3.11 Safeguarding Children and Young People Against Radicalisation and Violent Extremism



‘Radicalisation’ refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.

‘Extremism’ is defined in the 2011 Prevent strategy as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.

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

‘Radicalisation’ refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.

‘Terrorist-related offences’ are those (such as murder) which are not offences in terrorist legislation, but which are judged to be committed in relation to terrorism.


Prevent and Channel

The current threat from terrorism and extremism can involve the exploitation of vulnerable people, including children and young people.  This can include involving them in extremist activity in the UK or abroad.

Section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on specified authorities  to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. The Prevent 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 then exploit.

Find out more about the Prevent duty.

Channel is part of the Prevent strategy. The process is a multi-agency approach to identify and provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism.


The NSPCC list the following as signs that may indicate a child is being radicalised:

  • isolating themselves from family and friends
  • talking as if from a scripted speech
  • unwillingness or inability to discuss their views
  • a sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
  • increased levels of anger
  • increased secretiveness, especially around internet use.

Children who are at risk of radicalisation may have low self-esteem, or be victims of bullying or discrimination. Extremists might target them and tell them they can be part of something special, later brainwashing them into cutting themselves off from their friends and family.


Actions to be taken

If concerns are raised about the child or young person and radicalisation/violent extremism, the Referrals Procedure should be followed.

The Prevent duty builds on existing local partnership arrangements. Local Safeguarding Partnerships are responsible for co-ordinating what is done by local agencies for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in their local area.

Local authorities are vital to all aspects of Prevent work. Effective engagement with parents / the family is also important as they are in a key position to spot signs of radicalisation. It is important to assist and advise families who raise concerns and be able to point them to the right support mechanisms.

Online material related to terrorism or extremism should be reported

Further information

This page is correct as printed on Sunday 14th of July 2024 05:33:28 PM please refer back to this website (http://hipsprocedures.org.uk) for updates.