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Running PREVENT Channel Panel Meetings on ECINS

Beds, Herts and Cambs Prevent Team has used ECINS since March 2016 and were the first area to use the system to run their Channel Panel meetings which consists of up to 16 members including Police, mental health, probation, Housing, Local Authorities and the lead for Safeguarding and Prevent for Education.

The Channel Panel’s purpose is to consider how best to help and provide support to individuals who have been referred to the panel as someone at risk of being vulnerable to radicalisation. E-CINS helps to facilitate the Panel by providing a central hub for information to be co-ordinated and gathered so that all the professional partners can view it in real-time. Beds, Herts and Cambs Prevent Channel Panels have been led by Cambridgeshire Police but Project Dovetail, which will be introduced in early 2018 will see the Police become joint partners with all other professionals whilst working the cases.

Responsibility for the panels and process will then pass to the local authority. This will see cases referred in from public bodies to a S.P.O.C, (single point of contact) this in turn will then be referred further within the Police to be de-conflicted. If there are no credible concerns the case will then be referred back to the Channel Panel whose members will work as a collective to mitigate any lower level concerns.

Prevent Sergeant Paul Harris worked with ECINS to tailor the way they manage their Channel Panels on ECINS, he said “We produced some generic forms that were bespoke to the Channel Panel initiative and that has enabled us to tailor the information we need to gather and record. ECINS is proving invaluable in the running of the Channel Panel meetings.

“First I set the meeting up as a case on ECINS giving a description of what the meeting will be about. I then link the agenda and all supporting information to that case which is then available for all members to view, in real-time. It’s a secure means of gathering information giving us the security to exchange information freely. We have only a 5- day turnaround to gather the information, as set by the Channel Panel Guidelines, and ECINS enables us to do this quickly, efficiently and securely without printing out any documentation or distributing it manually.

“I use ECINS every day for Prevent work. When I receive a referral I task people so that they can respond whether they hold information on an individual and disclose what the information will be. I also use it to communicate with panel members, sending out agendas and information about upcoming meetings. When we hold a meeting we project ECINS onto a big screen so that we can access all the cases one by one. Everyone involved in the meeting would have already had access to the information beforehand but being in the same room together with all the information in front of us at once allows us to discuss each case and agree outcomes in a timely fashion. I then document all actions as a task in the ECINS log and disseminate.

“It reduces so much time wastage, it is secure and it helps me to quickly flag up any problems such as members who are not completing their tasks within agreed timescales” said Paul.

Andy Craighead, Early Intervention Manager and Prevent for Education within Peterborough is a regular member of the Beds, Herts and Cambs Prevent Channel Panel, he said “We are in the process of piloting a new approach at our Channel Panel Meetings which we think will further speed up processes and help provide more accurate evidence and a complete safety net should a case go to court or a Serious Case Review.

“Within our educational setting we have just started to digitally record our Senior Leadership Team and governor meetings, this is proving successful and we can see that this would be an effective enhancement for our Channel Panel process. ECINS has quite a substantial audio storage capacity of up to 5mb which means it would be possible to make a recording of each Panel meeting so that we can have a live, accurate and complete record of the meeting. Once the meeting has concluded we can upload the recording to ECINS as a document. From the recording we can then produce minutes of the meeting, if required, or we can give individual Panel members access to the audio file for them to listen to whenever they wish.

“By working in this way we will have a true and accurate account of each Channel Panel meeting with all discussions taken place, all outcomes and actions agreed and a note of every person present as they will be asked to introduce themselves at the start of each meeting. It also enables members to hold other members to account if agreed actions are not taken forward. Having a true account of a Panel meeting is extremely important for Prevent and having a digital recording on file provides an invaluable safety net.

“Channel Panels can have different people from different departments attend at different times and having all the information on ECINS for people to tap into is a huge advantage. It just works for us because we have the power to lock the information down to just those people we want to give access to, meaning it is secure way of sharing information with the people who need to be involved, when they need to be involved. It’s simply phenomenal.”

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