Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Prevent in Calderdale

Q
What is Prevent?
Answer

Prevent is one strand of the Government’s counter terrorism strategy known as CONTEST. The Prevent strategy aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent addresses all forms of terrorism but prioritises these according to the threat they pose to our national security. Prevent is delivered in partnership by a wide range of organisations including the police service. Together we recognise that the best long-term solution to preventing terrorism is to stop people becoming terrorists in the first place.

Radicalisation is usually a process and not an event therefore it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorist-related activity.

Channel is a multi-agency initiative that uses existing partnership structures and collaboration between partners to help safeguard individuals who are vulnerable to radicalisation, regardless of faith, ethnicity or background. This is similar to the way in which individuals at risk from involvement in crime, drugs and other social issues are supported. By providing support to those most at risk, they can be diverted away from any potential threat, which could otherwise draw them into criminal activity.

Channel, alongside other supportive processes, provides a clear framework in which to respond to safeguarding concerns for those adults and young people who may be particularly susceptible to terrorist ideology, and thereby at risk of becoming involved in terrorism

Safeguarding vulnerable people who may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism is an essential part of the Prevent strategy. Terrorism is a real and serious threat to us all because terrorists actively seek to harm us, to damage community relations and to undermine the values we all share. Throughout the country there is a legal requirement under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 for Prevent local action plans to be in place to support vulnerable individuals – this support is provided by a referral process known as Channel.

Q
What is Channel?
Answer

The aim of Channel is:

To safeguard individuals who might be vulnerable to being radicalised, so that they are not at risk of being drawn into terrorist-related activity.

Channel is a partnership approach to safeguard individuals who are vulnerable to being radicalised by terrorists and drawn into terrorist activity. It is a key strand of the Government’s Prevent Strategy, published in June 2011: Prevent strategy 2011

A multi-agency panel, chaired by the local authority, decides on the most appropriate action to support individuals after considering their circumstances. Every support package is monitored closely and reviewed regularly. By providing this support, we are able to safeguard our communities from the threat of terrorism.

Channel is a multi-agency approach to identify and provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorist-related activity.

The process forms a key part of the Government’s Prevent strategy.

Channel works in a similar way to existing successful partnership initiatives which aim to safeguard individuals who are vulnerable and protect them from harm, such as Early Intervention Panels.

The process provides a mechanism for safeguarding vulnerable individuals by assessing the nature and extent of the potential risk they face before they become involved in criminal activity and, where necessary, provide a support package tailored to an individual’s needs.

Terrorism is a very real threat to all our communities and terrorists seek to exploit those who are most vulnerable. That is why it is vital that we all work together to support those who are at risk of radicalisation – regardless of faith, ethnicity or background.

Channel is about working together to support vulnerable individuals at an early stage and providing them, where appropriate, with advice and support to divert them away from terrorism.

Q
What factors can put people at risk?
Answer

There is no single way of identifying who is likely to be vulnerable in this way. Factors may include: peer pressure, influence from other people or the Internet, bullying, crime and anti- social behaviour, family tensions, race/hate crime, lack of self esteem or identity and personal or political grievances.

Q
How do I make a referral or find out more about Channel?
Answer

If you work for a partner organisation and want to know more about Channel or have a concern about an individual and want to make a referral, contact your organisation’s safeguarding lead / PREVENT Lead.

To make a referral, please fill out the DOCPrevent Referral Form [DOC 61KB]

If you are a community or family member and are concerned about someone please contact:

Q
How does Channel work?
Answer

The Channel process identifies those most at risk, and refers them via the Local Authority for assessment by a multi-agency panel which decides how to support their vulnerability. Not all cases referred to Channel will be appropriate and we will look to utilize and discuss existing support with you. The cases will initially be screened by the PREVENT Coordinator and the Police PREVENT team to decide which cases are appropriate for Channel, where a case is not appropriate for Channel, it will exist the process.

Channel is about communities working closely in partnership with the Local Authority and police, to divert people away from potential risk at an early stage so that they are not drawn into or drawn back into, terrorist related criminal behaviour.

Partnership involvement ensures that those at risk have access to a wide range of support ranging from mainstream services, such as health and education, through to specialist mentoring or faith guidance and wider diversionary activities.

Q
Who should be involved?
Answer

The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 makes it a statutory duty for Specified Authorities such as the Police, Schools, Local Authority and NHS to give due regard to the issue of radicalisation, extremism and terrorism. Therefore Safeguarding people from radicalisation, extremism and terrorism has now become a statutory duty alongside other safeguarding issues.

Q
Why is it necessary?
Answer

Radicalisation is usually a process and not an event therefore it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorist-related activity.

Channel is a multi-agency initiative that uses existing partnership structures to safeguard individuals who are vulnerable to radicalisation, regardless of faith, ethnicity or background. This is similar to the way in which individuals at risk from involvement in crime, drugs and other social issues are supported. By providing support to those most at risk, they can be diverted away from any potential threat, which could otherwise draw them into criminal activity. Channel, alongside other supportive processes, provides a clear framework in which to respond to safeguarding concerns for those adults and young people who may be particularly susceptible to terrorist ideology, and thereby at risk of becoming involved in terrorism.

Q
Is the Channel process discussed with the individual identified as vulnerable?
Answer

All individuals receiving Channel support must be aware that they are receiving support as part of a programme to protect vulnerable people from radicalisation and that as part of the scheme information about them will be shared with multi-agency partners, including the police. All decision making is clearly documented and in line with the Channel Guidance on the sharing of information.

Q
Is Channel good for communities?
Answer

Channel is not about reporting or informing on individuals in order to prosecute them. It is a process that supports vulnerable people at the earliest possible opportunity before they become involved in illegal activity.

Channel is a partnership response to preventing terrorism. The Channel process has similarities to other crime prevention initiatives in place around drugs and gangs prevention work, however its focus is specifically on safeguarding those vulnerable to being drawn into extremism and radicalisation.

All communities are affected by the threat of terrorism, but the extent of the threat varies across the country, which is why Channel is delivered at a local level and proportionate to the needs of local people.

Q
Does the Channel process target Muslim communities?
Answer

No. The process applies to any individual, from any faith, ethnicity or background who may be at risk of being drawn into any form of terrorism. Where a referral is deemed inappropriate for PREVENT, it will exit the process. Channel deals with individuals who are at risk of radicalisation of all forms including those who are risk from the far right amongst others.

The Channel process can apply to anyone who is vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. Its purpose is to safeguard vulnerable individuals of any faith, ethnicity or background and to stop them being drawn into terrorism.

Q
How can you help?
Answer

If you work for a statutory agency and have concerns about someone who may be vulnerable please contact your local Children or Adult Safeguarding lead.

If you are a family member or from the local community and have a concern about an individual please contact:

 

Q
Who makes the referrals?
Answer

Referrals can come from a wide range of sources and could include youth offending teams, social services, health, education, police and members of the public.

Q
What kinds of support do people referred to Channel receive?
Answer

If the Channel multi-agency panel assesses that someone is vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism they will put in place a package of support tailored to address the individual’s specific needs. The types of support could include:

  • Life skills – work on life skills or social skills generally, such as dealing with peer pressure;
  • Mentoring support contact – work with a suitable adult as a role model or providing personal guidance, including guidance addressing extremist ideologies;
  • Anger management session – formal or informal work dealing with anger;
  • Cognitive/behavioural contact – cognitive behavioural therapies and general work on attitudes and behaviours such as thinking skills;
  • Constructive pursuits – supervised or managed constructive leisure activities;
  • Education skills contact – activities focused on education or training;
  • Careers contact – activities focused on employment;
  • Family support contact – activities aimed at supporting family and personal relationships, including formal parenting programmes;
  • Health awareness contact – work aimed at assessing or addressing any physical or mental health issues;
  • Housing support contact – activities addressing living arrangements, accommodation provision or neighbourhood; and
  • Drugs and alcohol awareness – substance misuse interventions.
Q
Who provides support to people referred to Channel?
Answer

Providers of support can include local agencies such as local authorities, the police education, health services, probation and youth offending teams. Support can also be provided by community partners where appropriate. Because the individuals that are safeguarded through Channel are vulnerable people, any community partners engaging with an individual will

have first been approved by the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) in the

Home Office.

Where possible, we will always aim to support professionals already involved with an individual and utilise existing support networks.

Q
Who pays for these services?
Answer

Where support is provided by a statutory partner the cost of the support is met from within their existing budgets. Where support is provided by a community partner, the Channel police practitioner is responsible for funding the provider.

Q
Isn’t Channel just a way of police spying on communities?
Answer

Channel is a supportive process to safeguard vulnerable individuals who may be at risk from being drawn into terrorism. It is not about spying and gathering intelligence. It is about early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risk they may face at an early opportunity. Police already work with individuals vulnerable to being drawn into criminal activity such as drugs, knife or gang crime. In a similar way the process of radicalisation allows us to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being drawn into terrorist-related activity.

The police service is tasked with keeping the public safe and communities have a significant part to play in this. Police officers routinely gather information to combat crime and anti- social behaviour – public protection from terrorism and violent extremists is no exception. The public is a key partner in this process and has a central role to play in providing information to police to help protect their own communities from harm.