Channel Data Privacy Notice

Channel at Reading Borough Council

Channel aims to identify, assess and support individuals that have been identified as being at risk from radicalisation, either through the Channel process or other appropriate support services. Channel fulfils Objective 2 of the Government’s counter-terrorism Prevent strategy – “stopping people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism”. It is included in Sections 36 to 41 of the Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015.

Channel provides a mechanism for ensuring that individuals identified as vulnerable to radicalisation are referred to and assessed by a multi-agency panel which decides on the most appropriate support. It should complement other existing multi-agency risk management processes such as the Common Assessment Framework (CAF), Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), and Children in Need.

The Channel process uses existing partnership working between the police, local authorities, statutory partners, and the local community to support those who are vulnerable to being at risk of drawn into terrorism or extremism by:

  • identifying individuals and groups at risk of being recruited by violent extremists;
  • assessing the nature and extent of that risk;
  • referring cases to intervention providers (as required) to develop the most appropriate support package to safeguard the individual at risk.

When an individual is referred to the Channel process, the case is first considered by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE). CTPSE will consider if the case is suitable for the Channel process. In order to do so, the CTPSE Channel Case Officer gathers information about the individual from other partners such as the local authority, police, or education services.

The referral is then taken to a multi-agency Panel chaired by the local authority. The Channel Case Officer will circulate a completed Vulnerability Assessment to other Panel members enabling them to consider the case (alongside further information that has been shared between partners).

If the Channel Panel decides that an individual requires support, a tailored support package will be developed for them. Specifically, Panels are required to:

  • a. Prepare a plan for an individual where support is appropriate
  • b. Make arrangements for support to be provided as described in the plan where consent has been granted
  • c. Keep the support given under review
  • d. Revise or withdraw a support plan if appropriate
  • e. Carry out further assessments (after 6 and 12 months) of an individual’s vulnerability to being drawn into terrorism, where consent is refused or withdrawn, or the panel has determined that support should be withdrawn
  • f. Prepare a further support plan if considered appropriate

A record of decisions taken is kept and retained while the case is live and for the appropriate data retention period after.

Channel is a voluntary process and before any support package can be put in place, consent must be sought by the individual, their parent or guardian, or (when this cannot be obtained) from social services, under Section 31(9) of the Children’s Act 1989. Where a parent or guardian refuses to grant consent, and the child is thought to be at risk of significant harm (whether physical, emotional, mental, intellectual, social or behavioural) then social services must be involved in decisions made about the child. If the individual withdraws their consent, it might be appropriate to provide alternative support through other mainstream services, such as Children or Adult Social Care Services.

Information relating to Channel referrals is processed on the online Case Management Information System (CMIS) operated by the Police. The local authority is not a controller or processor of personal data on CMIS because it does not input and update information on CMIS, and does not have input on how that data is processed. However, the local authority has a duty to manage the multiagency Channel panel which means sharing details of Channel cases with partners on behalf of the police, minuting Channel Panel meetings and maintaining a record of progress on cases.

What personal information do we hold about you?

The data that we hold about you might include (but may not be limited to):

  • Demographics (name, date of birth, gender, address, ethnicity)
  • Offending history
  • Living Arrangements
  • Family and personal relationships
  • Statutory education
  • Neighbourhood
  • Lifestyle
  • Substance misuse
  • Emotional and mental health
  • Perceptions of self
  • Thinking and behaviour
  • Attitudes to engagement in relevant activity
  • Motivation to change
  • Cultural factors
  • Risk posed to self and others

How will we use your information?

We will use the information to identify you to statutory agencies who have a duty to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism under Sections 36 to 41 of the Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015, so that the Channel Panel can decide if you require support through Channel and what that support should be.

How will the data be stored?

All personal data is sent by secure email and stored on secure Council computer equipment and is password protected and encrypted. The computer equipment is only used in line with Reading Borough Council’s ICT security policies.

What is the legal basis for the collection, use and storage of your data?

Processing of personal data for Channel is necessary for the purposes of the various Channel duties set out in section 36 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTSA).

Who will your data be shared with and for what purpose?

Your data will be shared with statutory agencies who have a duty to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism under Sections 36 to 41 of the Counter Terrorism & Security Act 2015.

During the information gathering stage, the default position is to seek consent from the you before sharing of information between partners. If consent cannot be sought, information sharing may take place if any of the exemptions to legislative provisions restricting information sharing applies, and it will need to be made explicit in the case record which exemption is being relied upon.

Further information regarding the information sharing between partners is detailed in Channel and Prevent Multi-Agency Panel: data privacy notices.

Examples of these exemptions are given below.

Behaviour/risks indicate that the person of concern is likely to commit crime or disorder Child protection – disclosure to or between social services or the police for the exercise of functions under the Children’s Act, where the public interest in safeguarding the child’s welfare overrides the need to keep the information confidential Crime and Disorder Act 1998 – S.115 power to share information Section 29, Data Protection Act – exemption from non-disclosure provision where necessary for the prevention/detection of crime, apprehension/prosecution of offenders The Children’s Act (1989; 2004)
Adult protection – disclosure to/between social services or the Police for the exercise of functions under statutory code of practice, where the public interest in safeguarding the vulnerable adult’s welfare overrides the need to keep the information confidential Statutory code of practice for safeguarding vulnerable adults
Public Protection – where the individual is subject to management under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Criminal Justice Act 2003
Offender management – when the individual is a recent offender
An order issued by the court
Offender Management Act 2007

How long will we keep your information?

Your data will be retained for a maximum period of 10 years.

Your rights

You can get access to your information by submitting a Subject Access Request which can be made by following the link: Data protection.

You also have the right to have your data corrected, the right to have your data deleted and the right to put a compliant to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time

You have a ‘right to be forgotten’ so you can ask for your personal information to be deleted where:

  • It is no longer needed for the reason why it was collected in the first place
  • You have removed your consent for us to use your information and we do not have to keep your information for legal reasons

How to contact us

You can contact Reading Borough Council on 0118 937 3787. The Data Protection Officer is Ricky Gill.

Last updated on 23/05/2022