Prevent is part of CONTEST, one of the four elements of the Government's Counter Terrorism Strategy. The aim of the Prevent Strategy is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent tackles all forms of extremism - including both Islamist extremism and far rights threats. This is achieved by challenging terrorist ideology; supporting vulnerable people and supporting sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation.
Kent County Council and Medway Unitary Authority have the lead role in delivering the Prevent Strategy in Kent and Medway in accordance with the Prevent Duty Guidance and work with partners such as the Police and Health.
Prevent has three key objectives:
- respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism
- support vulnerable people and prevent people from being drawn into terrorism
- work with key sectors and institutions to address the risks
Prevent is a formal duty for Kent County Council and Medway Unitary Authority under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. We all have a role in protecting vulnerable children, young people and adults from being drawn into terrorism, keeping Kent and Medway safe. Extremism and radicalisation in our community are very real and being aware is the first step. You can help reduce the threat from terrorism, radicalisation, and extremism by being vigilant, knowing what to report and reporting it.
Prevent works with individuals and communities by using voluntary early intervention to encourage them to challenge extremist and terrorist ideology and behaviour. This can involve:
- support in schools, youth clubs, and community groups
- promoting positive values and community cohesion
- protection from extremist dialogues
- encourage safe and open debate and critical thinking
- encouraging reporting of concerns
- engage in positive activities
- engaging in open and honest dialogue around prevent
What is Channel?
Channel is a key element of the Prevent Strategy and Local Authority Channel Panels are a statutory requirement under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. Channel Panel is a multi-agency approach to identify and provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism, including people holding and expressing violent extremist views. The overall aim of the programme is early intervention and diverting people away from potential risk. Channel involves agencies working together to give individuals access to services such as health and education, specialist mentoring and diversionary activities - Channel can (uniquely) provide theological or ideological mentoring. For those requiring support an appropriate package is offered based on an assessment of their vulnerability.
Unlike mainstream safeguarding for adults and children, there is no threshold to make a Prevent referral for an individual to access assessment and specialist support. There may be cases that require a safeguarding response in conjunction with Prevent. Channel provides early support for anyone who is vulnerable to being drawn into any form of terrorism or supporting terrorist organisations, regardless of age, faith, ethnicity, or background. Individuals can receive support before their vulnerabilities are exploited by those who want them to embrace terrorism, and before they become involved in terrorist -related activity. While it remains rare for children and young people to become involved in terrorist activity, young people from an early age can be exposed to terrorist and extremist influences or prejudiced views. As with other forms of safeguarding strategies, early intervention is always preferable.
What is Dovetail?
Dovetail was introduced as a pilot programme in several areas across the country, including Kent. The pilot assessed the feasibility of transferring the resources and responsibility for administering the programme and case management aspects of Channel from the Police to local authorities. Dovetail has been in place in Kent since 2016 and Medway since late 2020 and continues to be the process by which Channel is managed.
How do I report concerns?
- If you have an immediate concerns about the welfare of any persons, then contact the Police by calling 999.
- make a referral (if you have any concerns or are unsure about making a referral then discuss it with your organisation's safeguarding lead/Prevent lead and/or contact the Kent and Medway Prevent Team by emailing email@example.com)
- contact the Kent and Medway Prevent Coordinator, Jess Harman by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- contact the police on 101 or 0800 789 321 or complete an online report form
- report online material promoting terrorism or extremism
Terrorist attacks can sadly lead to spikes in hate crimes against certain groups, and many people in communities across the country are likely to feel vulnerable. Such action is not tolerated, is taken extremely seriously, and should always be reported.
Information found online
If you've found illegal or harmful information, pictures or videos online, you can report your concerns anonymously.
How can I support Prevent?
- be vigilant - radicalisation is usually a process, not an event, and factors or events may contribute towards the radicalisation for an individual
- complete Prevent e-learning
- familiarise yourself with the factors that contribute towards radicalisation and how to make a Prevent referral
- for a greater understanding of the support Prevent can offer, visit Let's Talk About It
Prevent is a shared responsibility. Don't rely on others - report any concerns you have immediately.
Kent and Medway Prevent Team
Nick Wilkinson - Prevent and Channel Strategic Manager
Strategic lead for Prevent and Channel at Kent County Council, Chair of Kent Channel Panel. Chair of Southeast Prevent and Channel Chairs meeting. Lead officer for Kent Community Safety Agreement priority of Preventing Extremism and Hate.
Jess Harman - Prevent Coordinator
Coordinates Prevent activity across Kent and Medway, promotes the Prevent Strategy across both statutory and non-statutory partners, develops and oversees a partnership Prevent plan and Counter Terrorism risk assessment and delivers Prevent training to a range of agencies.
Georgia Dawson - Prevent Community Engagement Officer (PCEO)
Supporting Kent and Medway communities and encouraging engagement with Prevent. Promoting awareness and addressing misconceptions of Prevent to build resilience and confidence within communities. Improving outreach and awareness and working with partners to ensure local and emerging needs are addressed.
Sally Green (Medway and North/West Kent) and Jill Allen (South and East Kent) - Prevent Education Officers (PEO)
Supporting educational establishments across Kent and Medway up to secondary level to implement Prevent through teaching, training, and guidance. Partnership working with the Department of Education and network of PEO's.
Helene Morris - Channel Supervisor
Supervises and coordinates all activity under the Channel process. Undertaking section 36 Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 authorisations for a case to be heard at the Channel Panel. Partnership working with a wide range of organisations.
Lisa Coward and Courtnie Carter - Channel Coordinators
Case managing of Channel referrals and assessing the vulnerability and risk of an individual to radicalisation. Coordinating and working closely with statutory agencies, including Home Office intervention providers to create bespoke intervention plans for all individuals recognised as needing relevant Channel support.
For regular updates follow us on Facebook - Kent County Council and Medway Prevent.
What can I do?
Please make sure that you are up to date with your Prevent training and have a clear understanding of the Prevent Duty, how to make Prevent referrals as well as knowing who your Prevent lead is for your organisation - and check that they are receiving regular updates. Speak with the Prevent Coordinator if you are unsure.
To book training please contact the Prevent Team by emailing email@example.com.