Advice for Parents/Carers, Employers and staff

The foundation of all that we do is about keeping students safe and supporting their social and educational development.

We know that young people have a natural curiosity and this can at times lead them down paths that may not be safe.  The following points relate to Radicalisation and Extremism but if you have any concerns regarding Safeguarding please do not hesitate in contacting anyone below.

PREVENT is one of 4 strands of the Government’s counter terrorism strategy (CONTEST).  The UK currently faces a range of terrorist threats and those people who pose a threat seek to radicalise and recruit people to their cause.  Therefore early intervention is at the heart of PREVENT.

The commonly used definitions within the PREVENT agenda are as follows:

  1. An ideology is a set of beliefs.
  2. Radicalisation is the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism that may lead to terrorism.
  3. Safeguarding is the process of protecting vulnerable people, whether from crime, other forms of abuse or from being drawn into terrorism-related activity.
  4. Terrorism is an action that endangers or causes serious violence, damage or disruption and is intended to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
  5. Vulnerability describes factors and characteristics associated with being susceptible to radicalisation.
  6. Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, Individual and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

Why might a young person be drawn towards extremist ideologies?

  1. They may be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging
  2. They may be driven by the desire for adventure and excitement
  3. They may be driven by a need to raise their self-esteem and promote their ‘street-cred’
  4. They may be drawn to a group or individual who can offer identity, social network and support
  5. They may be influenced by world events and a sense of grievance resulting in a need to make a difference

How might this happen?

  1. Online – the internet provides connectivity and interaction.  As we know internet usage has increased dramatically over the last 10 years and the use of social media is part and part of everyday life.  These can be useful tools but we need to be aware there are powerful programmes and networks that use these media to reach out to young people and can communicate extremist messages.
  2. Peer Interaction – young people at risk may display extrovert behaviour, start getting into trouble at College or on the streets.  They may also mix with other young people behaving badly but this is not always the case and often become withdrawn and isolated

Recognising Extremism – signs may include:

  1. Out of character changes in dress, behaviour and peer relationships
  2. Secretive behaviour
  3. Losing interest in friends and activities
  4. Showing sympathy for extremist causes
  5. Glorifying violence
  6. Possessing illegal or extremist literature
  7. Advocating messages similar to illegal organisations such as ‘Muslims against Crusades’ or other non-proscribed extremist groups such as the English Defence League

How can you support young people to stay safe?

  1. Keep lines of communication open, listen and talk to them about their interests
  2. Talk to them about what they see on TV or the internet and that this may not be the whole picture
  3. Allow and encourage debate and questioning on local and world events and help them to see different points of view.
  4. Encourage them to show an interest in the local community
  5. Help them to understand the dangers of becoming involved in situations about which they may not have the full information, this includes about it being okay to have views and trying to change things but they should not take violent action against others or support those that do
  6. It is difficult to monitor young people’s online activity but remind them about the safe use of the internet

If you have concerns or questions around this please contact the following:

  • If an imminent threat of harm to others the Police on 999 or the Anti-Terrorist Hotline 0800 789 321
  • College:
    • Designated Senior Safeguarding Lead  – Dawn Cooke Ext 5555 – dawn.cooke@procat.ac.uk
    • Designated Safeguarding Officer- Claire Steadman - Ext 5559 – claire.steadman@procat.ac.uk
    • Safeguarding Officers:
      • Canvey - Jerry Whiteley, Louise Pinks
      • Basildon – Deborah Mead, Alan Claughan
      • TUCA – Mark Davison, Helen Russell

 

For further information please see our full Prevent policy