Prevent handbook

Bury Prevent Handbook - Communities


What is Prevent?

Terms and definitions

Myths and facts

Types of ideology

Prevent is safeguarding

What does good practice look like in communities?

Who is vulnerable to radicalisation?

How might I spot someone who is being radicalised?

How to make a referral

What happens to a referral

Channel - What is it and how it supports Prevent

A success case study

Venue hire

Useful links and articles

A Channel journey

As someone who works with vulnerable people, you are in a key position to protect them from the dangers of extremist narratives. You do an invaluable job in protecting them from drugs, gangs, neglect and other forms of harm. Radicalisation has a similarly devastating effect on young people, families and communities. Helping to protect them from extremist and radicalising influences is an important part of your overall safeguarding role.

What is Prevent?

Prevent is about Safeguarding and supporting those who are vulnerable to radicalisation. It is one of the four elements of CONTEST, the governments counter terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

So what does Prevent do?

Prevent responds to the ideological challenge that we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threats that we face from those who promote these views. It provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensures that they are given appropriate advice and support. Prevent works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with.

Who delivers Prevent?

The Home Office works with local authorities, government departments and community organisations to deliver the Prevent Strategy. The police also play a significant role in Prevent, the same way that they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes.

Prevent uses a range of measures to challenge extremism including:

  • Supporting community groups and schools, local industry and other agencies through engagement, advice and training
  • Working with faith groups and institutions to assist them in providing support for people who may be vulnerable
  • Supporting those who are risk of being drawn into terrorist or extremist activity through the Channel process
  • Working with and supporting community groups who provide services to vulnerable people

At the heart of Prevent is safeguarding children and adults and providing early intervention to protect and divert people away from being drawn into terrorist activity.

Terms and definitions

'Having due regard' means that the authorities should place an appropriate amount of weight on the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism when they consider all the other factors relevant to how they carry out their usual functions.

'Extremism' is defined in the 2011 Prevent Strategy as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.

'Interventions' are projects intended to divert people who are being drawn into terrorist activity. Interventions can include mentoring, counselling, theological support, encouraging civic engagement, developing support networks (family and peer structures) or providing mainstream services (education, employment, health, finance or housing).

'Non-violent extremism' is extremism which is not accompanied by violence.

'Prevention' in the context of this document means reducing or eliminating the risk of individuals becoming involved in terrorism. Prevent includes the identification and referral of those at risk of being drawn into terrorism into appropriate interventions.

'Radicalisation' refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.

'Safeguarding' is the process of protecting vulnerable people, whether from crime, other forms of abuse or (in the context of this document) from being drawn into terrorist related activity.

The current UK definition of 'terrorism' is given in the Terrorism Act 2000 (TACT 2000). In summary this defines terrorism as an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

'Terrorist-related offences' are those (such as murder) which are not offences in terrorist legislation, but which are judged to be committed in relation to terrorism.

'Vulnerability' within Prevent describes factors associated with exploitation, grooming and radicalisation.

Myths and facts

Myth 1

Prevent is about spying on people and their families, a way of lots of officials getting involved in your private life.

If a referral is made about you or someone you know you will be contacted by supportive and specially trained staff. Each council has Channel Panel Case Officers whose job it is to follow up on referrals and make appointments to see you.

Professionals are given regular training so that they are skilled and knowledgeable about safeguarding and assessing appropriate referrals.

Myth 2

Prevent is something that someone else can decide will happen to you whether you like it or not.

If you are contacted what happens beyond this point is at your discretion. The whole process is and has always been a voluntary agreement.

Myth 3

Prevent is targeted and very much focused on specific religions and communities.

Grooming and radicalisation can happen to anyone when they are at their most vulnerable or in need of support. There are lots of reasons that can leave people open to exploitation.

Myth 4

Prevent doesn't work.

You may have read something like this in the papers or online.

Many people have been helped as part of the Prevent programme and that can be a very positive outcome. If less lives are lost to violence and extremism because of a persons' participation in the Prevent programme that is a measure that cannot be quantified.

Myth 5

Grooming, recruitment and radicalisation isn't a significant problem where I live.

