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The Prevent duty: Safeguarding from radicalisation

What is Prevent?

From July 2015, the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 placed a duty on specific authorities including local authorities, police, education and health to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism' and to address this with a proportionate response.

The Prevent strategy, 2011 is one element of the UK's national counter-terrorism strategy, Contest.

It has three key objectives:

  • To respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it
  • Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
  • Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address

Prevent is about safeguarding our communities from the threat of terrorism by stopping people from supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists themselves.

Anyone can make a Prevent referral if they have concerns about someone. When a referral is made, Prevent officers gather information to look at the context surrounding concerning behaviour changes and conduct a vulnerability assessment. In most cases, referrals are signposted to other services, but if it is recognised that there is an ideology present, capability or intent to act then they may be put forward for support from Channel.

There are many factors that could make someone vulnerable to radicalisation including:

  • Feelings of grievance and injustice
  • Being at a transitional time of life
  • Experiencing a traumatic event
  • A desire for political or moral change
  • Struggling with a sense of identity, meaning and belonging or questioning their place in society
  • A desire for status
  • Being influenced or controlled by a group
  • Experiencing racism or discrimination

What is Channel?

Channel is a multi-agency panel consisting of professionals from services in contact with the individual of concern. This will include a chair from the local authority and a Prevent police representative. Participation in Channel is voluntary and confidential. If consent is obtained, the panel look at risk and protective factors and how support can be provided to build resilience and divert them from being drawn into terrorism. Progress is monitored monthly and when it is agreed, the individual has no further terrorism related concerns they will leave the programme. 6 and 12 month reviews are carried out following channel closure to review progress.

Support is provided via Channel from services including, but not limited to:

  • Mental health
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Substance misuse services
  • Adult and children's social care
  • Home Office intervention providers
  • Mentoring services
  • Community policing
  • Diversionary activities such as sport and activity clubs

While Swindon is considered a low risk area, it is important to be aware of vulnerabilities in people we know and meet and that advice is sought if there are concerns.

What if I have a concern?

There are several ways you can seek advice:

  • Speak to your designated safeguarding lead (if applicable)
  • Call the local Prevent team on 01380 826454
  • Call 101 and state you would like some advice regarding a Prevent concern
  • If you see or hear something that could be terrorist related call the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321
  • If you require urgent police assistance dial 999

To make a referral:


It is crucial to note that Prevent is a supportive space and does not get people in trouble or criminalise them. It is about safeguarding them from the impact of extremism and radicalisation.

Training & Further Information


For advice and guidance for schools and childcare providers on ‘Prevent’ and ‘Channel’ within a safeguarding and education context please visit the webpage at the Swindon Safeguarding Partnership team website. Here, you can also view guidance from  the Department of Education.