Policy and procedures for safeguarding people at risk of being drawn into terrorism, or extremism leading to terrorism | Oldham Council

Safeguarding people at risk of being drawn into terrorism, or extremism leading to terrorism

Policy and procedures

This policy and guidance have been developed from the Greater Manchester Safeguarding Partnership’s protocol and adapted to meet the needs of Oldham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership Board and Oldham Safeguarding Adult’s Board.

1 Introduction

1.1 The current threat from terrorism in the United Kingdom is real and severe and can involve the exploitation of vulnerable people, including children, young people and adults to engage them in terrorism or activity in support of terrorism.

1.2 The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 created a legal duty (the “Prevent Duty”) for ‘specified authorities’ (including local authorities; further and higher educational establishments; schools; registered childcare providers; NHS Trusts; prisons; probation services; police; and, under-18 secure estates) to have ‘due regard’, in the exercise of their functions to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

1.3 There is an associated legal duty (the “Channel Duty”) for local authorities and other partners to provide support for people who are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. The safeguarding process through which this is undertaken is known as Channel. The Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 amended the 2015 Act to enable local authorities – in addition to the police - to decide that an individual at risk of being drawn into terrorism should be progressed for consideration by Channel.

1.4 The ten Greater Manchester local authorities and Greater Manchester Police, through the Greater Manchester Safeguarding Children and Safeguarding Adults Partnerships, agree that exploitation of individuals by drawing them into terrorism or extremism leading to terrorism should be viewed as a safeguarding concern, and should be embedded into the work of local Children’s Services and Adult Services departments.

1.5 Each of the ten local authorities has adopted a set of Greater Manchester Channel Principles designed to ensure a collective and joined-up response to safeguarding children and adults across the sub-region. 

1.6 More locally, Oldham’s safeguarding arrangements for preventing involvement in terrorism or extremism leading to terrorism are aligned with existing safeguarding arrangements for children and vulnerable adults. Channel is embedded within these and in doing so, takes account of and complies with the requirements of the statutory duty.

1.7 This guidance is designed to provide a clear framework with which to respond to safeguarding concerns for those children, young people and adults who may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism, or extremism leading to terrorism.

1.8 The Policy includes the linkage between safeguarding procedures and the Channel process. This provides a mechanism for supporting those who may be vulnerable to violent extremism by assessing the nature and the extent of the potential risk and, where necessary, providing an appropriate support package.

1.9 This framework is underpinned by a number of key principles:

  • safeguarding to protect individuals from extremist or violent views operates under the same principles as safeguarding them from other forms of significant harm such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or neglect;
  • each vulnerable child, young person or adult is unique, is vulnerable for unique reasons and needs an individualised response;
  • each vulnerable child, young person or adult affects, and is affected by, multiple domains of influence - i.e. their family, the community in which they live, wider society;
  • Oldham Council and its partners have a duty to respond promptly and robustly to concerns raised around possible safeguarding issues;
  • information will be shared between organisations as appropriate in the interests of protecting a child, young person or adult from serious harm;
  • this is a collaborative process to enable effective integrated working to improve outcomes for children, young people and adults, arising from a common or specialist assessment

2 Legislative and policy framework

2.1 Relevant Policies

2.1.1 The following legislation and policies have provided the framework for this safeguarding protocol:

  • The Children Act 1989; as revised by the Children Act 2004;
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, Department for Children, Schools and Families 2018;
  • Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families, Department of Health 2000;
  • The Care Act 2014;
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005;
  • Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice, Department of Constitutional Affairs 2007;
  • The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004;
  • The CONTEST (Counter-Terrorism) Strategy 2018;
  • Prevent Strategy 2011;
  • Counter-Extremism Strategy 2015;
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015;
  • Revised Prevent Duty Guidance: Guidance for specified authorities in England and Wales on the duty in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism;
  • Channel Duty Guidance: Protecting vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism. Statutory guidance for Channel panel members and partners of local panels, 2020.
  • Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019.

2.2 Definitions

Definitions relating to safeguarding children and young people

2.2.1 A child is defined in the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 as anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.

2.2.2 Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018 as:

  • protecting children from maltreatment;
  • preventing impairment of children’s health or development;
  • ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
  • taking action to ensure children have the best outcomes.

2.2.3 Children in need are those, defined under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989, who are: unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development; whose health or development is likely to be significantly impaired without the provision of services; or who are disabled. Local authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need and those in need of protection.

