What is Radicalisation? The process by which a person comes to support extreme ideologies. It can result in a person becoming drawn into terrorism and is in itself a form of harm. There is no obvious profile of a person likely to become involved in extremism or a single indicator of when a person might move to adopt violence in support of extremist ideas. The process of radicalisation is different for every individual and can take place over an extended period or within a very short time frame.
What is Extremism? Extremism is 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. (Definition from the Government Counter-Extremism Strategy)
What is Terrorism? Terrorism can occur anywhere in the world with atrocities carried out in support of various ideologies. In the UK, Terrorism is defined (Terrorism Act 2006) as a violent act that:
- Endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action
- Involves serious violence against a person
- Causes serious damage to property
- Creates a serious risk to the public’s health and safety
- Interferes with or seriously disrupts an electronic system
Terrorism can be motivated by a range of ideologies or other factors, including religion, politics and race.
It’s important to remember that not all extremist groups commit terrorist or violent acts. However, some groups pose particular threats, both online and offline. (Information from Educate Against Hate Website). Terrorist groups will often draw on extremist ideology as a justification for their acts.
In the UK, we face threat from terrorist organisations formed in Iraq and Syria, and groups linked to Al-Qa’ida. The internet has given these groups the ability to communicate their messages to people in other countries that previously would’ve been difficult, and wrongly use religion to justify their actions. We also face threat from far-right groups who promote a divisive narrative and exploit the general public’sanxieties about the rise of Islamist extremism, deprivation and global conflicts.
What is Prevent?
Prevent is part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy that aims to stop people becoming terrorists. It is a multi-agency approach to safeguard people at risk of radicalisation. It includes a duty on schools to recognise that some students are vulnerable to radicalisation and to have a clear safeguarding procedure in place to act upon concerns.
How does Prevent work?
It looks at building a deeper understanding of how individuals become radicalised. This helps to identify ways of preventing people from becoming terrorists or supporting violent extremism.
Typically, a radicalisation process includes exposure of an individual to extremist viewpoints that may eventually influence the person to carry out an act of violent extremism or terrorism. This could take week, months or even years. It is possible to intervene during this process and stop someone becoming a terrorist or supporting violent extremist activity.
Useful Contacts and Information
There is a lot of information about Prevent available on the Home Office website or on the Educate Against Hate website http://educateagainsthate.com/
Reporting terrorism concerns online here: https://www.gov.uk/report-terrorism
If you believe someone is at risk of radicalisation you can help them obtain support and prevent them becoming involved by raising your concerns and making a referral, either to the Academy Safeguarding Lead, or contact the Safeguarding Referral Unit: [email protected]
Anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321
Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111