March 23, 2014
The number of children and vulnerable adults identified as potential violent extremists by a controversial Government anti-radicalisation initiative has surged by more than 25 per cent in the past year. Since last April at least 940 people have been referred for assessment under the Channel programme because of concerns they are at risk of being drawn into terrorism, according to official figures.
According to the figures, 153 children under 11, another 690 aged 12-15, and 554 aged 16-17 have been referred since 2007. A further 2,196 adults have also been assessed. The total of 940 so far for 2013-14 marks an increase of just over a quarter on 748 cases in 2012-13. The Government’s guide for those tasked with implementing Channel describes it as an early intervention process to safeguard children and adults from being drawn into terrorism-related activity. The programme is co-ordinated by the police but draws on input from across a spectrum of public services, including children’s and adult welfare centres, schools and healthcare providers.
940 people referred to Channel programme as potential violent extremists since last April
467 of those were under 18
153 were under 11
748 cases reported in 2012/2013