2.2.4 Some children are in need because they are suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm. The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children, and gives local authorities a duty to make enquiries to decide whether they should take action to safeguard or promote the welfare of a child who is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm. Harm can be categorised as physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect.

Definitions relating to safeguarding vulnerable adults

2.2.5 The term ‘adult at risk’ is defined within the Care Act 2014, as a person over 18 who:

  • has care and support needs; and
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  • is unable to protect themselves because of their care and support needs.

2.2.6 The Care Act also defines six principles of Adult Safeguarding, which are aligned to the requirements of the Channel duty, as follows:

  • Empowerment - presumption of person led decisions and informed consent.
  • Prevention - It is better to take action before harm occurs.
  • Proportionality - Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate

to the risk presented.

  • Protection - Support and representation for those in greatest need.
  • Partnership - Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
  • Accountability - Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

2.2.7 Furthermore, the ‘Making safeguarding personal’ (MSP) toolkit also provides guidance on developing person-led and outcome focussed responses and supports the principle of empowerment as defined in the Act. MSP should be applied when implementing Channel and individuals should be engaged about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances their involvement.

Terrorism, extremism and radicalisation

2.2.8 Terrorism is defined by the Terrorism Act 2000 as:

“an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes with or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat must be deigned to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.”

2.2.9 Extremism is defined in the national Counter-Extremism Strategy as:

“the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces, as extremist.”

2.2.10 Radicalisation is defined in the Revised Prevent duty guidance 2015 as:

“the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.”

2.2.11 There are a range of offences for which people may be charged in relation to terrorism, extremism and radicalisation including:

  • murder or soliciting murder;
  • committing, preparing or instigating acts of terrorism;
  • incitement to commit acts of terrorism overseas;
  • encouragement of terrorism;
  • inciting racial or religious hatred or hatred because of sexual orientation;
  • inviting and expressions of support for a proscribed organisation;
  • terrorist financing offences;
  • dissemination of terrorist publications;
  • offences of encouragement, dissemination, obtaining and viewing material over the internet.
  • Entering or remaining in a designated area

2.3 Information Sharing and Confidentiality

2.3.1 There is a statutory duty for workers to share information where there are concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a child or adult. The following is not exhaustive, but does provide a list of Acts and statutory guidance which may be relevant to data sharing and confidentiality:

  • The Data Protection Act 2018
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Common Law Duty of Confidentiality
  • The Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Local Government Act 1972
  • Local Government Act 2000
  • National Health Service Act 2006 and Health and Social Care Act 2001
  • Offender Management Act 2007
  • Information Sharing: Advice for Practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers.
  • The Children Act 2004 sections 10 and 11
  • The Care Act 2014
  • The Caldicott Principles

2.3.2 Effective information sharing is key to the delivery of Prevent, so that partners are able to take appropriately informed action. This will sometimes require the sharing of personal information between partners and is particularly the case when supporting vulnerable people, where the sharing of information will be central to providing the most appropriate support.

2.3.3 Information Sharing Agreements should be in place to facilitate the sharing of information. However, the assessment of whether information should be shared needs to be undertaken on a case by case basis.

2.3.4 The sharing of data by public sector bodies requires the existence of a power to do so (such as through the Children Act, the Care Act or, for the prevention and detection of crime, the Crime and Disorder Act) in addition to satisfying the requirements of the Data Protection Act, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Human Rights Act and the common law duty of confidentiality. The power to share information arises only as a consequence of an organisation having the power to carry out an action which is dependent on the sharing of information.

2.3.5 Where non-public bodies (such as community organisations) are involved in the delivery of Prevent work, there may be a need to pass personal and sensitive information to them and the approach to information sharing should be the same.

2.3.6 Agencies may consider sharing personal information with each other for Prevent purposes, subject to a case-by-case basis assessment which considers how data protection requirements are met and the proposed sharing being necessary, proportionate and lawful.

2.3.7 In order to ensure that information sharing is necessary, proportionate and lawful, each case needs to be judged on its own merit. The following questions should be considered when sharing information:

  • What information are you intending to share?
  • With whom are you intending to share the information?
  • Why you are intending to share the information (i.e. with what expected outcome)?
  • What is the legal basis on which the information is to be shared. For example has the subject consented, or is there a justification such as safeguarding an individual from serious harm or to prevent or detect crime?
  • Are individuals aware that the information is being shared?

2.3.8 Any sharing of personal or sensitive personal data must be considered carefully, but this is particularly the case where the consent of the individual is not to be obtained. Where consent is not sought, an assessment of the relevant legislation is required to ensure sharing meets legislative requirements. Once the assessment has been made, the information should be reviewed to consider whether the individual should then be informed. There will be circumstances in which advising the individual will not be possible because it will prejudice delivery of the intended outcome. In such cases there are legal exemptions which permit sharing to take place without informing individuals e.g. the detection of crime.

3 Preventing people being drawn into terrorism, or extremism leading to terrorism

3.1 The Contest Strategy

3.1.1 The national Counter-Terrorism (CONTEST) Strategy was updated in 2018. It has four strands:

  • PURSUE: to stop terrorist attacks;
  • PREVENT: to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism;
  • PROTECT: to strengthen our protection against terrorist attack; and
  • PREPARE: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack

3.1.2 The CONTEST strategy reflects the current assessment of terrorist threats and the Government’s revised security and counter-terrorism policies. The strategy covers all forms of terrorism, including the threat to Great Britain from International terrorism, Northern Ireland related terrorism and extreme right-wing terrorism.

3.2 Prevent Duty

3.2.1 The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 created a new statutory duty, termed the Prevent Duty, for ‘specified authorities’ (including local authorities; further and higher educational establishments; schools; registered childcare providers; NHS Trusts; prisons; probation services; police; and, under-18 secure estates), in the exercise of their functions to have ‘due regard’ to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This duty came into effect on 1st July 2015. A full list of the specified authorities is given in Schedule 6 of the Act.

3.2.2 This policy and guidance document is concerned with the local contribution to Prevent, through safeguarding children, young people and adults who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism, or extremism leading to terrorism.

3.2.3 In delivering the Prevent Strategy the Government seeks to achieve a balance between security and the protection of civil liberties.

3.2.4 The aim of the Prevent Strategy is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The Strategy was explicitly changed in 2011 to deal with all forms of terrorism and with non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists can exploit.

3.2.5 The Prevent Strategy has three key objectives (the three “i’s”):

  • Ideology - Challenging the ideology that supports terrorism and those who promote it;
  • Individuals – Protect vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support; and
  • Institutions – Supporting sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation

3.2.6 The first objective is challenging the ideology that supports terrorism and those who promote it. Some important considerations are:

  • this includes being proactive in promoting values such as: democracy, the rule of law, equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, and the universal right to freedom from persecution;
  • there is a need to focus on the few people who are most susceptible to terrorist propaganda. It should not be assumed that Muslims are any more vulnerable to radicalisation than other faith or ethnic groups;
  • Prevent needs to involve local communities and organisations. Government cannot suggest any form of faith is appropriate or acceptable.

3.2.7 The second objective is key in relation to this guidance, since it is concerned with protecting vulnerable people. Local safeguarding procedures are a central part of this. Some key points in delivering this are:

  • radicalisation is a process not an event, and it is possible to intervene in this to prevent vulnerable people being radicalised;
  • there is a need to ensure that activities are proportionate, and focused upon people at risk;
  • activity needs to address all forms of terrorism; and
  • safeguarding against involvement in terrorism and extremism leading to terrorism is everyone’s responsibility. It is not just the responsibility of the police.

3.2.8 The third objective is supporting sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation. The Strategy highlights that:

  • a wide range of sectors can provide routes through which people are radicalised to become terrorists or support terrorism. Priority areas for intervention include: education, faith, health, criminal justice, charities and the internet (which is identified as a key risk which cuts across all sectors);
  • Prevent work in schools is key, but needs to be proportionate. Priorities are: to ensure that all school staff know what to do if they see signs of radicalisation; reducing risks of exposure to extremist views in out of school hours provision; and collaboration between agencies to identify children at risk of radicalisation and protect them from harm;
  • in universities and colleges, freedom of speech and academic freedom are key principles, but they also have a legal and moral duty of care for staff and students;
  • people with mental health issues or learning disabilities may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and it is important that all staff working in health and social care are aware of possible signs of radicalisation and how to refer people for further support; and
  • work with young offenders and people vulnerable to offending has a particularly critical role in ensuring the future success of Prevent.

3.3 The Channel Programme

3.3.1 The Counter Terrorism and Security Act is intended to secure effective local co-operation and delivery of Channel in all areas. In practice, the legislation requires:

  • Local authorities to ensure that a multi-agency panel exists in their area;
  • The local authority to chair the panel;
  • The panel to develop a support plan for individuals accepted as Channel cases;
  • The panel to consider alternative forms of support, including health and social services, where Channel is not appropriate; and
  • All partners of a panel, so far as appropriate and reasonably practicable, to co-operate with the police and the panel in the carrying out of their functions.

