Prevent: Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism

Preventing radicalisation is an important aspect of safeguarding children and adults at risk because children and adults with care and support needs can be particularly vulnerable to being drawn in to, violent extremism and radicalisation and exploited by terrorists. It is important for professionals to know how to respond to concerns about radicalisation and extremism.

CONTEST is the UK Government’s counter terrorism strategy, its aim is to reduce the risk from terrorism to the UK, its citizens and interests overseas, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence.

“The terrorist threat in the UK today is dominated by individuals or small groups acting outside of organised terrorist networks. It is a trend which makes terrorists  less predictable and harder to identify, investigate and disrupt.” (CONTEST 2023)

For more details and support relating to the Prevent duty, safeguarding concerns and referral procedures in Hillingdon, please contact Fiona Gibbs, Stronger Communities and Prevent lead, LBH: email:

The Prevent Duty

Prevent is a key part of the CONTEST strategy, its aim is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Early intervention is at the heart of “Prevent” in diverting people away from being drawn into terrorist activity. “Prevent” happens before any criminal activity takes place. It is about recognising, supporting and protecting people who might be susceptible to radicalisation.

The Prevent duty requires specified authorities such as education, health, local authorities, police and criminal justice agencies (prisons and probation) to help prevent the risk of people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The duty helps to ensure that people who are susceptible to radicalisation are supported as they would be under safeguarding processes.

Radicalisation is the process of a person legitimising support for, or use of, terrorist violence. Most people who commit terrorism offences do so of their own agency and dedication to an ideological cause.

There is no single profile of a radicalised person, nor is there a single pathway or ‘conveyor belt’ to being radicalised.

There are many factors which can, either alone or combined, lead someone to subscribe to terrorist or terrorism supporting ideology. These factors often include exposure to radicalising influences, real and perceived grievances – often created or exacerbated through grievance narratives espoused by extremists – and a person’s own susceptibility. (Prevent Duty revision 2023).

Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015

Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the Act) places a duty on certain bodies (“specified authorities” listed in Schedule 6 to the Act), in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

Channel Panel

Channel is a key element of the “Prevent” strategy and is a multi-agency approach to protect people at risk from radicalisation. Channel uses existing collaboration between local authorities, statutory partners (such as education and health sectors, social services, children’s and youth services and offender management services), the police and the 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 for the individuals concerned.

Professionals are required to understand the risks associated with radicalisation, how to identify someone who might be vulnerable and make the appropriate referral for support through the Channel process.

There are multiagency training sessions delivered by members of the Hillingdon Prevent Partnership. 

Details of how to join / sign up for sessions can be found via the councils learning zone courses under the health and safety button or utilising the links below:

Session 1 : Learning Zone – Introduction to Prevent

Session 2: Learning Zone – A Spotlight on extreme ideologies

Hate Crime Awareness: Course: What is Hate Crime? (

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