Gary Dewey is acting Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator for Adur and Worthing Councils and has been a member of the Council’s Safer Communities Team since 2009. Gary has been instrumental in developing and embedding a number of initiatives and approaches in the management and reduction of Anti-Social Behaviour.
A retired Police Officer, Gary has undertaken a variety of roles and responsibilities within both the Metropolitan and Thames Valley Police Services. Since 1998 and the implementation of the Crime and Disorder Act, Gary has been involved with and gained significant experience in partnership working and his expertise has focused on developing multi-agency responses, directed at crime and disorder reduction.
Gary is a member of the Institute of Community Justice Professionals and has studied Law at the University of Southampton and Business Management at the University of Sussex.
Adur and Worthing Safer Communities Team have been using ECINS for 14 months to support and deliver multi-agency interventions to case manage instances of ASB. Gary spoke about his own experiences of working with the system and the benefits it has brought to his team and partners.
“We recognised that we were not always working as efficiently as we could from a partnership and multi-agency perspective and that there is always room for improvement. ECINS has positively changed the way we work and is the perfect platform for us to adapt and grow our responses to all aspects of ASB case management.
Prior to adopting ECINS we were embroiled in the constant exchange of e-mail and telephone communications between professionals that were not always efficiently documented, recorded and easily auditable. Data analysis and the retrieval and sharing of information with partners was difficult and time consuming. We were holding regular multi-agency problem solving meetings, but there were often logistical difficulties in getting the right people around the table and a lack of relevant information arose on a number of occasions. NPT staff were using hard copy Orange Problem Solving Files and if the author of the PSF was absent or out of the office, it was difficult to resolve any concerns. Often information contained in PSFs was incomplete, out of date and invariably deficient in detail concerning information owned by other agencies.
Another problem we had was that there was a culture of fear amongst professionals surrounding the sharing of information which created a ‘bubble effect’. Team members would be asked to provide information about an individual and, without the ability to see the bigger picture, would be cautious or confused around the rights and responsibilities concerning data protection and whether they could provide the information requested of them.
It became clear that we had no specific mechanism for overseeing, co-ordinating and auditing Multi-Agency ASB Case Working and that it was essential we make some significant changes.
Why Have Adur and Worthing Adopted the use of ECINS?
We came to adopt ECINS because we had specific goals we needed to achieve and we felt that a multi-agency case management system was required. However, what we actually have with ECINS is more than just a case management tool. ECINS for us is essentially a problem-solving tool. It has allowed us to achieve our main objectives of reducing the need for meetings, saving time, speeding up efficiencies and improving communication with partners and it has enabled us to achieve so much more.
We have increased our joint capabilities in managing cases involving repeat and vulnerable victims of ASB. Because everything is shared electronically via ECINS we have also reduced paper based multi-agency ASB case working and management and dispensed with our Orange File system.
We can now provide partners with easy and expedient access to up-to-date, important and relevant facts and information from a variety of sources. This has led to increased engagement and consultation with key partners before jointly agreeing the way forward.
Because all the information is uploaded directly to ECINS we have been able to reduce the continual exchange of e-mail and telephone communications between partners when seeking case updates and information. The data security features integrated within the ECINS platform dispense with the need for secure e-mail to e-mail pathways between professionals, such as GCSX and as such, makes secure e-mail communication between professionals less cumbersome.
A huge benefit in using ECINS is that it has allowed partners to see the bigger picture and understand how their work fits into it. In the past it was often difficult to identify the lead agency on a case, now we can clearly identify the lead agency and all professionals involved in the case. The setting and completion of case related actions and tasks are simple and efficient. ECINS also assists with Identifying, discussing and evaluating proposed solutions by allowing partners to see what is currently being achieved and by whom.
By creating an environment where everyone knows what everyone else is doing it has removed the fear of partners surrounding information sharing and create an easily accessible point of reference for any information held.
This has led to directed and time efficient action planning in the management of vulnerable and repeat victims, who are experiencing ASB. ECINS has also enabled quick identification and assessment of potential risk of harm to repeat and vulnerable victims whist assisting in the way we respond to and manage such reports.
We have been able to engage with many more partners since adopting ECINS. We are currently working with the following agencies as part of our multi-agency team:
- Adur and Worthing Safer Communities Team
- Adur and Worthing Neighbourhood Policing Teams
- Registered Social Landlords
- Adur and Worthing Environmental Protection Team
- Worthing Homes
- Adur Homes
- Individual Social Care Practitioners
- Think Family Key Workers
- Young Persons Drug and Alcohol Worker
- Police Response Team Sergeants
- Council Housing Temporary Accommodation Team
As cases arise I invite new partners to come on board but I also have a list of potential partners
that I am actively looking to engage with including third sector, adjoining districts, fire service, pastoral managers, schools, adult social care and mental health.
To sign up new partners I invite them along to a problem solving meeting and show them ECINS in operation. When they see the system working for themselves, the benefits are clear to see and the professionals go back to their team and communicate the benefits for us.
It is inspiring because of its simplicity – in fact it’s automated in many respects.
What do we use ECINS for?
Adur and Worthing Partners utilise ECINS as our primary victim and perpetrator, ASB Case Management tool and is used to support our –
- ASBRAC – Anti-Social Behaviour Risk Assessment Conference (Multi-agency platform which delivers the management of repeat and vulnerable, Medium and High Risk ASB Victims)
- EIP – Early Intervention Project.
- Street Community – Op-Group
- Think Family work.
- Day to day Multi-Agency ASB reporting/recording and case management.
- Management of data/reports/information concerning ASB Hotspots.
Adur and Worthing are seen as pioneers in ASB Case Working, which is being greatly enhanced through our ever increasing use and application of ECINS. We have been called upon by other teams seeking to adopt and implement our approach to our ECINS facilitated, Multi-Agency – ASB Case Working method.
ECINS has given us a visual representation of what we should be doing and what we are responsible for. It has made practitioners’ lives easier and it has been positively embraced by all the people who use it. There isn’t a day that goes by without someone mentioning ECINS, it’s become a feature of my daily life and is absolutely central to helping us achieve better outcomes for repeat and vulnerable people cases”.