3.3.2 A list of partners with a legal duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act to co-operate with local panels is provided at Appendix A.

3.3.3 Channel focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, or extremism leading to terrorism. The programme uses a multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people by:

  • Identifying individuals at risk;
  • Assessing the nature and extent of that risk; and
  • Developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

3.3.4 Channel aims to support vulnerable individuals through targeted intervention relevant to the individual’s vulnerability and risk, to prevent them from committing a criminal act. If it is believed that an individual may already have committed a criminal offence relating to terrorism or extremism they are not appropriate for Channel.

3.3.5 The Channel process ensures that vulnerable children and adults of any faith, ethnicity or background, receive support before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those who would want them to embrace terrorism and before they become involved in criminal terrorist related activity.

3.3.6 Channel assesses vulnerability using a consistently applied vulnerability assessment framework built around three criteria:

  • Engagement with a group, cause or ideology;
  • Intent to cause harm; and
  • Capability to cause harm.

3.3.7 The process is very much dependent upon the co-operation and co-ordination of partners and works best when the individuals and their families fully engage with the programme and are supported in a consistent manner. It is important to recognise that Channel is not about reporting or informing on individuals in order to prosecute them. It is about organisations and communities working together to support vulnerable people at an early stage to prevent them from being radicalised.

3.3.8 Participation in Channel remains voluntary and requires consent to be given by the individual (or their parent/guardian in the case of a child) in advance of support measures being put into place. All individuals who receive support through Channel must be made aware that they are receiving this as part of a programme to protect people from being drawn into terrorism, what the aims of the process are and what to expect. Where someone does not wish to continue with the process, it may be appropriate to provide alternative support through other mainstream services, such as children’s or adults’ social care services.

3.4 Operation Dovetail

3.4.1 Since January 2019, the North West of England has been one of the parts of the country piloting a local authority led approach to Channel. The pilot does not change the process for Channel referrals, but it does change where some of the functions of the process are managed. The police remain key partners in Channel and core members of the Channel Panel. The police own any counter-terrorism (CT) risk, and undertake tasks that require their specific skillsets and powers. The local authority holds the risk for non-CT safeguarding concerns in all cases.

3.4.2 Under Operation Dovetail, Channel cases across Greater Manchester are managed by a team of Channel Co-ordinators hosted by Manchester City Council on behalf of the ten Greater Manchester districts. They work closely with Channel Panel chairs and children’s and adults’ services in districts in managing Channel cases.

4 What to do if you have a concern

4.1 Why might you be concerned and what might you notice?

4.1.1 Most individuals do not become terrorists, nor become radicalised to support terrorism or ideologies which can lead to terrorism. Numerous factors can contribute to and influence the risk of radicalisation. When undertaking any assessment where there may be concerns about radicalisation, it is important to:

  • consider the vulnerability indicators when undertaking the assessment and what this means as part of the person’s wider needs;
  • understand and identify the factors that build resilience and potentially protect individuals from becoming radicalised or getting involved in terrorism; and
  • be cautious in assessing these factors to avoid inappropriately labelling or stigmatising individuals because they possess a characteristic or fit a specific profile.

4.1.2 It is suggested that several factors come together in the process of radicalisation and could possibly present themselves in one or more of the following ways:

  • an individual evidences support for terrorist or extremist activity and/or is expressing a desire to participate in such activity;
  • an individual is exposed to radicalising influences, either through social networks, or by accessing information on the internet;
  • an individual seeks answers about their identity, particularly in relation to cultural and religious heritage: identity; faith; and, belonging;
  • an individual expresses frustration, resentment or anger, because of how they feel or because they feel that people with whom they identify, have been treated unfairly, persecuted, humiliated or discriminated against.
  • There are also factors which reduce the resilience of individuals to the risk of radicalisation (for example the absence of supportive family relationships).

4.1.3 The above is not exhaustive and a more detailed list of indicators which might possibly be present during the radicalisation process can be found at Appendix B.

4.2 Check your concerns

4.2.1 If the concern relates to the person or public being in immediate danger or at risk from harm, then the Police should be contacted immediately.

4.2.2 Unless there is a reason not to do so, professionals working with an individual about whom there are concerns should initially check them with the individual and/or their parent/guardian, in order to ascertain the facts prior to submitting a Channel referral. Information received from speaking to the individual and or parent/guardian might possibly mitigate the need for a referral.

