Prevent is one part of the UK’s CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy. Prevent focuses on stopping people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism through well-established safeguarding practices. The other focus areas - pursue, protect and prepare - focus on stopping terrorist attacks and strengthening UK’s protection against them.
The Council helps to identify those at risk of being drawn into terrorism and ensures its frontline staff are trained to recognise vulnerable individuals and are aware of programmes to support them. It works with different partners to ensure all the sectors, where there are risks of radicalisation, are covered.
Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
Vulnerable individuals are referred to a multi-agency panel which develops an appropriate support plan for the individual. Partners that sit on this panel include the local authority, the police, mental health services and other professionals who may be able to help such as housing services.
As per government guidance, Channel is about ensuring that vulnerable children and adults of any faith, ethnicity or background receive support before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those who might want them to embrace terrorism.
Channel support will vary depending on the need of the individual, their vulnerability, the level of risk and local resources. Support could be around life skills, careers or education, health awareness, housing support and ideological mentoring. This is all with the aim of providing vulnerable individuals with the skills they need to protect themselves from supporting terrorism or being drawn into terrorist-related activity.
How to refer
Referrals often come via professionals, such as schools, health providers and social services. However, anyone in Wandsworth can make a referral to Channel Panel if they are concerned about someone being radicalised. Once a referral has been made, it will be carefully assessed to see if the person referred does need help and whether the Channel programme is the best way to provide support.
Referrals should be made to the local authority area where the vulnerable individual lives:
- Where the person you are concerned about is under 18 years of age, referrals should be made via the Initial Point of Contact on 0208 871 7899
- Where the person is over 18 years old, referrals should be made via the Access team on 0208 871 7707