Anti-Radicalisation and Anti-Extremism
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 introduced a new Prevent Duty for specified authorities which means they must have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.".
Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is seen as part of Oakwood Schools’ safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. During the process of radicalisation it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable children and young people from being radicalised.
Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. Radicalisation can take place online, or face to face by someone they know including friends and family, or by contact with extremist groups Background factors combined with specific influences such as family and friends may contribute to a child’s vulnerability. Sometimes curiosity can lead children or teenagers to seek out the groups themselves, or research information they feel supports their views.
However, it is possible to protect vulnerable children and young people from extremist ideology through early identification and intervention in line with the government Prevent Duty. As with other safeguarding risks, staff remain alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate they may be in need of help or protection. Staff use their judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and information is shared with the school safeguarding team in line with the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy which may include making a referral to the Channel Programme for additional support.
The Duty clearly states that Prevent work depends on effective partnership working and expects coordination of this activity through a multi-agency forum. In Surrey the Surrey Prevent Executive Group (PEG) aims to have oversight of and co-ordinate Prevent work across the county by providing a strategic and coordinated approach.
Supporting individuals identified as being vulnerable to radicalisation and extremism at an early stage and pre-crime stage is a key part of the Surrey Prevent Strategy. The Surrey Channel Panel, a safeguarding programme aimed at supporting those individuals identified as being vulnerable in Surrey, is fundamental to this.
Channel draws on the existing collaboration across agencies within Surrey and has three objectives:
- Identify individuals at risk of being radicalisation or drawn into extremism
- Assess the nature and extent of the risk
- Develop the most appropriate support for the individuals concerned.
Working with other organisations, the police protect vulnerable people from being exploited by extremists through the Prevent programme.
The role of police Prevent Officers is to help people vulnerable to radicalisation move away from extremism. It can be hard to know what to do if someone is expressing extreme views or hatred, which could lead to them harming themselves or others. Prevent Officers are there to listen and offer help and advice.
Working with partners, Prevent officers have helped many people to move away from extremism and find a new direction by putting the right package of support in place, which could be from a doctor, through a school, or with a local community group or mentor.
Police work with a range of partners including:
- local authorities
- schools and colleges
- faith leaders
- community and youth groups
- voluntary services
- health practitioners
If you’re worried that someone you know is being radicalised, please follow the links below for additional information:
Act Early is a website for family and friends to share concerns and seek help if they are worried that someone they care about is being radicalised, or drawn into extremism. It can be hard to know what to do if someone close to you is expressing extreme views or hatred. The website includes case studies, signs to spot, FAQs and details of where to get help, including a new, confidential advice line staffed by specialists in Counter Terrorism