4.2.3 Concerns should not be checked with the parent/guardian if they are considered to be the source of risk.

4.2.4 Frontline workers having contact with the public should have an awareness of the indicators which might be visible during the radicalisation process. There will be instances when it is not appropriate for frontline workers to undertake the ‘check’ process (e.g. a contractor working in a person’s home might see something of concern, but it would not be appropriate for them to check with the individual). All staff, including contracted staff, should therefore be provided with contact details for their organisational safeguarding lead.

4.3 Sharing your concerns

4.3.1 As with other safeguarding issues, if the worker is still concerned that the person or their family may be at risk, then that concern should in the first instance be shared with the organisation’s safeguarding lead/Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC). 

4.3.2 If the concerns about an individual are not serious, the safeguarding lead / Prevent SPOC may decide that appropriate action can be taken within the organisation to address the issue. Once the action has been undertaken, a review should be undertaken to assess whether the concern still remains.

4.3.3 The flow chart below shows the process for safeguarding individuals within an organisation.

4.3.4 Initial concerns raised about an individual will, in many instances, be appropriately managed internally within the organisation without the need for multi-agency intervention. However, if a multi-agency response is considered necessary, then a referral detailing the concerns should be shared with the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).



4.4 Making a referral

4.4.1 Each agency in Oldham, working with children or vulnerable adults, should have a Prevent Safeguarding Lead who will be the key contact within the organisation for safeguarding in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism. This will usually be the same person for safeguarding in general.

4.4.2 The safeguarding lead/Prevent SPOC should offer advice and guidance about the appropriateness of making a referral and gather additional information to help understand the issue.

4.4.3 If necessary, the safeguarding lead/Prevent SPOC can have an initial discussion with the Greater Manchester Channel Coordinator in advance of a referral being submitted. The Channel Coordinator for Oldham, Rochdale and Stockport can be contacted on 0161 227 3545.

4.4.4 In the event that the safeguarding lead / Prevent SPOC believe that the concerns relating to an individual are more significant and require a multi-agency response, a Prevent referral form must be completed.

4.4.5 Prevent referral forms can be completed online.

Prevent referral form

4.4.6 All telephone referrals resulting in the requirement for a multi-agency response must be followed up in writing. Where an assessment has already been undertaken (e.g. Early Help assessment) this may be used instead, providing that all the relevant information has been collected.

5 How are referrals managed?

5.1 Initial assessment

5.1.1 Once the completed assessment form has been received by the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, it will be shared initially with the Local Authority Channel Co-ordinator, who will in the first instance forward the information to the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU) for assessment.

5.1.2 NWCTU will undertake a Prevent Gateway Assessment to assess whether the referral could be malicious, misguided or misinformed. This process can take up to five days to complete. The police cannot legally share information about individuals where there is no suspicion of a vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism.

5.1.3 They also undertake deconfliction with any ongoing counter-terrorism investigations. This is an essential part of the process and is necessary to ensure that individuals who may be under investigation in relation to terrorist offences are not managed through Channel. 

5.1.4 If the Counter Terrorism Unit considers a case to be appropriate for Channel, it will notify the Greater Manchester Channel team, and a Channel Coordinator will then undertake information gathering in order to prepare a vulnerability assessment. This process will include gathering information from a range of services (e.g. children’s and adults social care, health, the youth offending service, probation, education etc.) to ascertain if the individual is already known, what support is already in place and what information is available to inform a decision on vulnerability. Services will be required to provide the information to the Channel Coordinator within five days of the request being made.

5.1.5 The purpose of this process is to assess the level of vulnerability an individual has in relation to radicalisation / extremist behaviour and determine whether an individual has:

  • Engagement with a group, cause or ideology or is vulnerable to this;
  • Intent to cause harm; and
  • Capability to cause harm.

5.1.6 On completion of the vulnerability assessment, the information will be shared with the Greater Manchester Channel Coordinator supervisor who will review this, and decide whether it is appropriate to proceed to a multi-agency panel (known as a Channel Panel). If the decision is not to proceed to Panel, this will first be reviewed with NWCTU and discussed with the chair of the Channel Panel. 

5.1.7 The decision making must give due regard to Section 36 of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 in determining whether a referral is taken to a Channel Panel. The Act states that an individual should be referred to a panel only if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the individual is vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

5.2 Individual is referred to Channel

5.2.1 The Channel process in Oldham has been embedded within existing safeguarding structures for children and adults and, in the event that a referral is considered relevant to Channel, there will be close engagement with children’s or adult services as appropriate.

