E-CINS Working Groups are becoming increasingly popular with a number of counties now holding them frequently. Sussex were one of the first to recognise the benefits and have been instrumental in advising other counties how best to structure these groups and herald the importance of sharing best practice and promote standardisation.
Chief Superintendent Wayne Jones and PS Melanie Locke of Sussex Police spoke to Empowering-Communities.
Sussex Police have a well established Pan Sussex Steering Group that meets every 3 months. The aim of the group is to provide governance, agree common ways of working, formulate expansion of the use of E-CINS and to provide oversight and strategic reporting.
The represented partners include all 12 council district areas within Sussex, East and West Sussex County Councils, Trading Standards, Criminal Justice Board, Fire Service and a senior representative from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.
E-CINS representatives attend 50% of these meetings and being present they can understand first hand the emerging issues and explain how other schemes are overcoming them or work with us to develop a bespoke solution.
“This Steering Group for Sussex is chaired by Chief Superintendent Wayne Jones and it’s beneficial having a senior manager as the chair during the start up process” said Sergeant Melanie Locke, Force Wide Partnership for E-CINS at Sussex Police. “At this time E-CINS is used for ASB, hate and street homeless and a few local pilots trialled, deter for young offenders, fly tipping and issues with taxis. In March 2015 Restorative Justice commenced on E-CINS which has drastically reduced the time it takes for information to be shared and thus solved log standing problems with partners. IOM has commenced in August. We also have representatives from proposed areas of business at the steering group. I currently have an action for engagement with more partners, including Registered Social Landlords, Adult Social Care, Mental Health and Environmental Health.”
The Steering Group has drafted and agreed a Memo of Understanding that all participating parties agreed to and all new partners agree at sign up.
The purpose of the MoU is to formalise partnership information sharing, agree a common way of working and support the arrangement between E-CINS users across Sussex.
Each time a user logs into E-CINS they agree to the conditions and responsibilities set out in the Memo of Understanding with the main aim to deliver a more connected and informed service to victims, perpetrators and cases.
Whilst not a legal document, the agreement reflects an understanding between organisations using E-CINS, outlining a number of basic mutually-accepted expectations and minimum responsibilities. Our MoU has been shared with several other forces to assist with their governance. In the future with the launch of the E-CINS Support Centre/Forum such documents can be consulted on nationally in the support centre” said Sgt Locke.
At start up I would advise a Local Users’ Group is set up to consist of users and supervisors. This is not for individual cases but to discuss issues, hopefully troubleshoot and then refer to Empowering-Communities if any further development is necessary. These groups are on demand basis.
Sgt Locke has also been instrumental in championing the idea of an E-CINS National Working Group considering it to be crucial to the advancement of the system.
“E-CINS has helped revolutionise partnership working in Sussex by creating an environment where sharing is the norm, enabling bespoke care plans to be developed by multiple agencies that are all aware of the bigger picture. However, there are challenges in managing a system which is so agile and flexible to ensure there is standardisation in the way we all work together. Each expansion into a new business brings challenges, working with E-CINS to develop new solutions.
A National Best Practice Group that looks at the different ways the system is being used around the country would be a huge advantage to ensure we are all moving in the same direction. We need to share ideas and scheme successes in real-time, similar to how E-CINS does in case management.”