Preventing Radicalisation in Cumbria

With effect from 1st July 2015 the Counter Terrorism and Security Act gave specified authorities a legal duty to have "due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism".
The threat we face from terrorism is real, and the Prevent strategy recognises that we cannot arrest our way out of the problem.  The Prevent strategy aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The focus of Prevent is on the significant threat posed by international terrorism and those in the UK who are inspired by it.  It is also concerned with reducing  threats, risks and vulnerabilities posed by domestic extremists such as those from the far right and far left, extreme animal rights activists and those involved in Northern Irish related terrorism. 

Prevent is supported by three objectives:

  • ideology; responding to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it
  • individuals; preventing people from being drawn into terrorism and make sure that they are given appropriate advice and support
  • institutions; working with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.

Prevent is not a Police programme.  It requires the involvement of local authorities and a wide range of other organisations.

In Cumbria, Prevent work has been undertaken through the Cumbria Prevent Board.  The group works to deliver the actions in our action plan, which is reviewed  annually and is based on recent Home Office Inspections and the Counter Terrorism Local Profile produced by Cumbria Constabulary.

The multi-agency approach to protect people at risk from radicalisation is called Channel. This uses existing collaboration between local authorities, statutory partners (such as the education and health sectors, social care, children and youth services, specialist youth service and offender management services), the police and the local community to: 

  • identify individuals at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism 
  • assess the nature and extent of that risk 
  • develop the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

Channel is about safeguarding children and adults from being drawn into involvement in terrorism. It is about early intervention to address vulnerabilities, and divert people from harm.

Within Cumbria, a multi-agency panel of experts, chaired by the local authority, meets on a monthly basis to discuss referrals to the Channel Panel. The purpose of this meeting is to put in place a package of measures to support individuals who are at risk of becoming radicalised.

Vulnerable people, including children, young people and adults can be exploited by people who seek to involve them in terrorism or activity in support of terrorism.

In Cumbria, this exploitation is recognised by all partners, including the Police as a potential safeguarding issue. Guidance has been produced for all professionals working with children and adults for whom there are concerns that they are vulnerable and at risk of becoming involved in violent extremist activity.

This guidance can be found on the Local Safeguarding Childrens Board website, and applies to both adults and children. 

More material for professionals involved in the delivery of the Prevent Agenda, can be found on the Councils SharePoint Site.  

For more details please contact either or

Initial referral
Concerns were raised at a professional's case conference regarding a white male in his 20's who had been seeking support for issues regarding his extreme thoughts. Professionals were worried about him acting on his extreme right wing viewpoints. Some of his comments were of a violent extremist nature and the potential for him to act them out was a real concern. It transpired that he had already been directly involved with far right groups and was overtly supportive of this on social media.  

Information gathering and Channel
The male was adopted into the Channel programme.

Information sharing identified that there had been significant events in his life that may have shaped the viewpoints he held.  He was involved in an incident involving a person from a visible ethnic minority group which left him with an injury. He was unable to drive and lost his job as a result of the injury and subsequently became bitter about employment opportunities. He also developed a grievance against those that were not part of his own perceived British values and he began to research extremist material.

Channel professionals agreed that the best way to address the core issues/concerns was to employ a Far Right specialist intervention provider.  

A meeting was held with the male to offer him the Channel support in the form of a Far Right mentor. He was very keen for this and sessions began soon afterwards.

Once the mentoring support started it became clear that the male had a twisted view of far right ideology. The intervention provider was able to dispel myths and provide a sound basis for the male to re-evaluate his `extremist` thoughts.

During this time the male also engaged successfully with a local voluntary sector organisation that enabled him to build further personal and work related skills in order to benefit his employment opportunities.

Channel success    
He is now finding meaningful employment and is able to focus on his family life. He is not engaging with Far Right groups now and realises that violent extremism is not the way forward in trying to make any political viewpoint.

If you are worried about anyone who is at risk of being radicalised by people who are involved in, or support, terrorism please contact:

  • in an emergency, dial 999
  • Anti-Terror Hotline - 0800 789 321.

If you consider anything to be suspicious or connected with terrorism, contact Cumbria Police on the non-emergency number 101.

Referrals to the Prevent Programme

If you suspect it, report it.