What is extremism and radicalisation?
Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.
A radicaliser is an individual who encourages others to develop or adopt beliefs and views supportive of terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.
UK definition of Terrorism (Terrorism Act 2000) is
“an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.”
What is Prevent?
PREVENT is one of the four elements of CONTEST, the government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people who are vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The Home Office works with local authorities and a wide range of government departments and community organisations to deliver the Prevent Strategy.
When should I be concerned that a child, young person or adult is at risk of radicalisation, or engaged in extremist behaviour?
If you notice any behaviours which give you concern regarding a person being vulnerable to extremism or radicalisation you should consider if the adult at risk is:
Engaging with ideology, and
Has the capability and
Has the intent
The table overleaf will provide you with key areas of vulnerability and questions for you to check your concerns regarding an adult at risk.
What to do if you have a concern?
If you have a concern that a person may be at risk of radicalisation or engaged in extremist behaviour, you should follow your organisations safeguarding procedures and share your concerns, including discussing with the Safeguarding Lead for your organisation.
Professionals wishing to raise a concern should speak to the Customer Service Centre/Emergency Duty Team or use the:
If you believe a person is in immediate harm or danger this matter should be reported to the police immediately by dialling 999. You can also contact your local police or dial 101 (the non-emergency number). They can talk to you in confidence about your concerns and help you gain access to support and advice.
What is Channel?
Channel is part of the Prevent strategy. The process is a multi-agency approach to identify and provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism. Note: Channel is a voluntary programme where consent is required from an individual. This runs in parallel to safeguarding procedures undertaken by the Local Authority.
Where can I find more information?
For more information please visit:
Other useful resources/training/contacts
- www.gov.uk – Home Office site that contains departmental advice and national guidance
- www.safecampuscommunities.ac.uk – Dedicated to preventing violent extremism and radicalisation in higher education. Promoting communitycohesion, inter-faith relations and good practice
- www.ltai.info – Let’s talk about it – An initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance to the public in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
- www.nactso.gov.uk- For business security advice regarding protective security for buildings, crowded places and cyber security
- www.getsafeonline.org – Home Office supported national website on online safety including the reporting of online extremist content
- https://www.counterterrorism.police.uk/actearlypartners – This partner toolkit links to Prevent resources such as posters and videos
|Area||Vulnerability||Key Questions for consideration|
|Personal||A sense of isolationAdolescenceLow self-esteemDriven by the desire for ‘adventure’ and excitementUnmet Aspirations such as:Perceptions of injusticeFeeling of failureRejection of civic lifeExperience of poverty, disadvantage or social exclusionSearching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belongingSpecial Educational Need –difficulties with social interaction, empathy with others, understanding the consequences of their actions and awareness of the motivations of others.||Has there been a significant shift in the individuals behaviour or outward appearance that suggests a new social/political or religious influenceDoes the individual vocally support terrorist attacks; either verbally or in their written work?Does the individual have any marks, scars or tattoos which are linked to extremist groups?|
|Family||Family tensionsConflict with family over religious beliefs, lifestyle choices or extreme political viewsRejection by family||Has the individual come into conflict with family over religious beliefs/lifestyle/ dress choices?|
|Religion||Recent religious conversionIdentity confusion – e.g. Distance from cultural/ religious heritage and uncomfortable with their place in the society around themRejection by faith groups||Has the individual witnessed or been the perpetrator/ victim of racial or religious hate crime or sectarianismHas the individual come into conflict with family over religious beliefs/lifestyle/ dress choices?|
|Environmental||A traumatic or series of traumatic events – both personal or nationalVictim or witness to race or religious hate crimeUncensored access to extremist propagandaInfluenced by world events and a sense of grievance resulting in a need to make a difference||Have international events in areas of conflict and civil unrest had a personal impact on the individual resulting in a noticeable change in behaviour?It is important to recognise that many people may be emotionally affected by the plight of what is happening in areas of conflict (i.e. images of children dying) it is important to differentiate them from those that sympathise with or support extremist activityIs there a pattern of regular or extended travel within the UK, with other evidence to suggest this is for purposes of extremist training or activity?|
|Social||Rejection by social groupDrawn to a group or individual who can offer identity, social network and supportPressure from peers associated with extremismDisassociating from existing friendship group and becoming involved with a new and different group of friendsDriven by a need to raise self-esteem and promote ‘street cred’||Does the individual person frequent, or is there evidence to suggest that they are accessing the internet for the purpose of extremist activity? (e.g. Use of closed network groups, access to or distribution of extremist material, contact associates covertly via Skype/email etc.) Does the individual support groups with links to extremist activity but not illegal/illicit|
e.g. propaganda distribution, fundraising and attendance at meetings?Does the individual have experience of poverty, disadvantage, discrimination or social exclusion?
|Criminality||Experiences of imprisonmentPoor resettlement/reintegrationPrevious involvement with criminal groups||Has the individual joined an extremist organisation?Is the individual known to have possessed or is actively seeking to possess and/ or distribute extremist literature/ other media material likely to incite racial/ religious hatred or acts of violence?|