Radicalisation and Prevent

What is radicalisation?
Radicalisation can be defined as the action or process of causing someone to adopt radical positions on political or social issues.

Radicalisation is inherently a secretive practice, and it can be hard to recognise when an adult or young person is subject to this hidden threat.

Radicalisation can present itself in a number of different ways. However, irrespective of the mechanism used, or the ideologies followed, it can pose serious risks to a person's safety.


Prevent is a government strategy that seeks to stop terrorist activity and individuals supporting violent extremism. It forms part of the Governments contest anti-terrorism strategy.

The Prevent strategy has three specific strategic objectives:

  • respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it
  • prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support; and
  • work with sectors and institutions where there are risks.

The health service is seen as a key partner in preventing vulnerable people being radicalised.

The specific Prevent objectives that relate to healthcare services are to:

  • support individuals who are vulnerable to recruitment or have been recruited by violent extremists
  • disrupt those who promote violent terrorism and support the places where they operate
  • address the grievances which radicalisers are exploiting.

Revised Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales HM Government 2015

Further information from NHS England is available here.


Training – Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP)

  • The government has devised a training workshop based on a DVD to raise awareness of prevent which is being rolled out in the UK.
  • HM Government has also produced some e-Learning training that offers an introduction to the Prevent duty, and explains how it aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being radicalised to supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists themselves. You can access this here.


Channel was first piloted in 2007 and rolled out across England and Wales in April 2012. Channel is a programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. The programme uses a multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people by:

  • identifying individuals at risk
  • assessing the nature and extent of that risk; and
  • developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

Channel panels have been set up in England to help prevent vulnerable individuals being drawn into extremism.

Channel Duty Guidance
Protecting vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism HM Government 2015

All staff must escalate a concern they have regarding these issues and objectives and have the confidence that the issue will be taken seriously and escalated and investigated appropriately. If you have information or suspect an active terrorist plot is taking place then you should contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 32.