Prevent referrals

What is Prevent and how to make a Prevent referral.

The purpose of Prevent is to safeguard and support vulnerable people to stop them becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism of any form.

Prevent aims to:

  • tackle the causes of radicalisation and respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism
  • safeguard and support those most at risk of radicalisation through early intervention, identifying them and offering support
  • enable those who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate

Anyone can make a referral, and they are received from a wide range of partners including communities, education, health, youth offending teams, police and children's social care. Members of the public can also refer into the police Prevent team. 

Referrals are first screened for suitability through a preliminary assessment by the police Prevent team. If appropriate, an assessment of the individual's vulnerabilities is made which is based around 3 criteria:

  • engagement with a cause, group or ideology
  • intent to cause harm
  • capability to cause harm

If suitable, the case is then referred into the Channel process.

Channel is a confidential and voluntary process whereby safeguarding professionals assess the case and discuss the most appropriate support options. As such, individuals have the final say on whether they accept support or not. The support options on offer encompass an array of different interventions, addressing: educational, vocational, mental health and other vulnerabilities tailored to the individual's needs. Ideological support is also common, which may include discussion with credible ideological experts and faith leaders.

If you're worried about someone and think they are at risk of getting involved in terrorism or extremism, you should make a Prevent referral using the referral form attached to this page. If it's an emergency, please tel: 999.

Lets Talk About It - Working Together To Prevent Terrorism has more information about spotting the signs. To raise awareness of Prevent you can also look at the printable resources available.  

You can also contact the Prevent team tel: 0300 122 8694. Or you can call anonymously tel: 0800 789 321. If you see online material promoting terrorism or extremism, you can report it online.

Referral processes for both adults and children are attached to this page. 

Whilst the police Prevent team can recognise vulnerabilities and support the safeguarding process, they are primarily focused on counter terrorism and domestic extremism risk. Please make sure other safeguarding measures for both adults and children and younger people (including early help assessments) are progressed in a timely manner.

Useful documents

Documents are published in either Portable Document Format (PDF) or standard Microsoft Office formats. You can download software to view these documents for free if you are unable to view them.