Prevent and Channel

Safeguarding vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism

Prevent is about safeguarding and supporting children, young people or adults who may be vulnerable to becoming involved in terrorism or supporting terrorism. It deals with all kinds of terrorism or groups that encourage violence to influence governments, intimidate the public and advance their cause.

The process by which people are groomed or influenced into supporting extremist views is called radicalisation. 

The internet is a powerful tool that radicalisers use to influence or recruit vulnerable individuals.  They make extensive use of different online platforms, spreading hate, extremist ideology and propaganda. Just like other forms of grooming, radicalisers may pretend to be a person’s friend to build their trust before they exploit them.

Sometimes, an individual’s motivation for being drawn towards an interest in terrorist ideologies, actions or massacre is unclear or may switch over time.  Our responsibility is to offer interventions and support to all individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism,  irrespective of whether the risk is being driven by a true belief in an ideological cause, or whether it is being driven by other vulnerabilities and complex needs.

The strength of Prevent lies in tackling vulnerability early to prevent future harm.  Support is provided through The Channel programme.

What is the Prevent Duty?

The Prevent Duty is a legal duty introduced by the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The duty requires local authorities and other public bodies, such as schools, colleges, health, probation and police, to safeguard people from being drawn into terrorism. It applies to children and adults and sits alongside long-established duties to safeguard vulnerable people from a range of other harms, such as drugs, gangs, sexual exploitation and other forms of exploitation.

Responsibilities under the Prevent Duty include understanding why people may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, spotting the signs and knowing what to do to where there are safeguarding concerns about a child, young person or adult.

The Safer Rotherham Partnership Prevent guide for service providers includes information on how to share concerns, local contact phone numbers and useful links.

Who to contact

If you're worried about someone being drawn into terrorism, contact the South Yorkshire Police Prevent Team by calling 101 or call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline (can be anonymous) on 0800 789 321. 

You can also contact the council’s children’s safeguarding  or adults safeguarding services.

In an emergency where your own or others' safety is at risk, call 999.

Report online material promoting terrorism or extremism

Useful links and information