From 1st July 2015, all schools, registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers have a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to help towards the prevention of people being drawn into terrorism. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
The Prevent Duty
Prevent is dedicated to the safeguarding of people and communities from any threat of terrorism. Prevent is part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, which aims to stop people in the UK from becoming a part of or supporting terrorism.
All elements of the CONTENT strategy are:
• Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks;
• Prevent: to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism;
• Protect: to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack; and
• Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack.
How Does Prevent Work?
The prevent strategy specifically focuses on;
• responding to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it;
• preventing people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support; and
• working with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.
It aims for police and other organisations to build relations across the UK. The Prevent duty requires others such as faith leaders, teachers, doctors and others to refer suspicious activity to a local Prevent body.
An assessment will then be conducted on whether or not further action needs to be taken. This is when the Channel process comes into play. Channel was first piloted in 2007 and rolled out across England and Wales in April 2012. It is a multi-agency approach that identifies and provides support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism.
The approach involves;
a. identifying individuals at risk
b. assessing the nature and extent of that risk
c. developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned
More on Channel Process:
How do I know When to Refer Someone?
There are some signs that can indicate that a person is being radicalised. These signs include:
• Being rejected by peers, faith, social groups and family
• Pressure from persons linked to extremism
• Victim or witness to race or religious hate crime
• Conflict with family over religious beliefs/lifestyle/politics
• Identity confusion
• Change in behaviour or appearance due to influences
• Possession of literature related to extreme views
• Experience of poverty, disadvantage or social exclusion
• Extremist influences
• Series of traumatic events global, national or personal
• Tattoos depicting extreme symbols
• Sharing extremism websites
• Homophobic, religion or racist bullying
Who can I Refer Them To?
If you are a student that is concerned about a friend, you can talk confidently with your teachers or safeguarding leads in your school or college.
If you are a member of staff in a school, you should also follow the school’s normal safeguarding procedures and discuss with your Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Some Prevent priority areas will have a Prevent lead involved with local authority that can provide support. The Department of Education also has a dedicated helpline to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly (020 7340 7264).
If you are neither and you have concerns about family members or friends, you can contact local police or dial 101 (the non-emergency number) and they can talk to you about your concerns and offer support and advice on what to do next.