The current threat from terrorism extremism in the United Kingdom can involve the exploitation of vulnerable people, including children, young people and vulnerable adults to involve them in terrorism or activity in support of terrorism.
Enfield Safeguarding Children Board recognises the specific need to safeguard children, young people and families from violent extremism. There have been several occasions both locally and nationally in which extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable children and young people to hold extreme views including views justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation. We are clear that this type of exploitation and radicalisation should be viewed as a safeguarding concern.
What is Prevent?
Prevent is part of the national counter-terrorism strategy and aims to stop people being drawn into or supporting terrorism.
The Prevent strand of the strategy focuses on three key areas which are:
- To respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat from those who promote it
- To prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support
- To work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address
By adopting a multi-agency approach to protect and support people at risk from radicalisation in Enfield we aim to safeguard children and adults from being drawn into terrorist-related activity and promote positive community cohesion.
In Enfield, the Council’s Community Safety Unit (CSU) takes the lead in a number of areas of partnership work from tackling anti-social behaviour to supporting the police in trying to reduce more serious crimes including the risk from terrorism.
The team work with local partners including the Metropolitan Police Service, the London Fire Brigade and the Safeguarding Board, along with other central Government teams in order to translate policy into action to protect local people.
The team can help you in a number of ways. If you are interested in understanding Prevent, accessing training or receiving more information you can contact Andrea Clemons, or specialist Prevent Officer Sujeevan Ponnampalam and they will be happy to assist.
Who is vulnerable?
There is no single profile of a potential terrorist but terrorist groups sometimes try to recruit people who are susceptible to radicalisation or already vulnerable in some why. This can happen in person or over the internet. Recognising the symptoms and taking action helps to safeguard the individual and those around them.
What support is available?
We work closely with local police and other services to deliver a multi-agency response. If you are worried that a child or young person you are working is at risk of extremism you can make a referral to Children’s Social Care in the usual way through the Single Point of Entry (SPOE). If you have concerns but are not sure whether a referral is required you can contact Sujeevan Ponnampalam to discuss.
If there are significant concerns, following an assessment the referral may be passed on to the ‘Channel’ safeguarding group to consider what support and interventions may be available Any interventions are tailored to meet individual needs and will include a range of activities such as mentoring, leadership skills and other practical assistance.
Is Training available?
The Safeguarding Board offers training for all professionals working with young people who might be a risk of radicalisation. For details visit the Training & Learning page. Training for schools and other agencies is also available via Enfield Council’s Prevent web page.