Bury has additional funding to provide information, training, advice and guidance. The same grooming process is used for Organised Crime, County Lines, Extremism, and Child Sexual Exploitation. If we can enable communities to learn more about how predators operate, then we can build strong minds and strong communities.

Myth 6

Once you are referred into Prevent everyone is treated in the same way whether they need it or not. It can do more harm than good.

There are a wide range of professionals who can be involved in the Prevent process. The people that are included will depend upon the individuals' needs. It is a needs led service that will bring the relevant people together to maximise the support that can be given. In this way any provision that is offered is done so with that one person in mind.

Myth 7

There is a stigma attached to Prevent which will follow you wherever you go. If you are referred to Prevent it will show up on your DBS checks.

Information about the referral or you in any related capacity will not be disclosed to future education establishments or employers. The Prevent Programme does not criminalise anyone, it is an intervention that can be made to help to safeguard individuals. It will not create any barriers for your future.

Myth 8

Everything that you read about Prevent online or in the papers is true.

Some people will say that the negative perceptions that are written about Prevent are due to the media coverage or political events and how they are reported upon. People in the public eye often share their personal and professional views about Prevent online and through the media. This does not mean that such accounts are factually correct and sometimes information can be misleading and lead to distrust. The people who have experience of the Prevent Programme are in a position to know firsthand of the levels of support and the high standards of care that are taken with each and every person.

Types of ideology

  • Animal Rights Extremists and Environmental Extremists:
    Some animal rights extremists and environmental extremists believe violence is needed to stop those they think are hurting animals or the environment. These violent extremists usually don't seek to kill or injure people, but their crimes - which include property damage, vandalism, threats, cyber attacks and arson cause millions of pounds in damage. Violent animal rights extremists attack those they believe to be linked to the abuse of animals whilst environmental extremists target those they believe to be destroying the environment.
  • The Far Right:
    The Far Right or extreme right is a label used to identify parties and movements based on fascist, racist or extremely reactionary ideologies. Officially those on the far right embrace the concept that one group is better than another. They favour concepts such as White supremacy, segregation, mass deportation of non-White people and sometimes even genocide.
  • The Left Wing:
    An umbrella term for antifascist groups with the intention of de-stabilising democracy, law and order and even Governments. This could be by stealing data, digitally destabilising powerful organisations like hospitals and the police or fuelling opportunities for confrontation by countering far right events.
  • Northern Ireland-related terrorism:
    Northern Ireland-related terrorism continues to pose a serious threat. Although the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) has ceased its terrorist campaign and is now committed to the political process, some dissident republican groups continue to mount terrorist attacks, primarily against the security forces.
  • International terrorism:
    International terrorism from groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Qaeda present a threat in the UK. They hold territory in places without functioning governments, making it easier for them to train recruits and plan complex, sophisticated attacks.
    Drawing on interpretations of Islam to justify their actions, these groups often have the desire and capability to direct terrorist attacks against the West, and to inspire those already living there to carry out attacks of their own. Groups operate globally and are very active however, we hear most about them when there are western attacks that are close to home.
  • Mixed, Unclear & Unstable Ideologies:
    Individuals with 'Mixed, Unclear, and Unstable' (MUU) ideologies represented half of all referrals to Prevent in the year ending March 2020. Numbers are increasing of individuals who hold a world view with elements of more than one ideology (mixed), no clear ideology (unclear), or switch from one ideology to another (unstable).

Evidence from Channel practitioners suggests vulnerable individuals without clear ideologies can be strongly influenced by previous high-profile cases of mass violence. There are consistent themes in the content produced by those who go on to perpetrate or attempt mass violence. This includes an adulation of mass killers, coupled with a morally accepting attitude towards mass murder, often along with a generalised or specific hatred towards a particular group of people based on grievance.

  1. A Grievance
  2. Who do we Blame?
    (we are the victims)
  3. A Call to Action
    (so this is how we show them)

Prevent is safeguarding

Ensuring vulnerable people are given appropriate advice and support at an early stage

It's simple. Prevent is about safeguarding individuals from being drawn into terrorism, ensuring vulnerable people are given appropriate advice and support at an early stage. Prevent is no different to any other form of safeguarding. Often vulnerable people simply need some help and support and if we can give them that at the right time then they may not become radicalised in the first place.

