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What to do if you are worried about a child


What is Prevent?

The aim of Prevent is to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent also extends to supporting the rehabilitation and disengagement of those already involved in terrorism.

The Prevent duty requires specified authorities such as education, health, local authorities, police and criminal justice agencies (prisons and probation) to help prevent the risk of people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It sits alongside long-established safeguarding duties on professionals to protect people from a range of other harms, such as substance abuse, involvement in gangs, and physical and sexual exploitation. The duty helps to ensure that people who are susceptible to radicalisation are supported as they would be under safeguarding processes.

Prevent has three main objectives:

  • Tackle the ideological causes of terrorism
  • Intervene early to support people susceptible to radicalisation
  • Enable people who have already engaged in terrorism to disengage and rehabilitate

It focuses on early intervention before any illegal activity takes place. The aim is to reduce the likelihood of individuals who support a violent extremist ideology from being drawn into terrorism. 

As part of Prevent, the Channel programme provides support at an early stage to people who are identified as being susceptible to being drawn into terrorism.

The Channel programme requires local authorities to set up and chair a multi-agency panel consisting of the police and other statutory partners.  The Channel Panel is the principal decision-making and coordinating body for the Channel programme.

It works by:

  • identifying individuals who are susceptible to being drawn into terrorism
  • partners working together to assess the nature and extent of the risk and
  • if appropriate providing a support package tailored to individual needs.

The Channel programme is a voluntary scheme. Any individual or parent/carer of a young person has to consent to take part in Channel. It is not a criminal process. 

Prevent referrals to the Channel Panel should be made to the  using the National Prevent Referral Form which will be received by the Prevent policing and the local authority safeguarding team for assessment.

If the child at risk has care and support needs refer your concerns to the relevant safeguarding team.


  1. Call the Safeguarding Team on: 0118 937 3641
  2. Email the Team on CSPOA@brighterfuturesforchildren.org
  3. Email Prevent National Referral Forms to: preventreferralsreading@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk


 West Berkshire:

  1. Calling the safeguarding team on 01635 503090
  2. Emailing the team on child@westberks.gov.uk
  3. Email Prevent National Referral Forms to: preventreferralswestberkshire@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk


  1. Calling the safeguarding team on 0118 908 8002
  2. Emailing the team on triage@wokingham.gov.uk
  3. Email Prevent National Referral Forms to: preventreferralswokingham@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Referrals or Prevent related concerns to be submitted to the email addresses above, dependent on the Local Authority Area.

Thames Valley Police Referral Pathway TVP Prevent Referral Pathway

When sending referrals to this email address, please ensure all biographical details are included e.g. full name of the person being referred, DOB, address. Other useful information should be included where possible e.g. details of family members, social media details, phone numbers. The referrer should also include their name, role and contact details. When explaining the reason for the referral, please provide as much information and context as possible to help us make an assessment.

This is managed daily during office hours Monday to Friday. A member of the Thames Valley Police Prevent Team will contact you to take further information or provide advice. If you have immediate concerns or you need to contact outside of these hours please call 101 and ask for the on call Special Branch Sergeant.  Thames Valley Police will contact the relevant local authority children's services if there is a risk/or the issue relates to a child or young person.

To access online e-learning training, please click on the links below or refer to our training page for more information.


Making a referral to Prevent (Guidance)


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