by Martin O’Connell, Northamptonshire Police Licensing Sergeant
Northamptonshire Police made a decision two years ago that we would replace our legacy licensing system with ECINS and are now using the system across the county for the licensing of:
- late night refreshment (hot food, served between 11pm and 5am)
- music and other similar forms of entertainment
- showing of films and sports to the public
ECINS is now the only system we use for licensing in Northamptonshire and it holds the records of all the licensed premises in the county. We also use it as a case building tool, in case we have a problem with a premises and we need to carry out specific work with a premises to solve a problem or an enforcement. We have approx. 3300 premises on ECINS and we also hold details of all temporary event notices on ECINS.
Currently the Northamptonshire Licensing Liaison Group is made up of seven different local authorities but there are ongoing discussions about the further use of ECINS across the county for licensing and ways we can join up and share information with each other. The Fire Service already access and make use of ECINS and they are one of the partners who have the potential of joining up with us.
One of the problems with our previous system was that we could only ever share information amongst ourselves but ECINS is enabling us to provide useful and timely information to others. For example, there was an opportunity recently to share information with the Safeguarding Team. We had logged profiles of individuals as Premises Supervisors who were also victims of domestic abuse and we were able to securely share that information with the Safeguarding Team and assist them in their work and prevent duplication of profiles on ECINS.
ECINS has been really good in making this a system that will work for us. The process of setting it up was surprisingly pain free – we sent them all the national application forms and they made it happen. The forms were replicated electronically in a logical format so that all we had to do was follow the format. It has been very easy to transfer that information from our old system to ECINS, transposing what we get on paper from an applicant and transferring that onto our system.
Another area where it works for us is in document storage. We couldn’t store documents on our old system but with ECINS we can store all kinds of information, reports and images which is great for evidence building.