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Preventing Extremism: Spot the Signs

Based on information provided by Let's Talk About It: Working Together to Prevent Terrorism.

You may be in a position to identify and support someone who may be vulnerable to becoming involved in extremism or terrorism. Public awareness and vigilance is a key element of 'Prevent', which is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism.

Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the Government's counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Spotting the Signs

Individuals can be drawn towards the process of radicalisation in a number of ways, many of which may overlap. When we talk about 'vulnerability' or 'susceptibility' within this context we mean individuals who, because of their circumstance, experiences or state of mind can be lead towards a terrorist ideology.

Click here for a list of potential vulnerabilities and more information on each.

It is not exhaustive, and all or none may be present in individual cases of concern. It is important to stress that there may be no direct evidence of criminal behaviour. Remember that safeguarding vulnerable people from radicalisation is no different to safeguarding them from other forms of potential harm.

What is Prevent?

The main aim of Prevent is to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. At the heart of Prevent is safeguarding children and adults and providing early intervention to protect and divert people away from being drawn into terrorist activity. It addresses all forms of terrorism, but continues to ensure resources and effort are allocated on the basis of threats to our national security.

Prevent covers all forms of terrorism and extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism. The Home Office works with local authorities, a wide range of government departments, and community organisations to deliver the Prevent strategy. The police also play a significant role in Prevent, in much the same way as they do when taking a preventative approach to other crimes.

  • Responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views;
  • Provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support; and
  • Works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with

More Information


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