What is Prevent?

Prevent is about safeguarding vulnerable individuals from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, by engaging with people vulnerable to radicalisation and protecting them from being targeted by terrorist recruiters.

Prevent uses a similar approach to public health models, which focus on prevention. Focusing solely on confronting ideologies alone will not undermine terrorism. Prevent provides holistic support to address some of the personal and social conditions which make vulnerable people receptive to radicalisation.

The delivery of Prevent requires the support of local communities, local partnerships and local leaders to be implemented effectively. Prevent is an extension of existing multi-agency safeguarding principles to tackle terrorism in all its forms.

Prevent is not a spying mechanism, focussed on any religion or ethnicity, or an attempt to stifle free speech.

How are people vulnerable to radicalisation supported?

Channel is the early intervention element of Prevent. It provides bespoke support to children and adults identified as vulnerable to radicalisation, before their vulnerabilities are exploited by terrorist recruiters and before they become involved in criminal terrorist related activity.

Channel works like other safeguarding interventions, identifying individuals at risk through referral, assessing the nature and extent of the risk and developing a support plan for them. It is a voluntary and confidential programme.

Channel takes a multi-agency approach, involving a range of partners including the local authority, the police, education, social services, health providers and others to tailor the support plan to the individual’s needs.

Types of support

The type of support available is wide-ranging and bespoke. It can include:

  • Help with accessing other mainstream services, such as education or career advice
  • Dealing with mental or emotional health issues
  • Support with drug/alcohol abuse
  • Theological or ideological mentoring from a specialist Channel Intervention Provider, who works with the individual on a one-on-one basis.

Anyone can make a Prevent referral. Referrals come from a wide range of partners, including the police, health professionals, schools, youth offending teams and children and adult services as well as members of the public.

How can you help?

Family and friends know when something is not right. You can spot worrying behaviour at an early stage and help the person you care about get the support they may need to move away from extremism.

The journey to becoming radicalised is different for everyone and there are many reasons why a person becomes vulnerable. Sometimes the person’s behaviour can be linked to other issues and is not connected to radicalisation. If you are not sure, you could talk to other friends or family members first and they may help you decide if it is the right time to seek help.

How to make a referral

If you’re concerned someone you know is at risk of getting involved in terrorism or extremism, you can complete our Wigan National Prevent referral form:

If you would like to discuss your concerns before making a referral, you can:

If it is an emergency, please call 999.

What happens once a Prevent referral is made?

When the Prevent referral form has been submitted, it will carry an official sensitive protective marking, which means that the information will need to be handled with risk appropriate security measures.

On receipt of the referral form, the local authority will assess if there are any immediate safeguarding concerns for the individual, while Counter Terrorism Policing North West will assess whether there are any radicalisation concerns. There are three potential outcomes for a referral:

  • Closed no further action – referrer will be informed, and the case will be signposted if necessary
  • Counter Terrorism Policing North West (CTPNW) will manage the concerns raised
  • Referral to Channel – for consideration of multi-agency support. The referrer will be contacted as part of the assessment process by the Channel Coordinator.

The Greater Manchester Channel Team will note the Prevent referral for monitoring and reporting purposes.

Data privacy

Your personal information, supplied for the purposes of Channel, will be held and processed by the Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF. The Home Office is the controller of this information. This also includes when it is collected or processed by third parties on our behalf.

© Wigan Council