Prevent and Channel in Reading - the referral process and what to expect

Channel is an early intervention scheme that supports people who are at risk from any forms of radicalisation. Radicalised individuals have often been manipulated or exploited to think or partake in actions they would not usually believe or do.

How Channel works

If Thames Valley Police receive notification that someone is concerned about someone, they will send an information request to relevant organisations (such as a school you attend) to enquire whether the organisation knows and currently has any involvement with the person.

The contacted organisation will reply to Thames Valley Police within 5 working days. Where possible, the person will be asked to give their consent for this information to be shared between partner organisations. However, there are some situations where consent is not required.

If considered appropriate, they will be further assessed by a Channel Panel. This panel (which might, for instance, include staff from the police, the local authority or local schools) uses a vulnerability assessment framework which covers the person's engagement with an ideology or cause; their intent to cause harm and their capability to cause harm, to decide if they should be offered the necessary tailored support provided by Channel.

If they are referred to the Channel Panel and are not assessed to be at risk to radicalisation, but are considered at risk in other ways, then they will be referred to an alternate agency or support programme.


Participation in the Channel programme is voluntary and requires consent to be given by the person (or their parent/guardian if they are under 18) before support measures are put in place.

They can withdraw their consent at any time and will be removed from the Channel programme immediately.

All individuals who receive support through Channel must be aware of what the programme involves, and that they are receiving this as part of a programme to protect people from being drawn into terrorism. 

Support package

Channel support packages are tailored to the individual's needs and resources available. Examples of support programmes include:

  • Life skills
  • Anger management
  • Cognitive/behavioural contact
  • Careers and education support
  • Family support contact
  • Health awareness contact
  • Housing support contact
  • Drugs and alcohol awareness

Channel intervention providers engaging with you will have been approved by the Home Office.

Channel is not about spying or prosecution, but helping you to make positive life choices.

Channel support is provided for as long as you are considered at risk. Your support will be monitored and reassessed at least every month. If the Channel Panel is satisfied that the risk has been successfully reduced or managed, they will recommend that you no longer need to be part of Channel and will complete a closing report.

If the Panel is not satisfied that the risk has been reduced or managed, your case will be reconsidered. A new support plan will be developed and put in place.

All cases are reviewed at 3, 6 and 12 months from the point at which they are closed.

More information information on Channel

Let's Talk About It

Contact Thames Valley Police: 


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