Quick Exit


Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism. 

A radicaliser is an individual who encourages others to develop or adopt beliefs and views supportive of terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism. 

Radicalisation can be seen as a two-stage process.

The first stage encompasses an attitudinal journey, where a vulnerable individual begins to hold extremist views – vulnerabilities being influenced by background factors (e.g. criminality, troubled family background), experiences and influences (e.g. friends and family), and unmet psychological needs (e.g. for belonging and status).

The second stage focuses on behaviours, where extremist views turn into violent actions influenced by social, emotional or experiential factors. Within both stages there are opportunities to proactively and reactively support individuals and families to protect them from the risks of radicalisation.

HM Government Strategy - Prevent +

Prevent is the Government’s strategy to stop vulnerable people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, in all of its forms. Prevent forms part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy ‘CONTEST’ and it is divided into four priority objectives:

  • Pursue: stop terrorist attacks.
  • Prepare: where we cannot stop an attack, mitigates its impact.
  • Protect: strengthen overall protection against terrorist attacks.
  • Prevent: stop people becoming terrorists and supporting violent extremism.

Prevent works at the pre-criminal stage by using early intervention to encourage individuals and communities to challenge extremist and terrorist ideology and behaviour.

Definition of Extremism - vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for different faiths and beliefs.

Definition of Terrorism - an action that endangers or causes serious violence, damage or disruption with the intention of influencing the Government or intimidating the public, to advance a political, religious or ideological cause.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation if they believe it is concerned in terrorism, and it is proportionate to do. 

A list of the Governments Proscribed organisations can be seen by visiting this link

Early intervention can prevent individuals being drawn into terrorist-related activity in a similar way to criminal activity such as drugs, knife or gang crime. Health and care services have been identified as an important partner in preventing vulnerable people of becoming radicalised. It is key that all health and care staff are able to identify and voice a safeguarding concern, which will be handled seriously.

Prevent is aligned with Community Safety and Safeguarding; all communities are affected by violent extremism and those most vulnerable to the ideologies, particularly through the use of the internet.

What might make an individual vulnerable to radicalisation? +

Identity Crisis 

  • Distance from cultural / religious heritage;
  • Uncomfortable with their place in the community around them 

Personal Crisis 

  • Family tensions;
  • Sense of isolation;
  • Adolescence;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Disassociating from existing friendship group and becoming involved with a new and different group of friends;
  • Searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging.

Personal Circumstances

  • Migration;
  • Local community tensions;
  • Events affecting country or region of origin;
  • Alienation from freedom,
  • Tolerance of others, and accepting personal and social responsibilities;
  • Having a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy;
  • Being easily led and desperate to please or impress others;
  • Unmet Aspirations Perceptions of injustice;
  • Feelings of failure;
  • Rejection of civic life. 


  • Experiences of imprisonment;
  • Poor resettlement/reintegration;
  • Previous involvement with criminal groups. 

In addition to the vulnerabilities, an individual may also display some critical risk factors: +

Critical Risk Factors 

  • Being in contact with extremist recruiters;
  • Articulating support for violent extremist causes or leaders;
  • Accessing violent extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element;
  • Possessing or accessing violent extremist literature;
  • Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage.
  • Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues;
  • Joining or seeking to join extremist organisations;
  • Significant changes to appearance and / or behaviour;

Other Risk Factors

  • Use of racist language;
  • Use of extremist rhetoric. 

Signs that someone might be being radicalised +


Short tempered
New found arrogance
Often Crying


They become fixated on a subject
Closed to new ideas or conversations
Change in language or words
Asking inappropriate questions
Develop a scripted speech
Saying inappropriate things such as a call to action against particular groups

Physical / Circumstantial 

Tattoos / Drawings
Extended use of internet or new found use of
Changes in routine
New circle of friends
Absent from usual meetings, gatherings, family activity
General change in appearance

What should I do if I suspect someone might be being radicalised? +

Prevent Referral Process:

All referrals of concern in respect of PREVENT should in the first instance, be directed to and recorded at Warrington Social Care Services, highlighting any potential concerns:

If the concerns were regarding a Child, the referral would be sent to:  childreferral@warrington.gov.uk

If the concerns were regarding an Adult, the referral would be sent to:


  • Upon receipt of a PREVENT referral at either Warrington Children’s or Adult’s first point of contact services, any immediate Safeguarding issues should be highlighted to and dealt with by the appropriate professional, following the usual Warrington Social Care Services process.
  • There is no need to conduct any checks with the MASH or partners with regards to the Terrorism or Domestic Extremism risk at this stage.
  • The Prevent referral form received will then be forwarded to Prevent Police via email to prevent@merseyside.police.uk by Warrington Local Authority first point of contact Children’s or Adults Services.

Further information:

For further information about the Prevent referral process view the prevent referral pathway document (below).

If you have any questions about filling in the form, please call: 01606 362121 (Cheshire Police Prevent Team)

Warrington Prevent Referral form - August 2020 (146.24 KB)

Warrington Prevent referral pathway - August 2020 (91 KB)

Warrington prevent training slides - January 2021 (2.02 MB)

Warrington prevent strategy 2020-2023 - January 2021 (492.24 KB) 

About Channel Panel +

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 may be appropriate for anyone who is vulnerable to being drawn into any form of terrorism. Channel is about ensuring that vulnerable children and adults of any faith, ethnicity or background receive support before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those that would want them to embrace terrorism, and before they become involved in criminal terrorist related activity.

A clear process is in place to ensure that the right people are referred to the panel.  If a referral is made, an initial risk assessment is carried out to ensure that it is an appropriate referral and, if it is, the Channel Panel agrees an appropriate support plan. Taking part in Channel is voluntary.

For more information about the Channel Panel click here

Training +

An e-learning module developed by HM Government 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.

As introductory training it will provide an important foundation on which to develop further knowledge around the risks of radicalisation and the role that you can play in supporting those at risk.

This training addresses all forms of terrorism and non-violent extremism, including far right wing and Islamist extremism threatening the UK.

You can access the e-learning by first of all registering via the following link here.

Further Information +

Home Office: Prevent Duty Guidance

Counter Terrorism Policing Helpful Advice - This document is intended to assist you to identify and respond to Suspicious behaviour, identify and deal with suspicious Items and respond to a firearms or weapons attack.

Counter Terrorism Policing - helpful advice (178.2 KB)

You can also visit GOV.UK/nactso

Reporting internet terrorist or extremist related information

The National Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) initiative allows anyone with any concerns, about terrorist or extremist-related material found on the internet, to report them anonymously online.

For concerns about the radicalisation of children you can get advice from the following websites:



Educate against hate

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Extremism text on a bit of cardboard being held in raised hand

hate written on a computer keyboard

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