Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Some individuals may be vulnerable to persuasion to change their behaviour and become radicalised. This is an area of concern for the Government and has been highlighted in the Counter Terrorism Strategy – Prevent.

Prevent is part of the Government's COuNter TErrorism StraTegy (CONTEST) and it has four key work strands:

  1. Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks
  2. Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
  3. Protect: to strengthen our protection against a terrorist attach
  4. Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack.

The three national objectives that have been identified for the Prevent strategy:

  1. Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it
  2. Prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support
  3. Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.

Locally we have seen acts of terrorism with Nicky Reilly in 2008 and the bombing of the Giraffe café and nationally Bilal Abdullah in 2007 and the attempted bombing of Glasgow airport.

The relevance of Prevent with safeguarding is that a person may lack the mental capacity to understand the choices they are making.

It is important to recognise vulnerability:

  • Crisis – personal or identity
  • Personal circumstances
  • Unemployment/Under-employment
  • Criminality
  • External factors.

And the recognition of potential radicalisation - a change in a person’s behaviour, their circle of friends, the way in which they interact with others and spend their time for example:

  • Unusual actions or requests for assistance
  • Patients or staff accessing extremist material online
  • Use of extremist or hate terms
  • Writing or artwork.

The Prevent strategy, here, focuses on working with vulnerable individuals who may be at risk of being exploited by radicalisers and subsequently drawn into terrorist-related activities. The NHS has a number of responsibilities to support the delivery of the Prevent agenda and the:

  • Ensuring every organisation has a nominated Prevent lead
  • Ensure all organisations review their policies and procedures to reflect the objectives of Prevent and that they have clear procedures for identification and escalation
  • Responsibility to raise awareness
  • Ensure frontline staff are trained.

If a referral is received, all health organisations are required to provide further information on the individual and on family members. The information received will be considered against multi-agency information to decide if there is a risk of a terrorist attack that needs addressing.