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Monthly safeguarding bulletin - November 2023

November's Safeguarding Bulletin 

This month's bulletin has a focus on stress and what you can do to combat it. 

Prevent and Radicalisation

The current UK national terrorist threat level is ‘substantial’, which is defined as ‘an attack is likely’. This level has been unchanged since February 2022 and is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and the Security Service (MI5).

The threat to Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland-related terrorism is ‘severe’, which is defined as ‘an attack is highly likely’.

For more information go to terrorism and national emergencies


Swindon teenager found guilty of social media terrorism offences

A teenager from Swindon has been convicted of terrorism offences following a two-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

The jury found 18 year old Malaki Wheeler guilty of six offences relating to the possession and dissemination of terrorist material and will be sentenced in November.

Wheeler was arrested in May 2021 after an investigation centred around an online chat group in which like-minded individuals were suspected of possessing, sharing and posting extreme right-wing views, content and instructional material.

Extensive enquiries revealed Wheeler to be a prolific contributor, regularly posting racist and antisemitic material and propaganda, in addition to distributing information about how to create weapons and explosives.

The Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East. He said: “Although only 16 at the time of his arrest, Wheeler was deeply entrenched in a Telegram chat group committed to extreme right-wing ideology. He was not simply curious, or a passive observer within the group. He clearly shared the same mindset as other members and was very active when it came to promoting racist and antisemitic views and propaganda. It is important young people recognise the potential impact of their online activity, before they cross a line into criminality, or engage in harmful or dangerous behaviours.”

To read the full story click here.


Coventry man found guilty of terror charge after building drone to give to ISIS

A Coventry man has today been found guilty of preparing acts of terrorism after building a drone with the intention of supplying it to a banned terrorist organisation. He will be sentenced in November.

The jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard how PhD student Mohamad Al-Bared, aged 26 of Coventry, made the drone specifically to transport an explosive or chemical weapon into enemy territory for ISIS. Component parts for the drone were made on his 3D printer found at his home address.

Following a raid on his home address is January 2023, an analysis of devices seized revealed a series of conversations on his devices clearly demonstrating his support for ISIS as well as extremist material and violent propaganda videos.

During a search of his address, detectives also found notebooks detailing chemical equations and recipes for chemical weapons. Despite Al-Bared having studied mechanical and chemical engineering, it was clear that the chemicals referenced were to be used as weapons rather than as part of his studies.

His devices also documented conversations on how he had researched and worked out how to get the drone into a war zone without being stopped by authorities, he also set up a spoof company so he could pretend to be travelling on business.

The Head of Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands commented: “Al-Bared was a calculated individual and coupled with his education and expertise in mechanical and chemical engineering he was clearly very dangerous. He has made a purpose-built drone able to carry explosives or chemicals to be used as a weapon in a war zone, thankfully he was unable to continue his efforts following his swift arrest earlier this year. Our absolute priority is to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work and visit the West Midlands area.”

The whole story is available here


National Stress Awareness Day – 1st November 2023

National Stress Awareness Day was established in 1998 by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), to help provide information on stress and give strategies on how to address it for both companies and individuals.

We know what it is like to feel stressed and being under pressure is a normal part of life. However, becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

On 1st November 2023, Stress Awareness Day is celebrated to highlight the ways that stress can affect people and what you can do to manage your stress before it becomes a problem.

While stress certainly serves a solid purpose in human biology, it is also true that modern life has brought about a surplus of causes that impact people day-to-day, for some people rather catastrophic.

When humans are faced with a challenge, or a threat to their well-being, the body experiences stress. The stress notifies the brain, and your body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.

Millions of people around the UK experience stress 

and it is damaging to our health and wellbeing. For example, at some point in the last year, 74% of us have felt so stressed that we have felt unable to cope (Mental Health Foundation). Help and support is available to turn to with Rethink Illness UK, who every year with a diverse range of mental health services and support helps tens of thousands of people get through crises, live independently, improve their mental health and those people feel that they do not have to face mental illness alone.


Five tips to manage stress with day-to-day activities:

  • Use guided meditation
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Maintain physical exercise and good nutrition
  • Manage social media time
  • Connect with others


Here are some stress relievers:

  • Count to 10 before you speak or react
  • Take a few slow, deep breaths until you feel your body un-clench a bit
  • Go for a walk, even if it is just to the toilet to take a few minutes out
  • Try a quick meditation or prayer to get some perspective
  • If it is not urgent, sleep on it and respond tomorrow

If you would like any help or advice with stress and someone to talk to, you can contact Rethink Mental Illness, who are available with different treatments and support over the phone, email, and webchat.

Their freephone number is 0808 801 0525 or visit their website which also has different resources to access to help you cope with and manage stress



Identifying exploitation of an adult, child or young person, either its criminal or sexual form can be a minefield. Its identifiers are often difficult to detect, but as with everything early intervention is key to preventing the occurrence of exploitation. Which is why every effort must be made to uncover it if possible.

Unfortunately, it is often not that simple, and can descend into unforeseen complexities.

Brook, an organisation focusing on matters of sexual health and wellbeing has released a suite of tools aimed at helping professionals to identify suspected cases of exploitation.

The Spotting the Signs Tool (2023) is designed to guide professionals to ask the key questions that can help identify abuse and/or exploitation. Rather than acting as a checklist of questions, the tool is designed to facilitate a conversation with the individual to help understand their situation better.

Designed to be use with children and young people, the guidance and questions can be used with adults where there maybe worries.

For free CSE training and other training provided by Brook click here.

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