Extremism and radicalisation are safeguarding issues for children and young people. They can involve estrangement from key support networks, involvement with criminal groups, imprisonment and physical danger. Indicators of vulnerability of children and young people to radicalisation may include:

  • discomfort about their place in society
  • low self-esteem
  • involvement with a new and different group of friends – sometimes older
  • Exposure to an ideology that seems to sanction, legitimise or require violence, often by providing a compelling but fabricated narrative of contemporary politics and recent history
  • Exposure to people or groups who can directly and persuasively articulate that ideology and then relate it to aspects of a person's own background and life history
  • accessing or possessing extremist literature
  • accessing violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element
  • A crisis of identity and, often, uncertainty about belonging which might be triggered by a range of further personal issues, including experiences of racism, discrimination, deprivation and other criminality (as victim or perpetrator); family breakdown or separation
  • involvement with a new and different group of friends – sometimes older
  • A range of perceived grievances, some real and some imagined, to which there may seem to be no credible and effective non-violent response rejection of civic life.

The national Channel guidance states that:

… there is no single route to violent extremism nor is there a simple profile of those who become involved. For this reason, any attempt to derive a 'profile' can be misleading. It must not be assumed that these characteristics and experiences will necessarily lead to individuals becoming violent extremists, or that these indicators are the only source of information required to make an appropriate assessment about vulnerability.

Prevent and Channel

What is Prevent?

Prevent is a strand of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST). It is about ensuring we all work together to ‘prevent’ children, young people and adults from being drawn into extremist activity, including acts of terrorism. It is about everyone taking responsibility and knowing what to do if they have concerns. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, contains a duty on specific authorities known as the Prevent Duty which commenced in July 2015.


What is Channel?

Channel is a multi-agency safeguarding programme run in every Local Authority in England and Wales. It works to support vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism and provides a range of support such as mentoring, counselling, assistance with employment etc. Channel is about early intervention to protect vulnerable people from being drawn into committing terrorist-related activity and addresses all types of extremism.  Participation in Channel is voluntary. It is up to an individual, or their parents for children aged 17 years and under, to decide whether to take up the support it offers. Channel does not lead to a criminal record.

Referrals

Barnet Safeguarding Children Board has adopted the Pan London Safeguarding Children Procedures which provides guidance on assessing and responding to concerns in relation to extremism.  A link is provided to the section on extremism at the bottom of the page.

Referrals made in relation to safeguarding concerns for children and young people that may be at risk of radicalisation are made in the same way as other safeguarding issues. If you are concerned that a child or young people may be at risk of being radicalised, or being drawn into extremist activity, a referral should be made through to the Barnet MASH team on

020 8359 4066, or via email - mash@barnet.gov.uk.

If there is a risk of immediate harm or danger to a child or young person, you should contact the Police via 999.

If you are concerned that a young person may become involved in terrorist activity, or an act of terrorism, this should be reported to the National Anti Terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.

Training

To assist implementation of the duty in section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, a Prevent e-learning training package is available. This is introductory training. It provides a foundation on which to develop further knowledge around the risks of radicalisation and the roles involved in supporting those at risk.

Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) Training

WRAP (Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent) was developed by the Home Office aimed at frontline staff across agencies working with children and young people e.g. social care, police, probation, education and health.  The purpose is to raise awareness of the risk associated with the targeting of vulnerable individuals by extremists. It is a key awareness tool for frontline staff to support carrying out effective safeguarding duties and to understand their responsibility under the Prevent Duty.

The Barnet Prevent Education Officer comes out to Schools to deliver WRAP training to staff.

If you would like information regarding how to book a WRAP session please contact the Prevent coordinator via email – Barnetcst@barnet.gov.uk

Useful Links

http://www.londoncp.co.uk/chapters/sg_ch_extremist.html, Pan London Child Protection Procedures (section on extremism).