What is Radicalisation?


Radicalisation is the process by which someone comes to support extreme ideologies. In this context we refer to extremism that is harmful and hateful. This can sometimes be the precursor to terrorism which involves serious criminal acts for advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.  Extremism and radicalisation can have a devastating effect on individuals, families and communities.  Helping to protect people from extremist influences is an important part of our overall safeguarding role.   

What is Prevent?

Prevent is safeguarding in the same way that we safeguard people from, neglect, sexual exploitation, county lines, gangs etc.  It’s the responsibility of all of us to play our part in safeguarding people from harm.   Prevent helps to protect people at risk of being groomed and exploited by harmful extremists which could lead to them harming themselves or others.  It is one of the four work strands in the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy. 

There’s no single profile of someone at risk but some people can be more vulnerable to being exploited and you can spot worrying behaviour at an early stage and help the person to get the support they need to move away from harmful extremism.

Prevent in Bolton

Bolton takes a proportionate response to Prevent as part of its overall cohesion work. In Bolton we pride ourselves on a long tradition of strong and resilient communities, good relationships and positive partnerships.  However there are some individuals and groups that might advocate or promote harmful extreme views including for example, hatred, divisions and the use of violence.  There are many varied ideologies that motivate people and groups, and we take a balanced approach acknowledging the right to free speech, human rights and equality.

What is Channel?

Channel is one part of Prevent.   It is an early intervention multi-agency safeguarding scheme that supports people who are at risk.  Channel provides practical help tailored to individual needs. Consent from the individual (or parents and guardians in the case of children) must be given before any Channel support is put in place.  The process is a voluntary agreement.

The many testimonials of people that have participated in Channel show a high level of professional care, successful safeguarding and positive transformation of lives.

Prevent referral

How do I make a referral for someone that I am concerned about?

You can make a referral to Prevent.  If you raise a concern, you will not be wasting time and you won’t ruin lives, but you might save them.

The process for Bolton referrals is:

  • NOTICE: Person vulnerable Identified
  • Person in immediate danger or immediate risk to public - PHONE POLICE
  • CHECK: If no immediate danger or risk: Discuss with team manager/designated safeguarding lead (DSL) or Channel single point of contact (SPOC) for your service or organisation.
  • SHARE: If you decide to make a referral then use the Bolton Prevent referral form and send to the following email address: channel.project@gmp.police.uk.
  • It is important that you put as much information into the referral form as possible so that it can be fully assessed. 
  • For advice/guidance about concerns you can also contact Channel Police: channel.project@gmp.police.uk, 0161 856 6362.
  • Alternatively, people can visit Counter Terrorism Policing’s safeguarding website, https://actearly.uk/  ACT Early or call the national police Prevent advice line on 0800 011 3764 to discuss their concerns.

Prevent Referral

Prevent - Referral Form

Contacts and further resources

Contact Prevent at community.safety.services@bolton.gov.uk

We have a comprehensive list of information sources and resources available on request from the above email address as well as training plan that maps Prevent training requirements according to different roles and responsibilities.

This handbook has been designed as a guide to support Prevent training.  The detailed contents include: What is Prevent and what does it do? What is Channel? Ideology and examples of extremist ideologies;  Radicalisation – the process: online radicalisation, conspiracies theories and Why people become radicalised;  Who is vulnerable to radicalisation? How might I spot someone who is being radicalised? How to make a referral for help; Real stories of people supported; Key points to remember; Hiring out Venues; Contacts and further resources and What does good practice look like in education?

Key contacts and resources

ACT: Action Counters Terrorism

Act Early

Act Early

Counter Terrorism Policing's safeguarding website www.actearly.uk is aimed at family and friends to encourage them to share concerns that a friend or loved one might be vulnerable to radicalisation.

Are you worried that someone you care about is at risk of radicalisation, but not sure what to do?  #ActEarly and find out what support is available.

Home Office Prevent and Channel

Home Office Online Prevent Training Modules

Explains the radicalisation process and how practitioners can identify vulnerabilities.

Online learning

  1. Prevent awareness eLearning

    Explains the radicalisation process and how practitioners can identify vulnerabilities.

  2. Prevent Referrals

    The training is for anyone who has been through the Prevent awareness eLearning or a Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP), and so already has an understanding of Prevent and of their role in safeguarding vulnerable people. 

    The training follows on from the Prevent awareness training.

  3. Channel Awareness

    This training package is for anyone who may be asked to contribute to, sit on, or even run a Channel Panel. It is aimed at all levels.

Government Prevent Duty Guidance

Government Channel Guidance

Greater Manchester Prevent

Banned Groups


Resources to help young people talk about radicalisation

  • Thinkuknow - home - The education program by The National Crime Agency designed to keep young people safe both on and offline