The Prevent strategy, published by the Government in 2011, is part of our overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. The aim of the Prevent strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. In the Act this has simply been expressed as the need to “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
The 2011 Prevent strategy has three specific strategic objectives:
- 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 that they are given appropriate advice and support;
- work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address.
As children grow and become more independent, it is not unusual for them to take risks, explore new things and push boundaries. Teenage years are often a time when young people will be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging, as well as looking for adventure and excitement.
This can mean that they are particularly vulnerable to extremist groups, who may claim to offer answers, as well as identity and a strong social network. Due to the fact that they know young people are vulnerable, extremist groups often target them using the internet and social media to spread their ideology. There have been a number of tragic examples where young people have been misled by extremist groups, with some travelling to Syria and others becoming involved in hate crimes against minority groups.
Every member of staff at Buckler’s Mead Academy is trained to know the signs of a child who is vulnerable and possibly susceptible to becoming radicalised. As much as we educate our children to make the right choices in life it is impossible for us to monitor their decisions and the influences around them when they are outside of the academy. It is therefore imperative that parents and carers are aware of who their children are talking to both online and face to face.
Let’s Talk About It is an initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance to the public in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Let’s Talk About It has been created to provide a greater understanding of the support Prevent can offer and to challenge division and negativity in our communities through positive and effective attitude changes. By highlighting the issues and initiating discussions around the potential threats we face as a community, we can create greater understanding and wider awareness.
WHAT IS LET’S TALK ABOUT IT? It is an initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance to the public in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Preventing Radicalisation & extremism in Somerset, Information for Communities Family.
Share your concerns about individuals you feel are susceptible to being drawn into violent extremist activity so that early, appropriate and effective support can be arranged. Likewise, report individuals or groups where it is felt extremism is being promoted. Do you yourself feel as though you need help?
What is already in place? Practitioners in Somerset have a process in place to receive and respond to concerns of vulnerable individuals and potential offenders.
In addition, there is a multi-agency programme in place called ‘Channel’ which works to identify and reduce risks to individuals becoming radicalised. For more information see key contacts on how to get help.
Paul Mattocks – Bucklers Mead Academy Prevent Lead practioner
Police Prevent Referrals’ Team
Tel: 01179 455 536/01179 455 539
Also out of hours (9-5 Monday to Friday)
Dial 101 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website:
Somerset County Council Community Safety Team Can offer general advice at
Report online terrorist material Home Office website:
Preventing Radicalisation in our Communities
Prevent is part of the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy and is designed to help all vulnerable people from being exposed to radicalisation, preventing the potential for future involvement in criminal activities which could involve the potential to harm others. The Prevent strategy covers all types of violent extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes. Its primary goal, is to bring people together from all agencies and members of the community, to offer support to an individual or family, who is at risk of radicalisation.
Key Terms Radicalisation – The process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism Ideology – A set of beliefs characteristic of a group or individual Violent Extremism – Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause.
How to spot the signs
Vulnerable people are often exploited in a similar way to a person being groomed. Promises are made to them of rewards either materially or by providing a sense of belonging to a group that has similar ideas, which can offer empowerment, glory and confidence. For a person who is at a vulnerable point in their life and is searching for belonging to a group, that individual who maybe often doesn’t realise that they are forming an attachment with these new found beliefs. Not realising that this new sense of friendship either face to face or on line could potentially lead them down the path into extremism or possibly to commit a terrorist act. People may become – Isolated – from groups and spending time alone via social media. – Express feelings that they have no purpose in life and don’t belong – Low self-esteem – Appear to have changes in emotional behaviour – Change of routines, change in appearance or online activities – Fixated on an ideology, belief or subject – Change in language or use of words – Closed to new ideas / conversations – “Scripted” speech – Sense of grievance or injustice (anti-West, anti-capitalist, anti-Muslim or racism) Consider Islamist, Right or Left wing extremism – Sense of ‘them and us’ – Conflict with family over religious views This is not an exhaustive list but a signpost for potential radicalisation.
“It will never happen here”
It is a sad fact that radicalisation and terrorism can happen anywhere and vigilance must be maintained when considering those who may be vulnerable to radicalisation in our communities It is our responsibility as members of the community in Somerset to: • Explore other cultures and religions and promote diversity • Challenge prejudices and racist comments • Developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity • Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of those in our community, as well as British values such as democracy.
Social Media and its link to radicalisation Increasingly, Social media is being used as a method of accessing individuals for the purposes of radicalisation. In addition, vulnerable individuals can use the internet to gain access to information about organisations, ideologies and events without coming to the attention of others. There are practical things you can do to protect yourself and those around you. For example, use filters on the internet to make sure access to violent extremist and terrorist material is restricted and ensure privacy settings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter are reviewed and applied appropriately to avoid personal information being shared with the public and limiting access to profiles.
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