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Luton Borough Council

What is Prevent?

Prevent is all about keeping people and communities safe from the threat of terrorism. Safeguarding vulnerable people from radicalisation is no different to providing safeguarding against other forms of harm.

Prevent is one of the four strands of the government’s Counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Prevent responds to ALL forms of extremism - full details of the Prevent Strategy can be found on the Home Office website.

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While Prevent is a national strategy, it is delivered by your local authority.

The Prevent Team works to safeguard and supports people who are vulnerable to radicalisation through:

  • training frontline staff in recognising, referring and responding to radicalisation
  • commissioning projects to build capacity, increase resilience and improve understanding of extremism and radicalisation with partners such as schools, colleges, frontline staff, community groups, venues and parents
  • a referral service for concerns, which acts as an early intervention service to safeguard vulnerable individuals from radicalisation

And delivering community projects to:

  • raise awareness about issues in the community
  • build resilience within local communities and
  • provide information about what to do if you are concerned about someone who is vulnerable to radicalisation or you think is being radicalised.

Prevent is about safeguarding vulnerable individuals in the same way support is provided to those at risk of becoming involved in gangs, drugs, exploitation, or other forms of harm. Individuals vulnerable to being groomed into terrorism can also be offered support.

At the heart of Prevent we want to keep vulnerable children and adults safe from extremist grooming and offer help early – before someone becomes radicalised. Furthermore, we work with people and groups before a crime has been committed and this work focuses on:

  • ideology: challenging the ideological arguments or beliefs of terrorism and the threat we face from anyone trying to promote it
  • individuals: preventing people from being drawn into terrorism and make sure they are given appropriate advice and support
  • institutions: working with schools, colleges, community centres and places of worship where people may be affected by radicalisation

Channel is simply a safeguarding process which aims to prevent children and adults from being drawn into violent extremism or becoming involved in terrorist related activity. It is voluntary and works with the consent of the vulnerable person or if appropriate, their parents.

The Channel process aims to:

  • identify individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism
  • assess the nature and extent of that risk
  • develop the most appropriate support plan for the individual concerned

Channel in Bedfordshire is led by the Local Authority, where referrals to Channel are assessed by a multi-agency panel consisting of the local authority, Police, health and education professionals and other meet to discuss support options. These support options include a range of different interventions, addressing ideological, educational, vocational, mental health, and other vulnerabilities.

For more information about Prevent and Channel, check the following links:

  1. ACT Early
  2. Educate Against Hate
  3. National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

If you have any questions or concerns or you want to find out more how to help someone close to you visit Actearly

If you are worried about someone you can call the national police Prevent advice line 0800 011 3764, in confidence, to share your concerns with our specially trained officers.

This advice line is available every day 9:00am to 5:00pm. Calls outside of these hours will be transferred to specialist Counter Terrorism officers.

For more information visit Bedfordshire Police website - Terrorism in the UK

You can also call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 to report anything. (different number to Prevent advice line)

If you are a member of public sector staff such as a teacher, GP, police officer or social worker we would encourage you to continue to use your designated safeguarding route to make referrals to Prevent or seek further advice. The advice line is designed for members of the public to use, especially friends and family, or those who work with vulnerable or young people in volunteering roles. Remember in an emergency always call 999.

If you see online material promoting terrorism or extremism, you can report concerns anonymously - report it online

If you have any further queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your Local Authority Prevent team by emailing [email protected]


© 2023 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