5.2.2 Channel Panel meetings are held monthly, though additional meetings will be organised if required to address urgent cases. The Channel Panel has a standing membership representing a range of agencies involved in safeguarding, including the GM Channel Coordinator and local Prevent lead from NWCTU. Relevant professionals working with individuals referred to Panel will also be invited to attend. 

5.2.4 A representative of the referring agency is likely to be invited to participate in the meeting, and could be involved in delivering interventions. Where this is not the case, and subject to restrictions on confidentiality, feedback will be provided to referring organisations on the outcome of the process.

5.2.5 In most cases, agencies submitting a Channel referral will agree to the individual and/or parent guardian having knowledge of where the concern originated. However, there might be instances when the submission of a Channel referral could compromise the individual or agency making the referral. It is important that individuals and agencies have confidence to report their concerns and, in such cases, the origin of the information will not be disclosed.

5.2.6 It is important to note that a Channel referral does not result in a criminal record on police systems and would not affect for example, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

5.2.7 Once the assessment has been undertaken, the referrer will receive feedback in relation to the concerns raised.

5.2.8 Cases should be discussed at Channel Panel within a maximum of twenty working days from receipt of the original referral.

5.2.9 The flow chart shows the process for safeguarding individuals that have been referred for a multi-agency agency response.



5.3 Case is not referred to Channel

5.3.1 If the referral does not meet the Channel threshold following assessment, feedback will be provided to the referrer and other appropriate agencies and this will include a rationale for the decision.

5.3.2 It is possible that the assessment process will identify further actions which could be taken to support the individual and potentially reduce their vulnerability.

5.4 Action Plans

5.4.1 Each case is handled separately and people deemed appropriate to receive support will have a tailored package developed for them, according to their identified vulnerabilities. All individuals being supported under the Channel process must consent to interventions and must be made aware that the interventions are in place to reduce vulnerabilities linked to extremism/radicalisation. The most suitable professional to gain consent will be identified at the initial Channel meeting. If the individual does not consent to interventions then the case cannot progress as the Channel process is voluntary.

5.4.2 Interventions will be agreed at the meeting, together with a timetable for reviewing whether these have been successful. The outcome of the meeting may result in referrals to further statutory processes. 

5.4.3 The involvement of partners in the Channel process ensures that those at risk have access to a wide range of support ranging from mainstream services, such as health and education, through to specialist mentoring or guidance.

5.4.4 The package of support provided to each individual will be documented within an action plan and could include for example, housing support; drugs and alcohol awareness; mentoring; career and educational guidance.

5.4.5 The type of activities that are included in a support package will depend on risk, vulnerability and local resource. If the individual requires more intensive support, particularly in relation to theological/ideological support, Home Office approved intervention providers can be commissioned to mentor them. The mentoring aims to increase theological understanding and challenge extremist ideas where they are used to legitimise terrorism.

5.5 Reviews

5.5.1 The Channel Coordinator will update the Vulnerability Assessment (VAF) and Channel Case Management system (CMIS) regularly.

5.5.2 The decision to close a case will be made by the Channel Panel.

5.5.2 All cases, whether they are referred elsewhere or offered support under Channel, will be reviewed by the Channel Panel six months and twelve months following the closure of the referral.

6. Oversight and accountability

6.1 The Oldham Preventing Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion (OPEPSC) Steering Group has oversight of Channel, and receives quarterly reports from the Channel Panel chair on the operation of Channel in Oldham. OPEPSC is accountable to the Oldham Community Safety and Cohesion Partnership, for ensuring delivery of work to prevent the involvement of Oldham residents in terrorism and extremism which can lead to terrorism.

6.2 As part of their oversight of safeguarding in Oldham, the Safeguarding Boards for Children and Adults will receive six monthly updates on the operation of Channel in Oldham. This will enable the Boards to provide strategic support and ensure that safeguarding protocols and processes are implemented effectively.

6.3 Oldham’s Channel Panel also participates in national and Greater Manchester peer assessment processes.

7. Advice and Support

7.1 Key Contacts

7.1.1 Reporting concerns about Terrorism

If you have a concern about Terrorism and it is an emergency, dial 999

If you consider anything to be suspicious or connected with terrorism, contact Greater Manchester Police on the non-emergency number 101 or the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

7.1.2 Are you worried about a child or young person?

If you are worried that a child or young person in Oldham is at risk of being radicalised by people who are involved in, or support, terrorism, please contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub to report your concern on:

  • 0161 770 7777 (Monday – Friday, 8.40am – 5.00pm)
  • 0161 770 6936 (at all other times). Urgent safeguarding concerns only.

