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What are agencies working to Prevent?

The Prevent Agenda is the way that agencies are working to prevent the Radicalisation of children and young people.

Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and violent extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.

There is no obvious profile of a person likely to become involved in extremism or a single indicator of when a person might move to adopt violence in support of extremist ideas. The process of radicalisation is different for every individual and can take place over an extended period or within a very short time frame.

The Government has set out the guidance for agencies to follow in relation to the Prevent Agenda.

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Areas of concern?

Three main areas of concern have been identified Nationally:

  • Increasing the understanding of radicalisation and the various forms it might take. This will enhance the skills and abilities of professionals to recognise signs of radicalisation
  • Identifying a range of ways to intervene and providing the expertise to professionals to apply these appropriately
  • Ensuring that processes are in place to safeguard the wellbeing of children living with or in direct contact with known extremists

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A Child or Young Person may be Considered Vulnerable to Radicalisation if they:

  • Feel a sense of social isolation or expressions of an ‘us and them’
  • Exhibit social isolation – losing interest in activities they used to enjoy, distancing themselves from friends and social groups
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Are experiencing a personal crisis
  • Are individuals with feelings of unmet aspirations or a sense of injustice
  • Are being overly secretive about their online viewing
  • Are becoming more argumentative or domineering in their viewpoints, being quick to condemn those who disagree and ignoring views that contradict their own
  • Are downloading or promoting extremist content
  • May be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging
  • Have a pre-existing conviction that their religion or culture is under threat
  • Have abnormal routines, travel patterns or aspirations
  • Have Special Educational Needs – social interaction, difficulties emphasising with others and being able to understanding the consequences of their actions, and being aware of the motivations of others
  • Have a need for adventure or excitement
  • Have a history of criminal behaviour

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What to do if you are worried about the Radicalisation of a child or young person?

Ifyou suspect a child to be suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, which includes being radicalised, then a child protection referral should be made in line with the pan-Dorset Child Protection Procedures.