Radicalisation & Extremism

According to the HM Government Radicalisation is defined as “The process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.”

Children can be converted to radicalised views online by…

  • Online coercion or the risk of physical harm or death through extremist acts
  • By being groomed online by peers, people they know or strangers.
  • Online psychological manipulation.

Terrorism is defined in section 1 Terrorism Act 2000 as the use or threat of action designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation; or to intimidate the public, or a section of the public.

  • Made for the purposes of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause; and it involves or causes:
  • Serious violence against a person;
  • Serious damage to a property;
  • A threat to a person’s life;
  • A serious risk to the health and safety of the public; or
  • Serious interference with or disruption to an electronic system.

What digital signs can you look out for as a parent?

  • Exposure to violent material, fake news, political or extreme views and/or other inappropriate information online or sharing this content via digital platforms.
  • Sharing, supporting or having exposure to articles, images or videos that can be seen as promoting terrorism or encouraging violence.
  • Sharing or supporting content online that encourages people to commit acts of terrorism.
  • Viewing, visiting or sharing websites made by terrorist or extremist organisations.
  • Viewing, sharing or supporting videos of terrorist attacks.

There are also physical signs can you look out for…

According to the Home Office (2015) “If a child or young person is being radicalised their day-to-day behaviour may become increasingly centred around an extremist ideology, group or cause.” For example, they may:

  • Spend increasing amounts of time talking to people with extreme views (this includes online and offline communication).
  • Change their style of dress or personal appearance.
  • Lose interest in friends and activities that are not associated with the extremist ideology, group or cause.
  • Have material or symbols associated with an extreme cause.
  • Try to recruit others to join the cause.

There are some factors you can look out for if you feel your child may be becoming radicalised, radicalisation is usually a slow process and some indicators may can be described as ‘typical’ behaviour of  teenager.

  • Is your child easily influenced or impressionable?
  • Does your child have low self-esteem or is isolated?
  • Does your child feel that there is rejection, discrimination or injustice is taking place in society?
  • Is your child exposed to community tension amongst different groups?
  • Is your child disrespectful or angry towards family, peers or member of the community?
  • Does your child have a strong need for acceptance or belonging?
  • Is your child experiencing grief such as loss of a loved one?

Who can you contact is involved in online extremism?

If you feel like your child is in imediate danger, please dial 999 or the relevant professional body. To find out more information from the following organisations, click on the buttons below.

Need help with any other digital issues?  Find out more.

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