7.1.3 Are you worried about an adult?

If you think that an adult is at risk of being radicalised by people who are involved in, or support, terrorism, please contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on: 

  • 0161 770 7777 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm)
  • 0161 770 6936 (at all other times). Urgent safeguarding concerns only.

7.2 Training

7.2.1 A number of local authority officers have received accreditation from the Home Office to deliver the Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) training. 

7.2.2 WRAP is a safeguarding workshop being offered to all relevant staff to attend, in order to gain a good understanding of Prevent and recognise the vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism, or extremism leading to terrorism. It also shows the process for dealing with any issues, including how to recognise the initial signs of individuals vulnerable to radicalisation, as well as those who radicalise.

7.2.3 Training is currently being offered to Single Points of Contact, organisational Prevent leads, frontline staff, school governors and voluntary and community groups. Training dates will be advertised as they become available.

Appendix A

List of partners required to co-operate with local Channel panels

Ministers of the Crown and government departments:

  • A Minister of the Crown.
  • A government department other than an intelligence service.

Local government:

  • A local authority (other than a local authority that is a member of the panel in question)
  • A person carrying out a function of a local authority by virtue of a directive made under section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999.

Criminal justice:

  • The governor of a prison in England and Wales (or, in the case of a contracted out prison, its director).
  • The governor of a young offender institution or secure training centre (or, in the case of a contracted out young offender institution or secure training centre, its director).
  • The principal of a secure college.
  • A youth offending team established under section 39 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
  • A provider of probation services within the meaning given by section 3(6) of the Offender Management Act 2007.

Education, child care etc:

  • A sixth form college corporation within the meaning given by section 90(I) of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.
  • The governing body of an institution within the further education sector within the meaning given by section 9I(3) of that Act.
  • A person who is authorised by virtue of an order made under section 70 of the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 to exercise a function specified in Schedule 36A to the Education Act 1996.
  • A person with whom arrangements have been made for the provision of education under section 19 of the Education Act 1996 or section 100 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (cases of illness, exclusions etc).
  • The proprietor of:-
  • a school that has been approved under section 342 of the Education Act 1996
  • a maintained school within the meaning given by section 20(7) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998
  • a maintained nursery school within the meaning given by section 22(9) of that Act
  • an independent school registered under section 158 of the Education Act 2002
  • an independent educational institution registered under section 95(I) of the Education and Skills Act 2008
  • a 16 to 19 Academy within the meaning given by section 1B of the Academies Act 2010
  • an alternative provision Academy within the meaning given by section 1C of that Act, or
  • a special post-16 institution within the meaning given by section 83(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014.
  • A person who is specified or nominated in a direction made in relation to the exercise of a local authority’s functions given by the Secretary of State under section 497A of the Education Act 1996 (including that section as applied by section 50 of the Children Act 2004 or section 15 of the Childcare Act 2006)
  • A person registered under Part 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000 in respect of:-
  • A children’s home as defined in section I of the Act
  • A residential family centre as defined in section 4 of that Act
  • A fostering agency as defined in that section, or
  • A holiday scheme for disabled children, within the meaning of the Registered Holiday Schemes for Disabled Children (England) Regulations 2013 (S.I. 2013/1394)
  • The governing body of a qualifying institution within the meaning given by section II of the Higher Education Act 2004
  • A person registered under Chapter 2, 2A, 3 or 3A or Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006
  • A body corporate with which a local authority has entered into arrangements under Part I of the Children and Young Persons Act 2008
  • The governing body or proprietor of an institution (not otherwise listed) at which more than 250 students, excluding students undertaking distance learning courses, are undertaking:-
  • Courses in preparation for examinations related to qualifications regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation
  • Courses of a description mentioned in Schedule 6 to the Education Reform Act 1988 (higher education courses)

Health and Social Care:

  • A clinical commissioning group established under section 14D of the National Health Service Act 2006
  • An NHS Trust established under section 25 of the National Health Service Act 2006
  • An NHS foundation trust within the meaning given by section 30 of the National Health Service Act 2006


  • A chief officer of police for a police area in England and Wales (other than a chief officer who is a member of the panel in question).

Appendix B

List of possible indicators which might be present during the radicalisation process

Please note that the following is not an exhaustive list, and all or none may be present in individual cases of concern.

