Using the Behaviour Barometer correctly
- The behaviour barometer is a teaching tool, there to help you identify behaviours associated with radicalisation and violence if you are concerned about a friend, colleague or loved one. It’s by no means a screening or detection tool, but its there to help you think clearly.
- Not all behaviours of a person will fall under the same category. It might be the same that an individual’s behaviour sits under several different categories. So, it’s important to use the tool as a qualitative way to assess the situation. It should help you examine which behaviours are the most significant, in context to the individual’s overall behaviour. The intention behind the tool is not for us to attempt to determine a category by assessing quantitively.
- Consider other factors. Some behaviours listed in the barometer, when looked at independently, can be symptoms of other issues and may be unrelated to radicalisation. For example, an individual may be suffering from mental health related problems. So, we should always consider context and other explanations for behaviours.
Behaviours in this category are characterised by democratic means of expression and peaceful actions. They are associated with diverse forms of religious, political or community engagement.
Behaviours might include:
- Arguing with family and friends to defend their views, wearing visible signs or items that express their identity or sense of belonging (religious symbols, traditional clothes, beard, shaved
head, specific tattoos, etc.)
- Is active on social media
- Takes a stand peacefully for a cause related to a group, community or individual
- Is interested in current national or international events
- Expresses the desire to re-engage, or increase involvement in a political movement, religious practice or other activities associated with identity
- Converts to a new religion, political view or ideology
- Follows a specific diet owing to religious requirements
- Expresses a need for adventure or excitement
- Wants to address social injustices
This category includes behaviours that point to a person being unhappy or unhealthy. It can also include signs that a person is increasingly identifying with an ideology or cause which could arise from having issues with self-worth. The results can be major changes in behaviour.
Behaviours might include:
- They express polarising views of absolute truth, paranoia
or extreme mistrust
- They suddenly behave in ways that create a rupture with
- They seem drawn to conspiracy theories
- They pull away from the people they are close to or their
usual social network
- They suddenly change their habits
- They feel a strong sense of rejection and victimisation because of their own identity or beliefs
- They reject rules and regulations of institutions and organisations such as their school or workplace, based on ideological, political or religious grounds
- They refuse to take part in group activities or to interact with certain individuals because of their religion, ethnic group, skin colour, gender or sexual orientation
- They seem to need to dominate or control others in the name of beliefs or an ideological view
- They find it difficult to reassess their own opinions and recognise different points of view
This category includes the beginning of a person’s radical trajectory. It is characterised by a strong mistrust of the outside world and having views that legitimise the use of violence to achieve their goals or to help their cause.
Behaviour can include:
- Cutting off ties with friends and family in order to to keep only the company with a new group of friends, because of extremist beliefs
- They defend the use of violence as legitimate in the service of a cause or an ideology
- They hide a new lifestyle or belief system or from family members and/or close friends (either online or in real life)
- They draw closer to radicalised individuals or extremist groups
- They are suddenly no longer interested in professional or educational activities
- They display symbols of affiliation or support with recognised violent extremist groups
- They are obsessed with conspiracy theories, end-of-the-world narratives or messianic views
- They express threatening, hateful or dehumanising views towards other individuals or groups
- They make threatening or intimidating gestures towards groups or individuals they believe are against their own beliefs or ideologies
This category includes a set of behaviours that show a sectarian and exclusive allegiance to an ideology or cause, which lead the individual to believe violence as
the only legitimate and valid means of action
Behaviour can include:
- They take part in the activities of violent extremist groups, regardless of the means ( financial, material or physical)
- They recruit other individuals for a violent extremist cause
- They’re in contact with a group known to be violent extremists, either online or in real life
- They regularly consult with violent extremist Internet forums and websites to reinforce their own beliefs
- They plan or commit violent or hateful acts (vandalism, physical attacks, etc.) inspired by ideological motives or an extremist cause
- They learn about, try to acquire and/or practice handling weapons (firearms, explosives, etc.) outside the legal bounds
- They plan a trip to a conflict zone or to a region in which violent extremist groups are known to be active
What to do if you are worried about someone’s behaviour
- Notice something of concern
- Check your concern and ask the opinion of someone you trust to see if they agree
- Share the concern if you/your trusted person feel that it is warranted. Contact the Safeguarding Officer for your study centre.
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