Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact if the person needs urgent help?
You should always call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.
Why is it important for me to share my concerns early?
The quicker you share your concerns the sooner the person can get the help they need to move away from extremism. By seeking help and advice, you could stop the person causing harm, either to themselves or to other people. Trust your instincts. If things don’t feel right it’s important to act early and let us help.
How can I get some advice?
Call the national police Prevent advice line 0800 011 3764, in confidence, to share your concerns with our specially trained Prevent officers. The advice line is open 9:00am – 5:00pm every day.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a police non-emergency number is available as a text phone service on 18001 101.
In an emergency always dial 999.
Who will answer my call?
The advice line is staffed from 9:00am – 5:00pm every day and your call will be answered by a specially trained Prevent officer. If you call outside of these hours your call will be transferred to specialist Counter Terrorism officers. They are specially trained and will carefully assess any worries or concerns you share with them. All of the information you provide is treated in the strictest confidence. Your call won’t be recorded and you don’t have to give your details unless you wish to do so.
Will I have to give my name?
No, you don’t have to leave your name. You don’t have to say how you know the details either, although that may have an impact on the support we can offer. It may be hard for us to help someone if we don’t know all your details, so we would encourage you to tell us, but it’s your decision.
What sort of things will I be asked?
We’ll ask you questions about the person and why you are worried about them. We’ll ask you for their name and age, and it helps us if you can tell us a bit about your relationship to that person.
What if I’m not sure?
We’re here to help and will listen to your concerns. You will not be wasting our time. If you’re worried it’s much better to act early and tell us your concerns. We can advise and help find the right support if it’s needed. We only take action when help is needed. If there’s no cause for concern then talking to us can give you peace of mind.
If I make a call will the person be treated as a criminal?
Our approach begins by understanding that people are victims of radicalisation. We don’t view them as suspects or criminals and we understand that they may be vulnerable.
When someone is referred to us we offer early help so that we can avoid a situation in which someone’s views or behaviour escalates to a point where investigation and arrest may become necessary. Prevent stops people from being drawn into criminal activity and it offers a way out of extremism. Our approach is rooted in care and concern for those involved.
If the person is referred to Prevent will they get a criminal record?
Information held about referrals to Prevent is not a criminal record and it is not shared as part of a criminal records check by prospective employers, universities or colleges.
If I’m wrong will I get someone into trouble?
No. When you contact us our Prevent officers will make a very careful assessment of what you tell us. It’s better to share your concerns and we can advise you. Quite often there is no need for ongoing police involvement and the right support will come from other organisations we work with.
Will my call be recorded?
Your call to the national police Prevent advice line will not be recorded.
What will you do with my information?
When you make the call, you will be talking to specially trained Prevent officers or police staff. They will assess the information you offer before deciding what support and advice is needed.
If the Prevent officer you have spoken to feels there is no need for further action, we will not need to keep your information.
What records do you keep?
Records of the information given to us and what actions are subsequently taken are stored on a secure information system called the Prevent Case Management Tracker. They are monitored regularly and deleted when it is no longer necessary to keep them.
The police apply similar processes and record similar information to other safeguarding concerns like child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse or human trafficking. All records held are subject to legal requirements.
Why do you need to keep records?
We developed our method of recording information to help us understand individual vulnerabilities, to monitor whether these are increasing or if a particular intervention is working, to ensure there is consistent practice across the country, and to enable the sharing of information between Prevent officers if someone moves to a different area. Records enable us to manage unresolved vulnerabilities and outstanding actions, and, importantly, they ensure we act proportionately, taking action only where support is necessary.
All records held are subject to legal requirements; they are monitored regularly and deleted when it is no longer necessary to keep them.
What kind of action will you take if I call?
Every situation is different. When the police receive information it will be professionally assessed. If during your call it appears the person you are concerned about may benefit from support through Prevent, then the officer you are speaking to will record the information you give on the Prevent Case Management Tracker. This will be passed to a Prevent officer in your local area who will make contact with the person.