Remember that radicalisation and grooming can take many forms and it is sometimes hard to know what to look out for but trust your instincts and always pass on your concerns to the appropriate safeguarding lead for your organisation. They will decide whether further action is needed or whether a referral should be made. Any member of the Prevent Team can be contacted for support or guidance.

What does good practice look like in communities?

1. Safeguarding in organisations that provide services

Protecting individuals from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of the community's wider safeguarding duties and is similar in nature to protecting individuals from other types of harm. Prevent implementation should be led by those who have the responsibility for putting policies and procedures in place and ensuring that they are adhered to.

2. Safeguarding in community and faith groups

Please engage with Prevent Officers to ensure that you;

  • Know who your Prevent Officer for Communities is and have their contact details
  • Know how to access free training for your volunteers, staff and members
  • Feel confident to discuss concerns or make a referral
  • Know how to keep community members safe in your venues and at your events

3. Leadership, management and designated leads

Prevent can sometimes entail the sharing of sensitive information and other bodies may expect to engage with the: Leadership and governance in individual organisations, community groups, charities and service providers are best placed to assess their training needs in the light of their assessment of the risk. However, as a minimum, all organisations should ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead undertakes WRAP (Working to Raise Awareness of Prevent) Training and is able to provide advice and support to managers and other members of staff on protecting vulnerable young people and adults from the risk of radicalisation.

4. Sharing Information with partners

Organisations should be aware of their roles and responsibilities and the importance of reporting any concerns and sharing sensitive information with Bury Council Prevent Team, Greater Manchester Police Counter Terrorism and any other appropriate partners. Sharing of information between professionals and local agencies is essential for effective identification and assessments. Community organisations and those who serve the community need to have effective relations with local Prevent partners and the police.

5. Promoting positive values and developing critical thinking

Community groups and service providers can also help to build within vulnerable individuals or group's resilience to radicalisation by promoting positive values - in particular, the fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Your organisational values based on equality and inclusion can be used to support positive messages and practices.

For more information

Please follow the links:

The Prevent Duty in Bury and making a referral: Prevent.

Venue Hire: Prevent - Venue hire guidance.

Who is vulnerable to radicalisation?

Anyone can be radicalised but there are some factors which may make some individuals more vulnerable. There really isn't a type of person or particular community that is more likely to be radicalised. Instead we need to think more about how radicalisers are targeting and choosing individuals.

Online exploitation is often hard to recognise. Sometimes there are clear warning signs - in other cases the changes are less obvious. Although some of these traits may be quite common , taken together they could indicate that a person may need help.

Vulnerabilities and the signs


  • Significant life event
  • A desire for political or moral change
  • Feelings of grievance and injustice
  • A desire for excitement and adventure
  • A desire for status
  • A need for identity, meaning and belonging
  • Feeling under threat
  • Mental health issues

Someone could display all, some or one of these vulnerabilities. There are no set profiles for someone vulnerable to radicalisation.

The signs

  • Depressed
  • New friendships
  • Fixated on a subject
  • New found arrogance
  • Withdrawn
  • Limited or repetitive vocabulary
  • Use of discriminatory language
  • Change of appearance

Again someone who is being or has been radicalised may display some or all of the signs, equally they may not display any signs.

How might I spot someone who is being radicalised?

Radicalisation can be difficult to spot. Signs that may indicate a young person or adult is being radicalised can include:

  • isolating themselves from family and friends
  • talking as if from a scripted speech
  • unwillingness or inability to discuss their views
  • a sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
  • increased levels of anger
  • increased secretiveness, especially around internet use

Notice, Check, Share

People who are at risk of radicalisation may have low self-esteem, or be victims of bullying or discrimination. Extremists might target them and tell them they can be part of something special, later persuading them to cut themselves off from their friends and family.

However, these signs don't necessarily mean an individual is being radicalised - it may be normal teenage behaviour or a sign that something else is wrong. Like all forms of safeguarding it is often about using your gut instinct and acting if you are concerned.

Remember to Notice, Check, Share.

