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Preventing Extremism

Safeguarding vulnerable people from extremism

Helping to reduce the threat from terrorism and extremism and knowing how to report a concern.

Prevent has three main objectives to:

  • Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism;
  • Support vulnerable people and prevent people from being drawn into terrorism;
  • Work with key sectors and institutions and address risks.

It focuses on early intervention before any illegal activity takes place. The aim is to reduce the likelihood of individuals who support a violent extremist ideology of becoming terrorists.

Spotting the signs

There is no single profile of a person likely to become involved in extremism and the process of radicalisation is different for every individual.

Radicalisers use normal social processes such as loyalty, self-perception, and fear of exclusion to influence others.

Signs that an individual may be being groomed into extremism could be:

  • Vulnerable individuals becoming withdrawn and stopping participating in their usual activities. They may express feelings of: anger, grievance, injustice or go missing from their home, school or care setting;
  • A new group of friends who have an extremist ideology;
  • Using language that supports ‘us and them’ thinking;
  • Possessing or searching for extremist literature online.

The internet and social media provides many opportunities for those with extreme views to target young or vulnerable individuals. The Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (a specialist police unit) put considerable effort into removing terrorist and extremist material, however, it is the input from communities which defeats terrorism, which is why we must maintain the strong relationship between the public and police.

Police depend on information from the public in our efforts to keep us all safe, and we are asking anyone who has concerns about online content to report online content to the police.

Prevent in Ashford is delivered by a wide range of organisations including:

  • Kent County Council
  • District councils
  • Schools and registered childcare providers
  • Further education institutions
  • Prisons
  • Probation service
  • Police

Further information on preventing extremism can be found on the Kent Safeguarding Children Board website.

Channel Panel

Channel Panel is an early intervention scheme that supports people who are at risk of radicalisation and provides practical support tailored to individual needs.

It can help people to make positive choices about their lives. It is about safeguarding individuals vulnerable to radicalisation by using existing multi-agency working between local authorities to:

  • Identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism
  • Assess the nature and extent of that risk
  • Develop the most appropriate support plan for the individual concerned

A clear process is in place to ensure that the right people are referred to the panel. If a referral is made, an initial risk assessment is carried out to ensure that it is an appropriate referral and, if it is, the Channel Panel agrees an appropriate support plan. The assessment and plan are formally reviewed every six months for each referred individual. Taking part in Channel is voluntary.