Speaker Summaries: Melanie Locke – Sergeant, Sussex Police

Mel-Locke, Sussex Police“I was ASB and Hate Crime Coordinator within the city of Brighton when we went over to E-CINS and we are now very close to getting 60-70% of the force signed up.

We’re going across different galleries as we move and next week we’ve got a force wide conference where we’re pushing and delivering E-CINS.  We’re looking at engaging partners, sharing best practice, sharing information around what certain areas have already done, what people want and looking at those who are not yet signed up. There are a few boroughs that have no idea what E-CINS is and it’s trying to go on the journey together so that we are all doing the same thing.

The system is really agile and really flexible but that can also be difficult to manage.  You don’t want to be in one area of Sussex and be using the computer system in a completely different way to another.  We’re looking at trying to do some standardisation.

National Request

I would like to see an ACPO lead taking the issue of information sharing forward.  That’s really what we need, when we’re criticised when things go wrong it’s often due to the fact that we don’t have all our information sharing in place because we’re going across all different areas of work.

We also need a National Working Party that looks at how E-CINS is growing because at the moment I’m doing a piece of work in Brighton and there’s others doing different work around the country and it makes sense that we’re all sharing the information in realtime like E-CINS does, building the protocols and how we all go on to the new galleries together.  There could be hundreds of protocols being written – somebody else calls it a memorandum of understanding – because this is all different people, from all different organisations all trying to work together.

I want to talk about this as a shared journey because a computer system can’t solve or stop vulnerability or prevent harm.  It can’t do it on its own, you have got to have all the right people around.

We’re evolving all of the time and we get to things much quicker when we’re using the E-CINS system.  The referral process at the moment for DV MARAC, from getting that referral in and going into a case conference, can take up to 8 days whereas with E-CINS you can take it down to sometimes as little as 2 hours.  Someone can go out and do a risk assessment, recognise it as high, put it on to the system and you are ready to go because you have the risk assessment and profile in place.

All sorts of things are happening so much quicker.  Most people when they have spoken about it consider it our platform for all our information sharing. It’s around listening to the victim, working with the perpetrator and the location too.  It centres around so many things and can constantly change as we evaluate the situation as we go.  It’s a professional approach to the plethora of emails we were doing.

Brighton and Hove and our use of E-CINS

Identifying the current risk, working with other agencies, overcoming barriers, finance, practitioner’s input, agreeing working practices and future use.

Identifying the Current Risk

When I started two and a half years ago I was asked to look at high risk ASB and hate incidents.  I was given a spreadsheet where we didn’t know people’s full names or where the paperwork was. There were no protocols and no leads. There were pockets of excellence, where people were doing a great job, with excellent information being shared but it was staying within just a few people.   Then I was given a new computer system and was asked to put it on the system.  It wasn’t enough, I needed the right people involved to share the information.

It was very much a joint process with a lot of conversations, working groups, trying to understand how to move forward.  Trying to do a multi-agency meeting with 45 people is almost impossible. The first piece of work was to look at who currently was still high risk and there was a reluctance to re-evaluate.  It became clear we needed training on E-CINS, even though it is a really simple system we felt that if you give people a new computer system then you need to ensure they are given some support in how to use it.  This is something that may be looked at nationally as everybody is using it in a slightly different way.

Similar to Derbyshire we used Champions, you can see the moment when the light switches on and they understand what it is about.  Those people go off and do that work and bring other people along with them.   As we went through it and during the training sessions you could see people getting it as opposed to me dragging them along.

Working With Other Agencies

We were a pilot for the Home Office and they were going to come back and look at it. I was told that what was missing nationally was Mental Health so it was my mission to get them on board.  Initially I was told they would not want to share their information or there was client confidentiality issues.

What I wanted to know was whether sending a uniformed police officer around to an individual was going to cause more harm than what I’m trying to solve. It wasn’t always big questions i wanted to ask them.

I used every way I could to engage with Mental Health and luckily I found some excellent champions within Adult Social Care and Milllview Hospital that deals with people with mental illnesses.  I went to Strategic Meetings, the ACPO Hate Conference, all these different people were talking about how we still were not interacting with Mental Health.

Because E-CINS was allowing me to access so much information I was able to do really detailed monthly reports whereas earlier it was very sketchy.

That got noticed by the deputy who asked to speak to me.  We discussed E-CINS and I went along to some of the high level case management meetings with Adult Social Care and the NHS through grass roots and the top to try to find the best people, the senior social workers that you needed around the table to make sure that we’ve got the right information.

Example Case:

We had some real successes and about a year into it we had one case that stayed high for over a year with real engagement with Mental Health and ended up with us going to the hospital to see an individual who was being released from prison and was under a Section 59.  All the different agencies wanted to talk to him -probation, health, housing and others.

E-CINS allowed us to share that information and make sure we were working together. We did that really well with the victim but not necessarily the perpetrator. I ended up with about 1200 emails relating to the perpetrator side of the work.

E-CINS enables you to move cases from one area to another and one person to another.”

Read more summaries of the speakers’ presentations here


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