Communities and safety

Prevent radicalisation

Are you concerned about someone who is at risk of radicalisation?

If so, get in touch with the council's Prevent Safeguarding Team to discuss your concerns. We can support vulnerable people and prevent them from being drawn into extremism or terrorism as part of the UK Government Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Contact the Prevent Safeguarding Team in confidence 

You can also call the Merseyside Police Prevent Team on 0151 777 4878.

If you believe your situation is an emergency, call 999.

What happens next?

We will contact you to discuss your concerns within three days.

This might involve us completing a referral to enable us to share information with our partners and start the safeguarding process. This will ensure we provide the most appropriate help and support.

No support can be provided to anyone without first obtaining their informed consent.

Any support that we do provide is done so through the Channel programme, an early intervention and multi-agency approach to protect vulnerable people by:

  • identifying individuals at risk
  • assessing the nature and extent of that risk
  • developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned

We may offer support in the following areas:

  • support from a specialist mentor
  • social care support
  • specialist mental health support
  • help with accessing appropriate education support
  • housing support

Causes and signs of radicalisation

Many of the factors that put people at risk of radicalisation are the same as those that put people at risk of becoming involved in drug and alcohol misuse, child sexual exploitation and gangs.

You may notice changes in a person's behaviour, appearance or speech - however, remember there may be other reasons for these changes.

Exploiting vulnerability

The following factors might contribute to a vulnerable person becoming radicalised:

  • The need for belonging
  • Bereavement
  • Looking for a cause or reward
  • Mental health
  • Isolation
  • A sense of injustice or grievance
  • Access to extremist material online
  • A desire for power, respect or status
  • Bullying
  • Drug or alcohol misuse

Changes in behaviour or appearance

Radicalisation may be accompanied by sudden or gradual changes to a person's behaviour or appearance. This may include some of the following:

  • Changes in mood, patterns of behaviour or being secretive
  • Possession of violent extremist literature or use of inappropriate language or speech
  • Expression of extremist views or sympathy with extremist causes
  • Seeking to engage or recruit others to support extremist ideologies, extreme groups, social media groups or marches
  • Preaching or attempting to impose their views on others
  • Isolating themselves from family and friends
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Change in language or use of words
  • Fixation on a new subject or person


Those vulnerable to radicalisation must be safeguarded. 

Whilst a single factor could be enough to cause someone to become radicalised or to support terrorism, being subjected to a combination of the recognised risk factors can often create the perfect conditions for radicalisation to occur.

There is no single profile of what an extremist might look like or what it is that might cause someone to become radicalised.

Those involved in extremist activity can come from a range of backgrounds with different life experiences - the reasons for becoming radicalised will be unique to them and may take place over an extended period or happen within a very short time frame.

Report a non-PREVENT adult safeguarding concern

If you are a professional and want to report a non-PREVENT adult safeguarding concern, please see the professional referral process for adult safeguarding.