PREVENT POLICY


Introduction, Context & Scope

HFS London is a homestay agency providing Homestay throughout zones 1 – 4 in London for those aged 16+.

HFS London understands its responsibilities under the Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015 to prevent people of all ages being radicalised or drawn into terrorism and seeks to meet its obligations in the ways outlined in this policy.

This policy applies to everyone involved with HFS London, including directly employed staff and homestay hosts. All are expected to read and abide by this policy.

Leadership & Action Plan

Responsibility for ensuring Prevent Duty is met lies with the Directors, as does responsibility for the Prevent risk assessment/action plan and policy. Their duties are to ensure delivery of an effective risk assessment/ action plan and policy as outlined here. They can be contacted by email or by telephone on 02075109920. The Prevent Lead is Business Operations Manager Dino Randhawa, who will oversee Prevent Duty on a practical day to day basis within the organisation.

HFS London will undertake a risk assessment to identify the potential risks associated with students being drawn into terrorism. On the basis of this risk assessment HFS London will identify any actions which need to be taken to mitigate the risks and develop an appropriate action plan. This plan will be reviewed and updated annually, or sooner if appropriate.

Working with Local Partners

HFS London will maintain contact with the local police and authorities to understand their role and the support available via their Engagement Officers or Prevent Co-ordinators via the Channel process (The process is a multi-agency approach to identify and provide support to individuals who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism). It does this by

  1. identifying individuals at risk;
  2. assessing the nature and extent of that risk;
  3. developing the most appropriate support plan for the individuals concerned.

The subject’s consent is required (or parent’s consent for under 18s) before they undertake the programme.

Our local authority confirmed the Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCB) as being another useful organisation, specifically for cases where the student is under the age of 18.

Understanding Terminology

  • Terrorism: For the purposes of this policy, terrorism is defined as the use or threatened use of violence for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
  • Radicalisation: The act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of mind
  • Extremism*: Holding extreme views on political, religious or racial topics among others, which may deny rights to any group or individual. Can be expressed in vocal or active opposition to core British values.
  • Core British Values: including (i) democracy (ii) the rule of law (iii) individual liberty, (iv) respectful tolerance of different faiths or beliefs
  • NB: extremism can refer to a range of views, e.g. racism, homophobia, right-wing ideology, as well as any religious extremism.

Understanding Risks of Extremism

Staff, students and other adults (group leaders, etc.) may arrive already holding extremist views or may be influenced by a range of factors whilst in London: global events, peer pressure, media, extremist materials (hardcopy or online), inspirational speakers, friends or relatives being harmed, social networks, and more.

People who are vulnerable are more likely to be influenced. Their vulnerability could stem from a range of causes, including: loss of identity or sense of belonging, isolation, exclusion, mental health problems, a sense of injustice, personal crisis, victim of hate crime or discrimination, and bereavement. For example:

  • Identity Crisis: Distance from cultural or religious heritage and uncomfortable with their place in the society around them.
  • Personal Crisis: Family tensions, sense of isolation, low self-esteem, disassociating from existing friendships.
  • Personal Circumstances: Migration, local community tensions; events affecting country/region of origin, alienation from core British values, sense of grievance triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination.
  • Unmet Aspirations: Perceptions of injustice, feeling of failure, rejection of civic life.
  • Criminality: Experience of imprisonment, poor reintegration, previous involvement with criminal groups.

Signs that may Cause Concern

The following signs may suggest concerns and should be raised with the Prevent Lead Dino Randhawa; [email protected] or +44 (0) 20 7510 9921:

  • Talking about exposure to extremist materials or views outside school (i.e. in the homestay).
  • Changing attitude, e.g. suddenly intolerant of differences/having a closed mind
  • Changing behaviour, e.g. becoming isolated
  • Falling standard of work, poor attendance, disengagement
  • Asking questions about topics connected to extremism
  • Offering opinions that appear to have come from extremist ideologies
  • Attempting to impose one’s own views/beliefs on others
  • Using extremist vocabulary to exclude others or incite violence
  • Accessing extremist material online or via social network sites
  • Overt new religious practices
  • Possessing drawings or posters showing extremist ideology / views / symbols
  • Voicing concerns about anyone

 

Note – Any concerns relating to a person under 18 years is a safeguarding issue and should be dealt with by safeguarding staff Andrew Saleh (Safeguarding Lead), Grace Bailey (DP), Dino Randhawa (DDP). Where necessary the LSCB will be contacted as well.

Ways to Counteract Risks

  • Promote a safe and supportive international environment by clear expectation of accepted behaviours and those, including radicalisation and extremism, that will not be tolerated.
  • Promote core British values to students. Approach is to educate that this is how things are in UK; although it may be different to your country.
  • Challenge radical or extremist views in any context (formal or informal). In most situations this would require an immediate response, referring to international environment of London and the tolerance expected via Student and Host Guidelines, and then reporting concerns.
  • Be ready to react when world or local events, e.g. Paris attacks, cause upset and the likelihood of conflicting feelings being expressed. The Prevent Lead is to take the initiative in these situations.
  • Have strong filters on IT equipment and clear rules on accessing extremist/terrorist websites/uses of social networks to exchange extremist terrorist views.
  • Hosts get to know students, their home circumstances and friendship groups, making it easier to spot changes in behaviour and identify those in a vulnerable state, being observant in noticing any signs of radical or extremist behaviour.

Useful contacts: