The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a new legal duty on specified authorities to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism". Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism and is one of the four elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism by:
Prevent covers all forms of terrorism and extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism.
The Home Office works with local authorities, a wide range of government departments, and community organisations to deliver the Prevent strategy. The police also play a significant role in Prevent, in much the same way as they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes.
Prevent uses a range of measures to challenge extremism including:
Channel provides support to those who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. The overall aim is to provide early intervention to help and divert people away from the risk they may face. The process is a multi-agency approach with a wide range of agencies and local partners working together to provide support for individuals.
Channel works by partners jointly assessing the nature and the extent of the risk and where necessary, providing an appropriate support package tailored to the individual’s needs.
The three key stages of Channel are:
Where necessary, referring cases to a multi agency panel for development of the most appropriate support package to divert and support the individual at risk.
Referrals come from those who have concerns about individuals who may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
Referrals can come from a wide range of individuals and partners and could include youth offending teams, social services, health, police, education and local communities.
The panel is designed to work in the same way as other multi agency structures that are used to safeguard individuals at risk – from drugs, knife and gun crime, gangs etc. The panel is chaired by the local authority and consists of statutory partners and the Channel coordinator.
Examples of support provided could include mentoring, diversionary activities such as sport, signposting to mainstream services such as education, employment or housing. Support is always tailored to specific needs of the individual following assessment by the multi-agency panel.
For a general awareness of Channel and what it means you may find the Channel General Awareness E-Learning module useful. This has been developed by the College of Policing and can give people an understanding of Prevent and Channel.