Prevent at Mercuri

Prevent is a government initiative aimed at stopping people becoming involved with, or supporting, violent extremism.

Prevent is safeguarding and supporting vulnerable people to stop them from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

As an apprenticeship training provider Mercuri has a duty of care to safeguard our apprentices. Prevent is about safeguarding and supporting those vulnerable to radicalization. It is one of the four elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. The aim of Prevent is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting extremist causes.

  • Extremism: Vocal or active opposition to Fundamental British Values.
  • Ideology: A set of beliefs.
  • Terrorism: An action that endangers or causes serious violence to people or property.
  • Radicalization: The process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism.


“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). Radicalization is defined as the process by which people come to support terrorism and extremism and, in some cases, to then participate in terrorist groups.

When looking for signs of radicalized behaviour, you are looking for:

  • Isolating themselves from family and friends.
  • Talking as if from a scripted speech.
  • Unwillingness or inability to discuss their views.
  • A sudden disrespectful attitude towards others.
  • Increased levels of anger.
  • Increased secretiveness, especially around internet use.

Prevent aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism or supporting terrorism by;

  • Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks.
  • Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
  • Protect: to strengthen protection against a terrorist attack.
  • Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack.

What are the key elements of the Strategy?

Prevent addresses three distinct themes. These are:

1. Challenging the ideology that supports terrorism and those who promote it. All terrorist groups have an ideology. Promoting that ideology, frequently on the internet, facilitates radicalization and recruitment. A fundamental part of Prevent lies in challenging their ideology and disrupting the ability of terrorists to promote it.

2. Protecting vulnerable people from radicalization is usually a process not an event. During that process it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being drawn into terrorist-related activity. There are some analogies between this work and other forms of crime prevention.

3. Supporting sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalization A wide range of sectors are helping to prevent people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. The way Government works with particular sectors will vary. Priority areas include education, faith, health.


Channel is a voluntary, confidential programme which safeguards people identified as vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It is a multi-agency process, involving partners from the local authority, the police, education, health providers and others. Referring possible cases of early-stage radicalization is similar to safeguarding processes designed to protect people from gang activity, drugs, and physical or sexual abuse. Many types of support are available as part of the Channel programme, addressing educational, vocational, mental health and other vulnerabilities.

The Channel programme is:



A support programme – not a criminal sanction and it will not affect a person’s criminal record.

A referral can come from anyone who is concerned about a person they know who may be at risk of radicalization, whether a family member, friend, school leader, colleague or from a wide range of partners. Channel addresses all forms of terrorism, including Islamist, far-right and others. When someone makes a referral, lots of agencies work together to offer support where they consider it necessary and proportionate to do so. This involves a number of steps:

1. The local authority and the police carefully assess all referrals to see if they are suitable for Channel or whether a different type of support is more appropriate, such as mental health support.

2. If suitable, the referral is discussed with all relevant partners at a meeting called a Channel panel to decide if an intervention is necessary. The individual who has been referred to Prevent is informed and must give their consent (or via a parent or guardian if they are children) before an intervention can take place.

3. If Channel intervention is required, the panel works with local partners to develop an appropriate tailored support package.

4. The support package is monitored closely and reviewed regularly by the Channel panel.

The type of support available is wide-ranging, and can include help with education or career advice, dealing with mental or emotional health issues, drug or alcohol abuse, and theological or ideological mentoring from a Channel intervention provider (a specialist mentor).

Learn more about Prevent

Look at the Prevent pocket guide

Channel and Prevent multi agency panel fact sheet – Channel is a multi-agency programme which identifies and supports at risk individuals, and which delivers this strategic aim of Prevent. 

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT…is an initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance to the public in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.

Supporting Our Apprentices

British Values

Read more


Read more