Vulnerable people experiencing these factors are not automatically at risk of radicalisation, and every case needs to be judged in relation to the individual circumstances.

  1. Possible indications that an individual may have been radicalised include:
  • Is the person known to have joined an extremist organisation, or been in contact with extremist recruiters?
  • Does the person sympathise with, or support, illegal (proscribed) groups e.g. through attending meetings, distributing literature or fundraising?
  • Does the person support groups with links to extremist activity, even if they are not illegal e.g. through attending meetings, distributing literature or fundraising?
  • Has the person expressed support for terrorist attacks, extremist causes or their leaders either verbally or in writing?
  • Is the person using extremist narratives and ideology to explain personal disadvantage?
  • Does the person justify the use of violence to achieve political or ideological goals?
  • Have there been significant changes to the person’s appearance and/or behaviour which indicate that they identify with groups with extremist views?
  • Is there reason to believe that the person either has taken part, or is planning to take part, in extremist training?
  • Is the person known to have possessed, or is actively seeking to possess and/ or distribute, extremist literature or related materials?
  • Has the person been a perpetrator of hate crime?
  • Is there a pattern of regular or extended travel within or outside the UK which, together with other signs, might suggest the person is taking part in extremist training or activity?
  • Has the person sought to disguise their true identity? Have they used documents or cover to support this?
  • Is there evidence to suggest that they are accessing the internet for the purpose of extremist activity? (e.g. are they part of closed network groups, accessing extremist material, contacting associates covertly via Skype / e-mail etc)
  1. Possible indicators that an individual may be exposed to radicalising influences are:
  • Does a significant adult or other person in the individual’s life have extremist views or sympathies e.g. their parent, spouse, partner or close friend?
  • Does the person associate with people known to be involved in extremism - either because they mix with known individuals or because they go to locations where these individuals are known to operate?
  • Does the person possess, or are they seeking to access, violent extremist literature or material likely to incite racial/religious hatred or acts of violence?
  • Has the person accessed violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element?
  • Has the person travelled for extended periods of time to international locations known to be associated with extremism?
  • Is there evidence of any other sources of extremist ideological, political or religious influence on the person from within or outside UK?
  1. Possible indicators that an individual may be seeking answers about their identity are:
  • Does the person demonstrate conflict and confusion about their personal identity? For example, are they feeling disconnected from their cultural / religious heritage and uncomfortable with their place in the society around them?
  • Is the person searching for answers to questions about their identity, faith or belonging?
  • Does the person demonstrate a simplistic or flawed understanding of religion or politics?
  • Does the person reject UK values and institutions?
  • Has the person come into conflict with their family over religious beliefs / lifestyle / dress choices?
  • Has there been a significant shift in the person’s behaviour or outward appearance that suggests a new social / political or religious influence?
  1. Possible sources of frustrations or resentment that might make individuals more vulnerable to radicalisation are:
  • Has the person experienced any trauma in their lives, particularly any trauma associated with war or sectarian conflict?
  • Has the person witnessed, or been the victim of, racial or religious hate crime or sectarianism?
  • Does the person have a strong sense of grievance or feelings of injustice about their own experience? For example, do they feel that they have been discriminated against or disadvantaged because of who they are, or that they have suffered as a result of aspects of Government policy.
  • Does the person experience, or feel that they experience, a lack of meaningful employment appropriate to their skills?
  • Is the person a refugee or other foreign national awaiting a decision on their immigration/nationality status?
  • Does the person feel that people like themselves are threatened or systematically disadvantaged or discriminated against?
  • Have international events in areas of conflict and civil unrest had a disproportionate impact on the person resulting in a noticeable change in their views or behaviour (beyond the emotional impact generally experienced by people observing the suffering of individuals e.g. the deaths of children in areas of conflict)?

(Absence of) resilience factors

  1. Factors which might reduce individuals’ resilience to radicalisation are:
  • Does the person have insecure, conflicted or absent family relationships?
  • Does the person display a lack of affinity or understanding for others, or social isolation from peer groups?
  • Does the person have low self esteem or feelings of failure?
  • Is the person socially isolated, with a lack of friends/support networks?
  • Does a young person spend a lot of time alone, or out unsupervised?
  • Does the person have any learning difficulties or mental health support needs?
  • Has the person experienced rejection by their family, peers or social or faith group?
  • Has the person disassociated from an existing friendship group and become involved with a new and different group of friends?
  • Does the person have a previous history of involvement in crime, experience of imprisonment or problems with resettlement/reintegration having come out of prison?