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So what actually is radicalisation and why is it a concern that needs to be identified withing safeguarding adults, children and young people?

Radicalisation is defined as causing someone to become an advocate of radical political or social reform by supporting terrorism and violent extremism. The radicalisation of adults, children and young people may include encouraging them to undertake violent activities on the grounds of religious belief and may include attacks on others including suicide attacks.

Adults, children and young people may be exposed to messages about terrorism through a family member or friend, a religious school or group, or through social media and the internet and this creates risk of a child or young person being drawn into criminal activity and exposure to significant harm.

There is a Cross-Government strategy to stop people becoming terrorists, known as ‘Prevent’. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 contains a duty on specified authorities to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. This is also know as the Prevent duty.

Prevent Duty and Safeguarding is not about preventing students and individuals from having political and religious views and concerns but about supporting them to use those concerns or act on them in non-extremist ways. Providers from across the sector can find lots of resources to support them in adopting the Prevent Duty. Under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 it places a duty on certain bodies, such as schools, colleges, academy’s and children’s services to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism".

The government has defined extremism in the Prevent Duty 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." This also includes calls for the death of members of the British armed forces.

British values are defined as "democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs"; institutions are expected to encourage students to respect other people with particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010, which are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Individuals who may be influenced by extremists views may be having an identity and personal crisis, they may be unsure of own cultural and religious background, not sure of own place in a multi-cultural society, have low self-esteem, may change friends and relationships, start asking questions on background, faith and culture, arguing with family and previous friends.

 

For some, their personal circumstances may have changed and the individual may have experienced racism. They may have been discriminated against, have observed local community tensions, watched and looked up events affecting their country or region of origin, or become disillusioned with systems and local and regional policy.

Indicators may start to be noticed and those who know the person well, may be the first to notice changes, such as a withdrawal from family and social events, change in mood, changes in language used and appearance. They may become secretive when using the internet, openly expressing extremist views and having literature about violent extremism. They may hang out with, meet and association with known extremists and try to recruit others. They may also insight violence.

If you believe an individual adult, child or young person is starting to display some of the indicators identified, then you have a duty under safeguarding to report your concerns. This should be done within your organisations b policies and follow local authority and local government guidance.

Holding radical or extreme views is not illegal, but inciting a person to commit an act in the name of any belief, is in itself an offence.