The presentation gave
an insight into safeguarding children from
radicalisation. This issue was included on the Improving Lives
Select Commission Work Programme in 2022/2023. The purpose of the
presentation was to facilitate the scrutiny of the work that
councils do with their partners, to safeguard children from
radicalisation in line with the statutory duties under
The Chair invited Emma
Ellis, Head of Community Safety and
Regulatory Services and Carol Adamson,Community Safety Service
Manager to give the presentation.
The presentation gave
an overview the following content:
Partnership work and governance.
Awareness raising and training.
Prevent Duty performance review and quality
Harms of Hate work with school.
different to other counter terrorism topics, as it focused on the
non-criminal space aimed at safeguarding individuals before they
entered any criminality.
requirements of the Prevent Duty were a result of the Counter
Terrorism and Security Act 2015 which required local authorities to
lead on prevention work and co-operate in partnership working. The
duty applied to public bodies including schools, education, and
childcare providers. It also stated that public bodies must have
due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into
important part of the duty was providing adequate training to staff
to enable them to spot any associated risks and provide the
schools, the duty ensured a focus on safeguarding and protecting
students from extremist ideas and building resilience by ensuring a
strong school ethos, strong values and by providing a safe space
for debate in schools so that young people could develop critical
to governance structures for counter terrorism duties, there was
the Safer Rotherham Partnership Board, which had three subgroups
underneath. These subgroups were the Prevent Partners Group, the
Channel Panel and the Protect and Prepare Group. All groups had
links to the South Yorkshire Contest Board, the Safeguarding Adults
Board and Rotherham Safeguarding Children Partnership.
an annual counter terrorism local profile that set key areas of
risk and a quarterly counter terrorism policing briefing which
identified risks, threats and referrals.
a local prevent risk assessment based on the counter terrorism
local profile, which was completed every year with partners at the
Prevent Partners Group. This risk assessment was
what structures, safeguards and mitigations were in place and
analysed any potential gaps. The results of the local prevent risk- assessment directly informed the
Partnership Prevent Plan.
performance reports were also provided to The Safer Rotherham
Partnership Board and annual updates were reported to the Children
and Adults Safeguarding Boards.
Channel Duty formed a key part of Prevent and was a multi-agency
approach in the non-criminal space, which aimed to identify and
provide support to individuals who were at risk of being drawn into
terrorism. The referral pathways adopted a check and share model,
which trained the relevant employees to understand signs of
vulnerabilities and susceptibility to radicalisation. The model
encouraged employees to share any concerns by making a safeguarding
referral or contacting the police in situations of immediate
danger. For Rotherham Council employees the referral was completed
through the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
could also be made directly to the counter terrorism police and it
was noted that the Prevent Team were keen for employees and Elected
Members to seek any required advice via the dedicated contact line.
National structures ensured that people could report any concerns
regarding emerging terrorist activity anonymously.
referral was received by MASH or adult safeguarding, counter
terrorism police would complete gateway checks and consider whether
there was a viable concern or threat. If they felt the individual
concerned could be susceptible to extremism, they would refer the
case into the gateway channel. Where there were any identified
vulnerabilities the usual safeguarding procedures ran alongside the
Channel Panel was a national legal requirement for every local
authority and the panel was required to provide early intervention
to children, young people, and adults through a multi-agency
approach. The Channel Panel was a voluntary process, therefore, all
adults were required to consent to receiving the support of the
panel and must fully understand the support that would be provided
in order to give informed consent. For a child under the age of
eighteen, the parents or legal guardian of the individual were
required to provide consent for the individual. However, for young
people who were sixteen or over although formal consent was
required from parents or legal guardians, the panel also worked
with the individual to gain their consent as well.
were provided of the types of support given to children and young
people in Rotherham through Channel. These included the
from school and colleges via a trusted teacher, head of year or
intervention with a young person, parents and carers and family
around building confidence and self-esteem, managing anger and
to mental health services and autism assessments.
advice for families, where housing circumstances were causing
Intervention Provider, which was a specialist mentor.
statistics and data could not be shared publicly due the data being
related to counter terrorism policing, therefore individual and
specific case studies were also restricted from public
Rotherham Borough was on trend with the national data with more
referrals being received for males than females. Extreme right-wing
issues and concerns were predominately related to the Rotherham
Borough, with less referrals received for religious
common referral sources were predominantly the police,
neighbourhood teams, schools and educational settings, health care
providers, local authorities, and prisons. Referrals from family,
friends, or communities were less frequent, although these were
website was specifically aimed at family and friends and provided
advice regarding potential concerns.
was a legal duty on every partner organisation and therefore every
partner organisation was required to provide an update to the
policing group on a regular basis.
Office provided training packages that were available to the public
and were promoted to the voluntary community sector and associated
Council employees were required to complete a mandatory online
e-learning module for Prevent and there were further optional
models for any employee wanting to learn more about Prevent. There
was also a ‘Guide to Prevent’ leaflet offered to all
employees who were unable to access the online e-learning. The
basic level requirements for training employees were to ensure
the main risks and threats.
recognise the signs of vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism
or harmful extremism.
to refer concerns.
of available support programmes and interventions.
Radicalisation Training took place during Safeguarding Awareness
Week in November 2022 and was attended by 35 professionals. The
training covered the following:
to young people.
of online forums where they may be at risk.
young people and families.
further information and support.
Office funding was provided to the local authority to tackle
radicalisation following a successful bid. There were two hundred
places available and Shout Out UK would deliver the training, which
would cover the risks of radicalisation faced by young people and
vulnerable adults through online forums, gaming and social media
spaces. The training was provided in three modules and were
Teachers and school staff.
Children, family workers and professionals.
