1. Introduction

  1. ION acknowledges that the UK government considers current threat from Terrorism and Extremism to be real and severe and that it can involve the exploitation of vulnerable people, including children, young people and adults.
  2. All ION Trustees and staff should have an awareness of the PREVENT agenda and the various forms of radicalisation takes in being able to recognise signs and indicators or concern and respond appropriately. 
  3. This policy is encompasses the government guidelines designed to provide a clear framework to structure and inform our response to safeguarding concerns for those people who may be vulnerable to the messages of extremism. 
  4. As part of our learning processes we have included details of the local inter agency process and expectations in identifying appropriate interventions based on the threshold of need and intervention model and the Channel process (see below). We also include the government definitions for radicalisation and extremism. 
  5. Radicalisation is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.
  6. Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas (HM Government Prevent Strategy, 2011). 
  7. As an institution of higher education, ION has an important role in providing appropriate platforms to challenge extremist views and ideologies through the provision of learning and research and the protection of academic freedom and promotion of free speech, debate and liberal values. Preventing people from being drawn into terrorism is synonymous with our concern for student and staff welfare and wellbeing. These factors and other important aspects of our response to the Duty are contained in a set of ION Prevent Principles.

2. ION’s PREVENT Principles 

  1. ION’s implementation of the Prevent Duty will be informed and moderated by a range of other duties and responsibilities which include, but are not limited to, equality and human rights legislation, data protection and freedom of information laws and the protection of individuals from harassment and racial and religious hatred.
  2. The response to the Duty will be proportionate, consistent and appropriate to the scale and nature of risks identified.
  3. All kinds of extremism is within scope including, but not limited to, religious, ideological, political, animal welfare and environmental extremism. Policy, communication and training will need to challenge views of extremism that are inaccurate, overly-simplistic, stereotypical, or are themselves divisive.
  4. All members of the ION community are included in the scope of those that may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism, i.e. the response will not be limited to consideration of vulnerable students.
  5. All members of the ION community should develop sufficient knowledge and understanding to meet their responsibility to act to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. Different staff will have different responsibilities depending on their role.
  6. The requirements will be embedded in existing policies and processes wherever possible, rather than creating a new layer of stand-alone documentation.

3. Equality, Diversity and Community Cohesion

  1. Through our teaching and support the Institute aims to guide our students to understand others, to promote common values and to value diversity, to promote awareness of human rights and of the responsibility to uphold and defend them, and to develop the skills of participation and responsible action.
  2. We aim to encourage working towards a society with a common vision and sense of belonging by all. A society in which the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued; a society in which similar life opportunities are available to all; and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools and in the wider community.

4. National Guidance and Strategies

  1. PREVENT is a key part of the Government’s strategy to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Early intervention is at the heart of PREVENT in diverting people away from being drawn into terrorist activity. PREVENT happens before any criminal activity takes place. It is about recognising, supporting and protecting people who might be susceptible to radicalisation. The PREVENT strategy objectives are:

Ideology:

respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it.

Individuals:

prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are  given appropriate advice and support

Institutions:

work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which we need to address.

  

5. Vulnerability/Risk Indicators

  1. The following lists are not exhaustive and all or none may be present in individual cases of concern. Nor does it mean that vulnerable people experiencing these factors are automatically at risk of exploitation for the purposes of extremism. The accepted view is that a complex relationship between the various aspects of an individual’s identity determines their vulnerability to extremism.
  2. There is no such thing as a ‘typical extremist’ and those involved in extremism come from a range of backgrounds and experiences. The following indicators may help to identify factors that suggest a person or their family may be vulnerable or involved with extremism:
  3. Vulnerability

Identity crisis:

Distance from cultural/religious heritage and uncomfortable with their place in the society around them.

 

Personal crisis:

Family tensions; sense of isolation; low self-esteem; disassociating from existing friendship group and becoming involved with a new and different group of friends; searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging.

 

Personal circumstances:

Migration; local community tensions; events affecting country or region of origin; alienation from UK values; having a sense of grievance that is triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination or aspects of Government policy.

 Unmet aspirations:

Perceptions of injustice; feeling of failure; rejection of civic life.

 Criminality:

 Experiences of imprisonment; poor resettlement/reintegration, previous involvement with criminal groups.

  1. Access to extremist influences
    • Reason to believe that the person associates with those known to be involved in extremism
    • Possession or distribution of extremist literature/other media material likely to incite racial/religious hatred or acts of violence
    • Use of closed network groups via electronic media for the purpose of extremist activity
  2. Experiences, behaviours and influences
    • Experience of peer, social, family or faith group rejection
    • International events in areas of conflict and civil unrest had a personal impact on the person resulting in a noticeable change in behaviour
    • Verbal or written support of terrorist attacks
    • First-hand experience of racial or religious hate crime
    • Extended periods of travel to international locations known to be associated with extremism
    • Evidence of fraudulent identity/use of documents to support this
    • Experience of disadvantage, discrimination or social exclusion
    • History of criminal activity
    • Pending a decision on their immigration/national status
  3. More critical risk factors include:
    • Being in contact with extremist recruiters
    • Articulating support for extremist causes or leaders
    • Accessing extremist websites, especially those with a social networking element
    • Possessing extremist literature
    • Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues
    • Joining extremist organisations
    • Significant changes to appearance/behaviour

6. Referral and Intervention Process

  1. Any identified concerns as the result of observed behaviour or reports of conversations to suggest that the person supports terrorism and/or extremism, must be reported to the CEO, Dean or Business Manager immediately and no later than the end of the working day. 

7. Prevent-related training 

  1. The information contained on this policy is Basic Level 1 training, which should be undertaken by all staff and trustees.
  2. Staff that fall into one of the following groups should additionally undertake Intermediary Level 2 training, which is a 25-minute, online learning module provided by the National College of Policing:
    • Module and Year leaders
    • Student Support Team staff
    • Student Recruitment staff
    • Business Manager
  3. This training will enable staff undertaking key operational roles to be able to more confidently identify people who are exhibiting behaviours that may indicate they are at risk of being drawn into terrorism.
  4. The training can be accessed here: http://course.ncalt.com/Channel_General_Awareness/01/index.html
  5. Additional resources

 

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