Referrals to Prevent are made through Channel, an early intervention, multi-agency process designed to safeguard vulnerable, susceptible people from being drawn into violent extremist or terrorist behaviour.
The Prevent Channel programme works in a similar way to existing safeguarding partnerships aimed at protecting vulnerable people.
Channel is designed to work with individuals of any age who are at risk of being exploited by extremist or terrorist ideologues. The process is shaped around the circumstances of each person and can provide support for any form of radicalisation or personal vulnerabilities.
The Channel panel is chaired by a local authority and brings together a range of multi-agency partners to collectively assess the risk and to decide whether a support package is needed. The group may include statutory and non-statutory partners, as well as lead safeguarding professionals. If the group feels the person would be suitable for Channel, it will look to develop a package of support that is bespoke to the person. The partnership approach ensures those with the specific knowledge and expertise around the vulnerabilities of those at risk are able to work together to provide the best support.
Channel interventions are delivered through local partners and specialist agencies. The support may focus on a person’s vulnerabilities and personal risk around health, education, employment or housing, as well as specialist mentoring or faith guidance and broader diversionary activities such as sport. Each support package is tailored to the person and their particular circumstances.
A person will always be informed first if it’s felt that they would benefit from Channel support. The process is voluntary, and their consent would be needed before taking part in the process. This process is managed carefully by the Channel panel.
Anyone can make a referral. Referrals come from a wide range of partners including education, health, and youth offending teams, police and social services.
Referrals are first screened for suitability through a preliminary assessment by the Channel coordinator and the local authority. If suitable, the case is then discussed at a Channel panel of relevant partners to decide if support is necessary.
If you believe that someone is vulnerable to being exploited or radicalised, use the established safeguarding or duty of care procedures within your organisation.
Channel and Prevent Multi-Agency Panel (PMAP) guidance
Channel and PMAP are part of the Prevent strategy. The process is a multi-agency approach to identify and support individuals at risk of being drawn into terrorism.
The Channel Programme and FE providers
A leaflet explaining the Channel and Prevent programmes, which includes a flowchart. This resource was developed in London, with references and contacts to London, however, the system is similar throughout the country.
The UK government releases official annual statistics on the number individuals referred to and supported through the Prevent Programme in England and Wales: