Radicalisation is the process through which people come to support violent extremism. Violent extremism involves supporting or using violence to achieve a cause. This can, in rare cases, lead people and groups to commit terrorist acts.
Radicalisation can take place when someone is groomed into supporting violent extremism. They may be encouraged to support extremist ideas, such as those linked to politics, religion or other causes. They may be encouraged to feel anger and intolerance towards other people, groups or communities and may come to believe that violence is needed to pursue their ideas. Radicalisation can happen over anything from a few days to several years.
Currently, concerns are greatest about radicalisation to causes associated with international terrorist activity and right wing extremism. The internet, social media and online gaming sites have become key places for promoting extremism and targeting people for radicalisation.
Signs that someone is being radicalised could include:
- Becoming more secretive, especially around internet use
- Spending increasing amounts of time communicating with friends met online
- Becoming isolated from family and friends
- Developing a fixation on a particular subject
- Expressing intolerance or hatred of other people and communities
- Changing appearance to reflect association with a group or cause
- Expressing thoughts about harming or using violence towards others
The Devon Approach
We have a dedicated partnership which works to help organisations and the public understand how and why people are drawn into violent extremism, support people who are vulnerable to grooming and radicalisation, and increase community resilience. We also work with local agencies to provide early intervention and support to keep vulnerable people safe.
We have recently launched a public campaign to raise awareness of the risks of online radicalisation – see more here.
HELP AND SUPPORT
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger contact 999.
If you are concerned that someone is being radicalised contact: 01392 225130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are concerned about someone’s safety or welfare contact:
The Devon Children and Families Partnership if you are concerned about someone aged under 18 – www.dcfp.org.uk.
The Devon Safeguarding Adults Partnership if you are concerned about someone aged 18 and over – www.devonsafeguardingadultspartnership.org.uk/reporting-a-concern
Report in confidence
Report suspicious behaviour or activity in strictest confidence through;
confidential police hotline – 0800 789 321
Crime Stoppers – 0800 555 111
Families For Life
Support for families of people affected by radicalisation.