Preventing violent extremism
Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and violent extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.
There is no obvious profile of a person likely to become involved in extremism or a single indicator of when a person might move to adopt violence in support of extremist ideas. The process of radicalisation is different for every individual and can take place over an extended period or within a very short time frame.
Three main areas of concern have been identified for initial attention in developing the awareness and understanding of how to recognise and respond to the increasing threat of children/young people being radicalised.
Increasing understanding of radicalisation and the various forms it might take, thereby enhancing the skills and abilities to recognise signs and indicators amongst all staff working with children and young people; Identifying a range of interventions - universal, targeted and specialist - and the expertise to apply these proportionately and appropriately.
Taking appropriate measures to safeguard the wellbeing of children living with or in direct contact with known extremists. In Cheshire East if you suspected a child to be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, which includes being radicalised, then a referral should be made in line with child protection procedures and you should contact ChECS.
The leaflets will give you further information and there will be further guidance issued in June/July 2015 in connection with the Government’s Prevent Strategy.
One of the main elements of our Prevent work is a programme called Channel, whereby people who are assessed as being vulnerable to supporting violent extremism are provided with multi-agency support. Channel has been operating successfully in Cheshire for about two years, and covers all forms of extremism.
The support that is offered is tailored for each case, and could consist of help with family problems, mental health support, mentoring, religious support and others. People who are referred to Channel are not criminals; but may be at risk of committing an offence if not supported.
Prevent work includes training staff within partner agencies (Education/Health/Prison/Probation/Youth Offending/Fire Service/Police) and key organisations within the private sector to spot people who may be at risk of supporting violent extremism and refer them for support
Support for organisations and individuals to challenge extremist ideology
Many people and groups want to work actively to change extremist ideology and uphold the values of tolerance, democracy, cohesion, equality, the rule of law and freedom of speech. This is most powerful when it comes from within communities themselves. The Prevent Delivery Plan will identify and encourage community-based activities and projects to help this to happen.