What is Prevent?

The Prevent Duty requires Local Authorities and other named bodies to give due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Local Authorities should focus their activity where there is most need.

Prevent covers all forms of terrorism and seeks to challenge any ideology which legitimises terrorism.

In Camden, Prevent is about early intervention and safeguarding of adults and children.

Camden’s approach recognises that people at risk of being drawn into terrorism may also be at risk of other forms of harm such as criminal exploitation, grooming, sexual exploitation, modern slavery, and serious violence.

Work is carried out in partnership with communities and partners named in the Prevent duty (schools and registered childcare providers, health, police, prisons, and probation), to respond to the ideological challenges of terrorism and provide holistic support to those who are vulnerable. This ensures that those working with children and adults are supported to understand the risk of terrorism, identify when an individual is at risk of radicalisation and know what to do and how to get help.

Act Early has been developed to give more information about how Prevent protects and safeguards people.

Camden Safeguarding Children’s Partnership have resources specifically for those working with children and one for parents.  Also available in Camden’s most widely spoken languages: Somali, Arabic and Bengali.

Educate Against Hate gives more information about how Prevent works to protect children.

What is Channel?

Channel is part of the Prevent Strategy. It is a multi-agency safeguarding panel, similar to other safeguarding panels. It aims to protect vulnerable adults and children from becoming involved in terrorist related activity. Channel is confidential and the panel is voluntary.

Channel aims to:  

  • identify whether a referred individual is at risk
  • assess the nature and extent of that risk
  • develop the most appropriate support plan for the individual concerned

In Camden, multi-agency professionals meet monthly. Any safeguarding support plan is led by the most appropriate agency. It may include support around drugs, alcohol, housing, education, employment, mental health, social and community networks etc. It can also include support with critical thinking around ideologies.

Each support package is assessed on a case-by-case basis and is entirely bespoke to the needs of the individual.

Extremism and Radicalisation

What is Extremism?

The Government defines extremism as, “The vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.”

What is Radicalisation?

​​​​​​The Government's Prevent Duty Guidance defines radicalisation as: "The process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups".

That process is varied, complex and can be unique to the individual. However, it is often enabled by influences/ers and groomers who use the internet, social media, online gaming, and live stream, leafleting or face to face interaction to target and spread their narrative to vulnerable adults and children.

Radicalisers are active recruiters who generate and share a range of harmful narratives, purporting to be from 'experts'. Misinformation can be used to spread belief in the importance of being part of an ‘in-group’ and opposing an ‘out-group’. Radicalisers attempt to share ideas aiming to divide people and claiming to explain the reasons behind significant social and political events or circumstances.

What is the Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST)?

The Government’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2018, CONTEST aims to reduce the risk to the UK and its citizens and interests overseas from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.

Prevent is one of the "four P's":                                

  • Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
  • Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks
  • Protect: to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attack
  • Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack

Spotting the signs of radicalisation

The Government’s Prevent Strategy recognises that there is no single profile or pathway leading to terrorism. However, there are certain risk factors which may increase vulnerability to radicalisation.

Risk factors may include:

  • a need to dominate and control others
  • a need for identity, meaning and belonging
  • having a criminal history
  • mental health issues
  • being from a vulnerable age group
  • having lost interest in friends or activities
  • possessing materials or symbols associated with an extremist cause
  • being influenced or controlled by a group
  • feelings of injustice or having political grievances

Signs of radicalisation may include:

  • accessing extremist material online
  • expressing extremist views and advocating violence
  • belief that their culture or religion is under threat and only violence or war can solve issues
  • becoming intolerant of other groups, religions or political views
  • embracing conspiracy theories related to extremism (taken in context with other signs)
  • changes in their friendship group or associating with people who hold extremist beliefs
  • out of character changes in behaviour, presentation or dress (including haircuts and tattoos) that may indicate sympathy with or membership of an extremist group
  • losing interest in previous activities

Individually, the above signs may not show evidence of radicalisation but in combination may mean a person is subject to radicalising or extremist influences and may benefit from safeguarding support.

How can I make a referral?

If you have reason to believe that a child, or adult is at risk of radicalisation then you should make a referral or seek advice by contacting children or adult MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub).

MASH provides advice, information, and support for those who may need extra help or who are vulnerable and at risk from all types of harm.

You can also discuss directly with the police through Act Early.

Call 0800 011 3764 to share your concern in confidence with specially trained officers.

In an emergency (immediate risk of harm to public or the individual) call 999 or 101 for non-emergencies

When making a referral consider the following three questions:

  • Engagement: Is this individual is showing any signs of becoming involved with a group, cause or ideology that justifies the use of violence and other illegal conduct in pursuit of its objectives?
  • Intent: Has this individual has indicated that they may be willing to use violence or other illegal means?
  • Capability: Is there any information supporting what this individual may be capable of doing?

You can report online or offline hate or suspected terrorist related activity through iREPORTit.

What training is available?

The Government updated their training package towards the end of 2022. The process used significant feedback and user testing. The workshops are known as WRAP (Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent).

There are 4 online workshops available:

  • Module 1: Awareness – 30 to 40 minutes
  • Module 2: Referrals – 30 to 40 minutes
  • Module 3: Channel – 50 to 60 minutes

There is also a refresher course which is continually updated and recommended for completion every year, by those who work with vulnerable individuals. This will take 20 to 30 minutes. 

Start training

Camden offers training to professionals through the Learning Hub and child focused training through Camden Children’s Safeguarding Partnership.

There are also offers of bespoke support to schools, organisations and community groups.  If you would like to discuss your training and support needs to fulfill your Prevent Duty contact Prevent@camden.gov.uk.

Staying safe online

The internet has many positive uses, but it has also become an enabler for radicalisation and hate.

When using the internet, apps or devices such as webcams, games consoles and tablets, it is good practice to check your security and privacy settings:  The National Cyber Security Centre is a useful website for guidance.

Tips for staying safe online

  • adjust privacy and safety settings to increase security and control the personal data you share. Look for the ‘privacy and security’ or ‘settings’ on the app or website
  • review the security settings on your ‘smart’ devices
  • make sure your device has a secure password. Read guidance on choosing a strong password.
  • set up two-factor authentication. This is a free security feature to stop unwanted people getting into your accounts. You’ll receive a text or code when you log in to check you are who you say you are
  • update your devices - using the latest version of software and apps can immediately improve your security

You can also block unsuitable content

  • not all information online is reliable
  • it is important to understand the website or app you are using and how they do things - find out in their terms and conditions
  • Set filters on your home broadband and mobile networks to prevent unwanted content from appearing,. The UK Safer Internet Centre has advice on how parents can do this

There is more advice for parents on the NSPCC NetAware website. If you see harmful activity, report it to the site.

If you are affected, you can get support:

Sharing content

Before you like, comment or share something online use the SHARE checklist to make sure you’re not contributing to the spread of harmful content. SHARE can help you understand and spot disinformation.