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Prevent helps to keep communities safe from the threat of terrorism and violent extremism by stopping people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

The Prevent Duty was introduced under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. Under this, authorities such as local councils, schools, healthcare providers, and the police have to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. This means these authorities have a duty to take certain steps to support people at risk of becoming drawn into extreme views or beliefs (radicalised). This can include offering counselling, mentoring, and education.

Signs and vulnerabilities

Radicalisation can happen to individuals of any age, religion, ethnicity, social class, or educational background.

There are many signs and risk factors that may indicate that someone is at risk of becoming radicalised. These include:

  • being influenced or controlled by a group
  • an obsessive or angry desire for change or ‘something to be done’
  • spending an increasing amount of time online and sharing extreme views on social media
  • personal crisis
  • need for identity, meaning and belonging
  • mental health issues
  • looking to blame others
  • desire for status, need to dominate

For further information on the signs of radicalisation, visit What are the signs of radicalisation? on the ACT Early website.

How to make a referral

Anyone can make a Prevent referral. If you are concerned that an individual is showing signs of radicalisation, it is important to share this information. Being referred to Prevent is not a punishment, but a means of providing support. Prevent referrals will not appear on the individual’s criminal record. All reports will be handled sensitively; your identity will not be shared with the individual without your permission.

If a crime is taking place, or there is an immediate threat to life, dial 999.

To make a referral, call the National Police Prevent advice line on 0800 011 3764, or use the Dorset Police online referral form.

For updates on a report, or for general advice before making a referral, call 01202 229 319 or email

Online material promoting terrorism or extremism can be reported online on the GOV.UK website.

Channel program

The Channel program may offer support to people who have been identified as being at risk of radicalisation, but has not yet engaged with any terrorist activity before escalation can happen. It is completely voluntary and confidential. 

The Channel panel consists of professionals from many services including the police, healthcare providers, and social workers. The panel meets regularly to closely monitor the risk of the individual and organise tailored support. This may include:

  • specially trained intervention providers
  • counselling and mental health support
  • substance misuse services
  • education or careers support
  • housing support

These interventions help to reduce the impact of vulnerability factors on the individual, increase resilience, and redirect away from extreme or terrorist beliefs.

Cases are only closed when there are no further concerns. Reviews take place after 6 and 12 months, and the individual may re-enter Channel if necessary.


Some useful documents to support you:

Use the National Prevent Form and email referrals to

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