One in six withdraw from government Channel scheme

One in six people put on the government’s de-radicalisation scheme, Channel, refuse to co-operate, new figures show.

63 people from England and Wales withdrew from the Channel scheme in 2015-16, Home Office figures reveal.

The figures also show a third of all 7,631 referrals to the wider Prevent counter-extremism programme in 2015-16 came from the education sector. Of those, only 381 went on to receive specialist help.

The vast majority of people referred to Prevent required either no official support, or were given help with a problem unrelated to violent extremism.

But 1,072 individuals caused such alarm that they were assessed for inclusion in Channel.

Of those, 381 went on to receive specialist help in an attempt to change their thinking, and 302 were later let off.

16 of those were still in the process at the time the figures were gathered, but a further 63 people withdrew from the scheme - meaning they stopped working with expert mentors altogether.

Chief Constable Simon Cole, national policing lead for Prevent, said the number of referrals showed that ‘trust and support is growing’ for the programme.

It is the first time the government has published detailed figures on the initiative.

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