What to focus on
All behaviour is communication
All behaviour happens for a reason
All behaviour is preceded by a decision
Decisions can be influenced
Universal Selective Indicated
Environmental Legal sanctions Removing social
Developmental Life skills training Family
Informational Awareness raising Counter narratives Ideological
Beware the ‘Prevention Paradox’ where the greatest harm in a population will occur
in those considered at least risk because there are far more of them than those
considered “at risk”.
Successful prevention relies on the early identification of, and
intervention with, vulnerable (young) people (elephants 1, 2,
Frontline staff/community leaders/parents will be in the best
position to spot vulnerability and the changes in behaviour
indicative of radicalisation (elephant 4).
Structured professional judgment tools will assist their decision
making in this safeguarding context (elephants 1, 2, and 4).
Identify young people who are vulnerable to peer pressure
and potential negative influences of colleagues, friends,
Personal, social, and cultural circumstances may make
them particularly vulnerable to recruitment by violent
Early identification of individuals at this stage should allow
supports to be put in place to direct their behaviour away
from violence toward constructive, socially appropriate
Identify boundary testing behaviours.
May already have or be establishing a belief system that is
supportive of violent extremist behaviour.
This requires sensitive challenge and intervention to
increase their critical thinking skills and offer alternatives
to violence for addressing problems and issues.
Identify an increased commitment to the use of violence in
support of beliefs.
Require regular monitoring and intensive intervention to
change established beliefs and behaviours in support of
Preventing violent extremism means that we must identify and
protect vulnerable people before they engage in criminal
This necessitates a large number of ‘false positives’ as most
vulnerable people will not engage in violent extremism even if
they are radicalised.
Waiting until vulnerable people have begun to engage in
criminal behaviour may make successful prevention difficult.