  • Missing meals, eating elsewhere, longer absences from home, increased time spent online
  • Using different language, scripted speech
  • Travel tickets, lifts from new friends, apps for taxis, talking in detail about places they don't know
  • Seeming more confident, exercising more getting 'ready for action', new found arrogance or more withdrawn, change of friends, injuries, change of view of the family or authority figures
  • Increased anger or secretiveness
  • Extra phone, gifts, new clothes

How to make a referral

Remember that it is important to follow your organisations safeguarding policy and report any concerns you have to the correct people. If you decide to make a referral then you use the Bury Prevent referral form on our Prevent page.

The form is sent to 3 email addresses

  • Child Well Being (for children) or Adult Care Services (for adults)
  • the GM Channel Team at Manchester City Council
  • the counter terrorism police

If you have any questions whilst filling in the form call: GMP Prevent Team on 0161 856 6362.

You can make a referral without the parent's consent, for example, where you believe a child or young person or others are at serious risk of harm or in order to prevent serious crime where sharing information may be counter-productive to managing a situation. However, if you can it is always best to talk to people first about your concerns.

The next step of the referral process is that the Channel Team carry out an assessment and multi-agency info gathering. This is why it is really important that you put at much information into the referral as possible. If you are not sure whether you should make a referral you can speak to the Prevent team. There are no silly questions and we are happy to talk things through with you.

What happens to a referral

Immanent risk or harm should be reported to 999.

  • Individual at risk identified
  • Complete the referral form
    • the online form automatically sends emails to the relevant bodies for adult or a child referral
  • Initial safeguarding checks are made and the case recorded
  • CTPNW do deconfliction - checks and look to see whether the case is suitable for Channel:
    • Case suitable for multi-agency support -
      CTPNW recommend multi-agency approach - Channel team gather information from relevant agencies and, subject to a section 36 decision, the case goes to the Channel Panel
    • Case not suitable for multi-agency support -
      Case will not progress to Channel and the referral will go no further with the Channel process. Referrer will be informed

Channel - What is it and how it supports Prevent

What happens to a referral?

All referrals are carefully assessed by the police and the local authority to see if they are suitable for Channel or may require another intervention.

If suitable, the case is discussed with all relevant partners at a Channel panel to decide what support, if any, is needed. Referred individuals are informed and must give consent (or via a parent or guardian if they are children) before an intervention can take place.

How does a Channel panel work?

The Channel panel is chaired by the local authority and works with multi‚Äźagency partners to collectively assess the risk to an individual and decide whether an intervention is necessary.

If a Channel intervention is required, the panel works with local partners to develop an appropriate tailored support package. The support package is monitored closely and reviewed regularly by the Channel Panel.

Who sits on a Channel panel?

The Channel panel is chaired by the local authority and can include a variety of statutory partners such as the police, children's services, social services, education professionals and mental health care professionals.

What kind of support is offered via Channel?

The type of support available is wide ranging, and can include help with education or career advice, dealing with mental or emotional health issues, drug/alcohol abuse, online safety training for parents and specialist mentoring from a Channel Intervention Provider.

A success case study

Ryan had a history of substance abuse, low level criminal activity, periods of homelessness and unemployment. His mother, her partner and his younger brother were all serving custodial sentences at the time of his referral to Prevent, when he was 18.

Concerns originated when Ryan moved into a hostel and asked staff whether he could display swastika flags, informed them that he was a member of the English Defence League and expressed support for the IRA. Ryan also informed staff that he had previously fled to the USA having had a gun held to his head.

Hostel staff were concerned when they saw Ryan's Facebook account and discovered worrying images which included posing with firearms from his two months in the USA. Following a referral to Prevent and consideration by a multiagency Channel Panel, Ryan was offered support from a mentor with a background in mental health.

Ryan initially expressed support for Britain First and far-right ideologies to the mentor, who provided support with an ideological element to unpick Ryan's opinions on Islam and Judaism. He also provided Ryan with life skills coaching, drug and alcohol awareness and directed him to a housing support contact. Ryan continued to engage with his mentor on a one-on-one basis for an extended period of time and during the course of the interventions, he successfully secured employment with his mentor's

The case was closed when it was assessed that Ryan's vulnerability to terrorism related concerns had decreased.

Venue hire

The Prevent Duty - Booking commitment

The Venue Hire Policy is one part of several measures that enables Bury Council to meet its statutory responsibilities as part of CONTEST, the UK Counter Terrorism legislation put in place to keep UK residents safe.

Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility and on that basis the Venue Hire Policy needs to be communicated widely to stakeholders who have responsibilities for booking meeting rooms or venues across the city.

Local authorities are expected to ensure that publicly-owned venues and resources do not provide a platform for extremists and are not used to disseminate extremist views. Local authorities should ensure their venues are not used by those whose views would draw people into terrorism, by ensuring that rigorous booking systems are in place and staff responsible for them are trained to know what to do if they have suspicions.

The Venue Hire Policy provides a framework for completing a checklist, the checklist requires answers that are used in a risk assessment process to determine the level of risk. The policy also includes examples of measures which can be used to mitigate risks. There is a scoring system and signposting for further information, advice and guidance.

The policy acts as a Prevent Booking Commitment with a logo for display purposes. This allows people to book venues safely and with confidence. It also gives organisations the process and structure that will provide the outcome. It wouldn't be a persons' opinions or an organisational refusal or need for more measures. It would be as a result of completing the Prevent Booking Commitment determined by Home Office Guidance.

Keeping communities safe is a responsibility for all people in all communities.

You can view the Bury Prevent Venue hire guidance here: Prevent - Venue hire guidance.

Useful links and articles

Government advice and trusted resources for protecting individuals from radicalisation, build resilience to all types of extremism and promote shared values:

ACT Early - Prevent radicalisation.

Educate Against Hate - Prevent awareness e-learning.

Educate Against Hate - Channel awareness e-learning.

Educate Against Hate - Prevent referrals e-learning.

For more Bury Prevent information and training dates please visit our Prevent page.

A Channel journey

Referral into Prevent

If you've been referred into Prevent, don't worry. This may mean that someone is worried that you might be vulnerable to being groomed into extremism. This could be online or in person, by someone you know, by a stranger or even by what you are reading or watching. You may not feel like this is happening to you, and on some occasions it might not be, but just to make sure we may need to do some checks. Although checks are being made, remember that your information remains confidential and it does not mean you are being accused of a criminal offense.

Channel Panel

After the checks, if we're still concerned we will refer you to something called Channel Panel. A Channel Panel is run by your local council and is a group of people from different services such as schools, the local council, healthcare and the police. This group meet regularly to explore how best to help people that have been referred just like you. The people at the panel will decide if they can offer any support that could help you build up your resilience to grooming and radicalisation.

First conversations

If we feel the Channel Panel can offer you some extra help, someone called a Channel Coordinator will get in touch with you or your parent or guardian. This may be the first time you hear about the referral and that's okay. The Channel Coordinator will give you information about the way the Channel Panel can help and will ask for you or your parents consent. You can let the Channel Coordinator know if there is anything you would like the panel to do for you. You don't have to consent but most people do. It's up to you.

Individual support

If you agree you would like this extra help, there would then be another discussion at the Channel Panel to see the best way to help you. This might include inviting any other service that has been working with you along to it. The Channel Coordinator will also let the panel know about any help and support that you have asked for. From all of this information, the panel will start to build a plan which would help you in the best way possible. This will be specific to you and your needs.

Individual support for a child or young person

If you choose to take up the support, it should start pretty quickly. If you are a child or young person your plan may include:

  • Help with school or college
  • Careers advice
  • A Youth worker
  • Opportunities to access activity groups
  • Physical or mental health support
  • Something called an IP

An IP is an Intervention Provider. All that means is a specialist mentor who meets with you 1/1 and can help you explore some of the thoughts and feelings that you may have about the world around you.

Individual support for adults

If you are an adult, your plan may include:

  • Help with education, skills or employment
  • Money advice or housing help
  • Opportunities to access activity groups
  • Physical or mental health support

Ongoing support

The Channel Panel will continue to support you and make sure that your plan is working for what you need. The panel will discuss how this is going for you on a regular basis. You will remain open to the panel for as long as you need the support.

Finishing with Channel

There will come a time where you may no longer need our support. This is great. You may still want to work with some of the agencies that have been helping you but the Channel Panel will no longer oversee this. Of course, we will tell you when this happens and will make sure that you are fully supported going forward.

Six and twelve month check in

After 6 and 12 months, we will check in on you to make sure that everything is still ok. If you need some more support, we can help. If you don't, you will remain closed to us.