If you are concerned about a loved one, friend or colleague, first, try to have a conversation with them about their worrying behaviour.
By talking openly, and listening, you may be able to tackle their negative ideas and arguments.
If you still have concerns they may do something that could harm themselves and/or other people, you can call the Anti-terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
If your child joins an extremist group Toggle accordion
If you suspect your child has joined an extremist group, or plans to travel to join a group overseas, you should report the situation and take advice from the police immediately.
Involving the police is obviously scary for any parent but doing this will help protect your child’s safety if your concerns turn out to be valid.
If you see something online Toggle accordion
If you find online material promoting terrorism, extremism or radicalisation, you can report it anonymously to the Home Office.
This will help the government work with internet providers to get extremist content taken down so the internet is safer for everyone.
Report your concerns Toggle accordion
Reporting any conversation you overhear about someone planning a violent act, trying to buy weapons, or planning a trip to a conflict zone, can help save lives.
No matter how minor a piece of information might seem, reporting it can help keep us all safe.
Our Prevent team
For further information about the programme or if you have a query or concern, don't hesitate to contact us by emailing email@example.com.
Concerns about a child or vulnerable adult
If you have concerns about a child or vulnerable adult in the borough, not just in relation to radicalisation, you can contact us on 020 8227 3811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call 999 in an emergency or 101 in non-emergency.
You can also report any concerns you have about a place or a person, whether it's a community centre, place of worship, a family member, colleague or neighbour.
The Anti-Terrorist Hotline
If you are concerned a person may do something to harm themselves and/or other people, you can call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.