One of the key objectives of the Prevent strategy is to provide practical help to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support.
It’s important to bear in mind that this is the same as our approach to all other forms of safeguarding.
It’s important that people, particularly frontline staff, know how to identify people at risk of radicalisation or extremism and the safeguarding pathways they should use.
If you are concerned that an individual may be at risk of radicalisation, you should treat this as you would any other safeguarding issue; and escalate it using your normal, internal procedures, such as informing your safeguarding lead.
You can contact the Prevent Team directly and we will be more than happy to provide advice and support; however this should be done in addition to the your usual safeguarding referral pathway.
Channel is an early intervention multi-agency process designed to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into violent extremism and/or terrorism. Channel works in a similar way to other safeguarding partnerships, such as case conferences for children in need.
Channel is a pre-criminal process that is designed to support vulnerable people at the earliest possible opportunity, before they become involved in illegal activity. It is a voluntary process allowing the individual to withdraw from the programme at any time.
Channel is aimed at is individuals of any age at risk of exploitation by extremist or terrorist ideologues. Early intervention can prevent individuals being drawn into terrorist-related activity in a similar way to preventing them from getting involved in criminal activity such as drugs, knives or gangs.
Involvement in the Channel programme is both voluntary and confidential. Individuals may opt out of the intervention process should they wish to. If the individual receives support through Channel, it will not give them a criminal record.
Referrals to Channel come from a wide range of partners including education, health, youth offending teams and social services. They can also come from members of the public.
When referrals are received, they are screened for suitability through a preliminary assessment by the police Channel Coordinator and the Local Authority. If a referral is considered suitable, it will be discussed at the Channel Panel meeting.
Each Channel Panel is chaired by a Local Authority and brings together a range of multi-agency partners to collectively assess the risks in relation to an individual and decide whether a support package is needed. The panel may include statutory and non-statutory partners, as well as lead safeguarding professionals.
If the panel feels that an individual who has been referred would benefit from support, a bespoke package of support will be tailored for that individual based on their particular needs and circumstances.
Participation in Channel is entirely voluntary, and a person will always be informed first if it is felt that they would benefit from Channel support. For children, parental consent is required before Channel support can be put in place. The process of obtaining consent is managed carefully by the Channel Panel.
Channel interventions are delivered through local partners and specialist agencies. The support packages are designed to reduce a person’s vulnerabilities.
For example, support packages can focus on health, education, employment or housing, as well as putting in place specialist mentoring or faith guidance and broader diversionary activities such as sport.