ECINS’ Heather Ette spoke to Les Golding, Modern Slavery Investigator at Sussex Police about their Discovery partnership project which brings together 15+ different agencies including local police officers, fire officers, Stop the Traffik Hastings, King’s Church, Local Councils, DWP, HMRC, Home Office Immigration, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and local charities, all with the aim of seeing victims of modern slavery rescued, supported and perpetrators brought to justice.
Project Discovery recently began using ECINS to securely share information across the Discovery Project Team.
Les said “Before the pandemic hit we were all co-located in one office but we are now working together remotely and using ECINS to share information and hold our monthly meetings. Project Discovery is a partnership contribution and its success is reliant on the intelligence we can all share between each other. Since the introduction of ECINS we have been able to professionalise the way we share the information and speed up the process at the same time.
We have one information sharing agreement in place between the project team which makes the process much quicker. Typical information we would share on ECINS relates to intelligence around people, premises and places and having the agreement in place means requests for information can go out and intelligence come back to us the same day with no hold-ups and delays. It’s a very effective way of working as we can really hit home and move on information very quickly.
Many of the agencies involved in Discovery have used ECINS before for issues such as ASB and County Lines so they are already familiar with how the system works and the benefits it could bring to our project. As a multi-agency system it facilitates effective partnership working so from the police’s perspective it enables us to share the burden and make other partners accountable for their specialist area.
We currently have ten cases we are working on and rather than everyone using separate emails, all the information is going into ECINS. Not only is it making the process quicker and more professional, it is also enabling more accountability as you can task individuals from within the system and send automatic reminders. All of the information is in one place unlike with emails where you don’t get the whole story or you have the risk of people being left off the email chains. Having everything in one place means you get the picture from the very beginning and see all of the developments as the case progresses.
We run our monthly meetings on ECINS which we are able to do remotely using Microsoft Teams. We put the Meeting Agenda on ECINS and link all the cases in, running through them one by one and updating them as we go along. It’s working very well for us and we are looking forward to progressing our live cases through to closure to protect and safeguard vulnerable people and bring more perpetrators to justice.