Parents and carers of neurodivergent children.
a Digital Champions Network that was established during
Safeguarding Awareness Week in 2021. The network had over one
hundred members and included professionals and members of the
public. The network was an information sharing network which
regularly shared information on training, emerging issues and
Office required local authorities to submit a yearly
self-assessment which was assessed against a set of ten
benchmarking criteria. The rating was backed up by comprehensive
evidence and included areas for development addressed by the
Partner Prevent Plan. The self-assessment was completed for 2023
and was reviewed by the Home Office Regional Advisor, following the
review Rotherham scored highly in all 10 benchmarked areas.
‘Harms of Hate’ Programme had been implemented across
schools within the Rotherham Borough. There was a dedicated
Community Safety Officer within the Safer Stronger Communities Team
who had led on this initiative since June 2022. The initiative
included creating projects to engage children and young people, in
learning about the harms of hate to individuals, communities and
society and build resilience to hateful narratives. It also
provided a mechanism for teachers to introduce the topics of hate
and harmful extremism into the curriculum.
of work conducted with schools and young people were as
One Armbands Project.
Swinton Academy Book Cover Project.
educational sessions delivered by South Yorkshire
Hate Crime Project, which was group awareness raising sessions with
young people, and one to one restorative interventions.
Safety Sessions delivered with young people, professionals, and
Hate Event on 9th February 2023 which was attended by
over two hundred year six pupils from targeted schools.
The Chair thanked the
officers for the presentation and invited questions, this led to
the following points being raised during discussions:
confirmed that Rotherham was a non-priority area nationally
therefore the local risk was low.
Channel Panel met monthly, and all cases were reviewed, work with
individuals in the Channel Panel was on-going until the risk level
reduced. Closed cases were reviewed after six and twelve months, to
re-evaluate the risk level.
a rise in cases after the Coronavirus lockdown as children returned
to school and were receiving more face-to-face contact. Numbers had
reduced back down to a normal level.
referral process included multi-agency partnership working to
gather as much information as possible. There were occasions where
it was concluded that an individual was susceptible to exploitation
and was not a risk to counter terrorism. In this case the
individual remained part of the channel process as a closed case.
There was regular check and challenge to ensure Channel Panel
decisions were reviewed.
non-priority prevent area the focus was currently on tackling hate
crime, building community cohesion and tackling online extremism.
The local authority was working closely with the voluntary
community sector who were engaging in this work. Funding was
received from the Local Government Authority to open dialogues with
local communities. This work was focused on working with
communities to facilitate conversations around concerns. The
outcome of these conversations highlighted that communities were
more concerned about the cost-of-living crisis rather than
wider work around online safety being completed to address the lack
of referrals received from family, friends and the community. It
was important to raise awareness through the digital champions and
referrals received from family, friends and the community differed
to the official statistics. Referrals from family, friends and the
community were often raised to other public bodies and referrals
were processed through those public bodies. There was evidence that
family, friends and communities did seek advice when
As part of
the work across Children’s and Young Peoples Services, all
cases were audited on a regular basis. There was an internal
escalation process that provided challenge and checks. All agencies
involved were responsible for safeguarding individuals.
was part of the Child Exploitation Strategy and learning from
Channel Panel cases was part of Home Office requirements, therefore
it this was a standard agenda item at every channel panel
‘Harm of Hate’ event included presentations from
external providers. A national campaigner who campaigned for the
end of knife crime presented at this event, to highlight the
importance of the impact of knife crime.
concerns in local communities around the topic of migration,
however there were extremist groups and activists that had
exploited these concerns to cause tensions within communities.
Where there had been protests of this nature, officers had worked
in those areas to promote respect, tolerance and encourage local
were responsible for making the distinction between freedom of
speech and hate crime.
safeguarding and prevent lead for The Rotherham Foundation Trust
was a member of the Safer Rotherham Partnership and worked
alongside representatives from the Integrated Care Board. Regular
information was provided to General Practises through partnership
Channel Panel had representation from The Rotherham, Doncaster and
South Humber Foundation Trust, the 0-19 School Nurse Service and
the Integrated Care Board.
Members and Parish Councillors had access to the Home Office online
training module and member sessions were provided on extremism
risks and threats yearly. There was also information provided
through the Elected Members newsletter.
was provided to Parish Councils around safe room hire to ensure
Parish Councils could protect against the possible misuse of their
premises to promote extremist messages.
As part of
wider work and engagement, the Council worked in partnership with
local faith groups regarding early interventions, building
community cohesion, respect and an understanding of diversity and
referred into the Prevent Scheme that did not make it into a
Channel Panel space were referred into MASH for screening and for
consideration of any wider concerns. Rotherham Council worked with
Channel to check, challenge and review any decisions. There were
also regular audits to ensure all vulnerabilities of the
individuals referred were addressed and that the appropriate
support had been put into place.
Channel Panel had a core membership of all statutory agencies and
had strong links to the Multi-Agency Public Protection Agency
(MAPPA) and the Young Offender Institute. Additional members were
invited to join specific Channel Panel meetings where
thanked officers for their informative presentation. In concluding,
the Chair outlined that in her view assurances had been received
that the systems and processes were in place to ensure appropriate
safeguarding. If further enquires arose, there were opportunities
to raise these through consideration of the Safer Rotherham
Partnership Annual Report and on-going scrutiny of the Child
presentation be noted.
available training and information leaflets be circulated to
Elected Members, with relevant online materials added to the
Elected Member Portal.
online training be circulated to Parish Councils as appropriate.
Thought would be given to training opportunities accessible to
details for the dedicated Community Safety Officer within the Safer
Stronger Communities Team be distributed accordingly.