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Referral Guidance

When you think a student or colleague may be vulnerable to radicalisation.

What should you look out for?

The 'Prevent Duty', introduced by the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, has placed a number of responsibilities on universities. We need to be able to demonstrate that we have the right systems and processes in place to prevent our staff and students from becoming radicalised or drawn into terrorism, but we must do so in a way which ensures we protect academic freedom and freedom of speech as well as diversity and inclusion as the cornerstones of life on our campus. Teesside University is committed to keeping all of our staff, students and visitors safe and whilst we will all have different levels of interaction with the Prevent agenda, we can all play our part in achieving this ambition.

We have to remember that 'radical' thought is not negative; indeed most great innovations are the result of radical thinking and that being at University is rightly a time when students are experimenting with new thoughts and political ideas. However when these become so far from the norm that an individual sees violence or unlawful actions as legitimate, then we need to intervene. We need to be aware that radicalisation can take place in many forms, face-to-face, via the internet and can be linked to a variety of causes, or none, as is sometimes the case with “lone wolves” who act without any apparent ideology. Teesside University considers that everyone can be radicalised and whilst there is no set pattern as to how this occurs or definitive list of what to look out for, the following might indicate a student or colleagues who needs some additional support:

  • Isolation from family, religion or culture - look out for anyone struggling to adapt to university life, not mixing well with their fellow students or colleagues or who actively avoids diverse groups of people
  • Changes in peer group - be aware of students who change their friendship group significantly or completely and who spend long periods of time away with unusual people
  • Extreme political activism or possession of extremist literature - notice any sudden and significant increases in interest in the activities of extremist groups
  • Sudden changes in religious practice – either becoming more or less active
  • Accessing violent and hate rhetoric or expressing violent or hate opinions in class or the workplace, also be aware of any concerning activity on social media
  • Suspicions items, such as large amounts of money, multiple personal documents, peroxide fertiliser and unusual cooking appliances which may indicate the production of home-made explosives

As stressed above, this list is not exhaustive, nor are we asking any member of the University family to “spy” on their students or colleagues. Indeed, if you know anyone who is displaying a number of the behaviours on this list it is likely that they have other support needs which the university can help with. Because of this every case is treated in a sensitive and individual manner.

What should you do?

If you have concerns about a student and think radicalisation may be a factor, telephone a senior manager in Resilience, Sport and Wellbeing
Telephone (direct dial): (01642) 342101, 342253 or 384247

If you have concerns about a colleague, telephone a Deputy Director in Human Resources
Telephone (direct dial): (01642) 342209

If at any time, 24/7, you become aware of a student or colleague who is at imminent risk of harming themselves or others.
DO NOT contact Resilience, Sport and Wellbeing. Instead, telephone the University Security Team’s 24/7 emergency numbers: 01642 342086 or 3200.

Please note that there is no email option. If you feel a student may be vulnerable to radicalisation, it is imperative that you discuss your concerns with the appropriate colleague as soon as possible.

Colleagues and students at both at both Middlesbrough and Darlington campuses should follow the same procedures.

What happens next?

Colleagues from either Resilience, Sport and Wellbeing or Human Resources will talk through your concerns and if needed a case conference will be held with relevant colleagues from across the University to assess the evidence, consider the facts and agree a way forward. The University has a range of options available depending on what information we have and is able to liaise effectively with external support services such as the Police and Local Authorities if this is necessary.

It is possible you may get asked for further information about your concerns, but it is highly unlikely that any further action will be required of you. All concerns raised in good faith will be appropriately considered by the University.