What is it and who is it for?
Spot-the-signs is an informal two hour discussion group that works with two different types of beneficiaries. The first group are those individuals and families who are directly at risk or who have been already affected by a member of their family being radicalised. The second group are frontline practitioners or community groups, such as teachers or religious groups, who will have a duty-of-care to those that they work with or who attend their community sessions.
In both instances the discussion group takes participants through the issues relating to being radicalised, using case studies of those who have been affected and then discusses the underlying issues. It give tips on not just how to spot-the-signs, but equally of how to provide help to people who might be at risk of radicalisation.
Why is this an issue?
Ever since the London bombings of 7/7, the reality of how susceptible our communities have been to ‘home grown’ terrorist activities, has been in stark focus. While huge effort has been made to try and address this over the years, the threat is ever present, fuelled by the ideologies and activities of groups such as Al Queida and ISIS, but also the more recent growth of far-right extremism and intolerance of others. And it is simply so much easier for individuals and groups to share their thinking over the internet, to be heard and viewed at the click of a button wherever people might be. Conversely though, it is very difficult to see if someone is becoming radicalised.
Who should fund this type of work?
Our work in this area is aimed at statutory funders – government departments – and those who have a duty-of-care to protect those they are looking after (in response to the Prevent Strategy duty-of-care). In this instance we have worked with the Home Office for many years, but equally we work with local authorities and also front-line services such as the police, NHS and schools. They all need to ensure that they are providing the right kind of knowledge to ensure people who work with children, young people and those who are vulnerable, are safeguarded from the threat of being radicalised and can therefore spot-the-signs.