1. Introduction

Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups. There is no obvious profile of a person likely to become involved in extremism or a single indicator of when a person might move to adopt violence in support of extremist ideas. The process of radicalisation is different for every individual and can take place over an extended period or within a very short time frame.

Individuals may be susceptible to recruitment into violent extremism by radicalisers. Violent extremists often use a persuasive rationale and charismatic individuals to attract people to their cause. The aim is to attract people to their reasoning, inspire new recruits, embed their extreme views and persuade vulnerable individuals of the legitimacy of their cause.

This can put a young person or adult at risk of being drawn into criminal activity and has the potential to cause significant harm. Children, young people and adults may become vulnerable to exposure to, or involvement with, groups or individuals who advocate violence as a means to a political or ideological end.

2. How people can be radicalised

  • accessing, and engaging with, propaganda material that they find on or offline, which promotes and spreads messages of hate or discourages peace;
  • misunderstanding or holding a misguided view of other people and communities, religious scriptures and texts or political manifestos and policies;
  • feeling resentment, jealousy, anger or a sense of injustice towards another individual, a group of people, or against a political or religious group.

2.1  Things to consider before assuming that somebody has been radicalised

Holding different views, whether they be religious, social or political, does not mean that somebody is radical. The concern is when somebody with an extreme view acts, or intends to act, upon their view/s in a way that is harmful to themselves or others. You should always use your professional judgment and, if you are in any doubt, seek advice.

The PREVENT strategy, published by the Government in 2011, is part of the Government’s overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. The aim of the PREVENT strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 enforces this aim as the need to “PREVENT people from being drawn into terrorism”.

At the heart of PREVENT is safeguarding children and adults and providing early intervention to protect and divert people away from being drawn into terrorist activity.

The Channel process is a key element of the Prevent Strategy. It is a multi-agency approach to protect people at risk from radicalisation using collaboration between local authorities, statutory partners, the police and local community to:

  • identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism;
  • assess the nature and extent of that risk; and
  • develop the most appropriate support plan for the individual concerned under provisions in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

3. Referral process

The referral process for adults who have needs for care and support whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs and is at risk of radicalisation:

  • a safeguarding referral should be made as outlined in the Safeguarding Adults Procedures;
  • if the referral also identifies concerns or risks of radicalisation the local authority is advised to discuss the referral with the PREVENT lead and make a separate referral.

In all cases the Channel chair will identify whether or not a representative from adult social care will be required at the Panel. If there is no further action the feedback will be given to the referring agency and advice given appropriately. If there are continuing safeguarding needs identified at the Panel, a further referral will be made to adult social care at the earliest opportunity.

If you have any concerns please call 101 and ask for the Prevent Team. This will take the caller through to the Police’s Prevent team who can make an initial assessment of the details.