The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (the Act) as modified by the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019, placed a duty on a number of organisations, including the local authority, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
The Prevent Duty was created by the Home Office as part of the government’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy and sets out the guidance for the local authority and its partners to prevent people becoming terrorists or engaging in extremism leading to terrorism.
The Duty aims to safeguard vulnerable people from harm, just like all other types of safeguarding such as human trafficking, gangs, drugs, child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse.
The Prevent Duty Guidance explains what steps the council and its partners are required to undertake to safeguard those at risk of becoming involved in terrorism or extremism or leading to terrorism.
- Prevent Duty Guidance - GOV.UK website
How we implement the Prevent Duty in Oldham
Regular updates are provided to the Community Safety Partnership Board, Oldham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership Board, and Oldham Safeguarding Adult’s Board.
Channel provides early support for anyone who is vulnerable to being drawn into any form of terrorism or supporting terrorist organisations, regardless of age, faith, ethnicity or background. Individuals can receive support before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those who want them to embrace terrorism, and before they become involved in criminal terrorist-related activity.
The Government’s Channel Duty Guidance sets out how we will take a multi-agency approach to safeguard individuals at risk from harm. Oldham’s Prevent safeguarding policy titled ‘Policy and procedures for safeguarding people at risk of being drawn into terrorism or extremism leading to terrorism’ has been developed to assist local practitioners to understand the Prevent Duty and the process for making a Channel referral in Oldham.
- Channel Duty Guidance - GOV.UK website
- Oldham's Safeguarding policy and procedure for Prevent and Channel
Making a Channel referral
If you are a practitioner and want to make a safeguarding referral because you have concerns that someone you work with or know is being drawn into terrorism or extremism, please complete and submit the online referral form:
What if I have concerns about a friend or family member?
Radicalisation is the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies. If you are worried someone close to you is becoming radicalised act early and seek help. The sooner you reach out, the quicker the person you care about can be protected from being groomed and exploited by extremists.
You can visit the Act Early website which offers help and support.
If you have concerns relating to an individual, you can also contact the Council’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 0161 770 7777 (Monday to Friday: 8.40am – 5pm).
If you have a concern about Terrorism and want to report an immediate threat to life or property, call 999 or the police anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.
Training for Professionals
The government has launched three new Prevent duty training courses, which are designed and appropriate, for staff working in sectors covered by the Prevent duty.
These include education, health, local authorities, police, prisons, probation, and youth justice. Other sectors that are not covered may also complete this training.
You do not have to complete all the courses and you should refer to your organisation's training requirements to determine which courses are appropriate for you.
The courses are as follows:
- Course 1 - Awareness course - GOV.UK
This training will provide an introduction to the Prevent duty, the forms of extremism and terrorism threatening the UK and develop your knowledge around the risks of radicalisation and your supportive role.
- Course 2 - Referrals course - GOV.UK
This course builds on the awareness course and will explain how to make a Prevent referral that is both informed and with good intention.
- Course 3 - Channel course - GOV.UK
This course will give you an understanding of the full Channel process and the intervention options available.
Freedom of Speech
The Counter Terrorism and Security Act states that ‘we must have particular regard to the duty to ensure freedom of speech’.
It is important that communities and individuals do not feel oppressed to express their views and are enabled to discuss, debate and have a respectful exchange of views.
We must remember that everyone is entitled to their own political view or opinion whilst remaining respectful to others.