We want to help people to move away from extremism before it leads to harm to the person you are worried about or to others.
This could be through support at school, in the workplace, for substance abuse and with specialist mentors, mental health keyworkers and doctors.
It is very important to act early and tell us your concerns so we can turn things around before it is too late.
How long does it take for you to act after I call?
It depends on the details you provide. Our Prevent officers will make an assessment based on the information you give. It might be the best support will come from other organisations we work with, any support package will be monitored and reviewed to ensure the person is getting the help they need.
Will you go to visit the person?
When the police receive information it will be professionally assessed and, if there appears to be a genuine cause for concern, we will make contact with the individual.
This may not necessarily be by a police officer, it may be a social worker or another professional.
Will the person find out that I have called you?
No, we won’t tell them who called if you don’t want us to. We keep your details secure and confidential. We will only share the information with other organisations we work with to help safeguard those who need support.
Depending on your relationship to the person you are concerned about, we may need to share your details with a small group of other specialist partners also working in Prevent. Your confidentiality is of the upmost importance to us and our specialist partners.
Who else could see the information about the person?
Information given to the police about an individual will be dealt with by specialist officers and stored on a secure Prevent Case Management system. If your concern results in the person being offered support through Prevent, the police will involve the other agencies providing support and we will need to share information with them. Other agencies may also share information with us. This is to ensure that agencies can work together to offer the right support. It is difficult for professionals to make decisions in the best interests of a vulnerable person if they do not fully understand their needs.
In exceptional cases other officers or agencies could request to see certain information held, but this would only be granted in very specific circumstances based on an assessment of risk. We take great care with the information we hold and treat all personal information sensitively, confidentially and in accordance with the law.
What happens if someone doesn’t want help?
Receiving support is voluntary and we can’t make someone accept our help. But if they agree to let us support them, then together with other organisations we will work to put the right plan in place for them.
If someone doesn’t want help but we assess they pose a risk to themselves or others, then the police may need to take action to reduce that risk.
Will I be kept updated?
Families have a key role to play within the Prevent programme. It’s by working together that we can help turn things around and support the person to move away from a path of extremism. This is why we ensure they are kept updated.
However, in the case of adults or young people over the age of 17 there are times that for legal reasons we are not able to share information on the person’s progress.
Where will my call to the national police Prevent advice line be transferred to out of hours?
If you call the advice line outside of 9:00am – 5:00pm your call will be transferred to specialist Counter Terrorism officers who staff the 24/7 Anti-Terrorist Hotline. They are specially trained and will carefully assess any worries or concerns you share with them. If someone appears to need support, they will arrange for your concerns to be passed to a specialist Prevent officer. All of the information you provide is treated in the strictest confidence. Your call won’t be recorded and you don’t have to give your details unless you wish to do so.
I don’t want to speak to the police, who else can I contact?
If you’d rather not talk to us directly, there are other people you can speak to. This could be a teacher, a community organisation or faith leader, your local authority or a health professional for example.
If you prefer to look online, you will find other organisations you can go to listed on this website.
Police officers working in Prevent receive additional specialist training and have experience of supporting others who have faced similar concerns to you. They understand the challenges you are facing and they will work quickly to assess concerns and arrange the help that is needed.
What if I don’t want to contact the police myself?
Family or trusted friends can speak to us on your behalf. But we will need to speak to you personally to confirm the details.
What is the Exit button?
This website has an exit button so you can leave the website quickly. It closes this website and takes you to https://www.google.co.uk/.
Clicking the exit button will not delete this website from your browsing history.
If you’re worried about someone checking your browser history to see what websites you’ve visited, you can also delete your browser history.
I suffer from hearing loss, how can I share my concerns which I think may be important?
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a police non-emergency number is available as a text phone service on 18001 101
What if English is not my first language, and I need translation support?
If you have difficulty speaking with us in English we will call you back with a translator on the line who will help you to share your concerns. Please ensure that your phone number is not blocked so the officer can call you back.