Gary is the founder of Empowering-Communities, a self sustaining, not for profit social enterprise. He has worked on several local, national and international crime reduction and community engagement projects for which he has won several awards. One of these projects has been made the subject of a case study by the United Nations. In April 2007 he was voted “Person of the Year” in Lithuania for his work helping migrant communities and is the only foreign national ever to be awarded the Angel Guard Medal of honour for policing excellence in Lithuania.
In August 2007 he introduced the UK’s first and only national self-exclusion programme for problem gamblers and has developed the only independent, international database and self-exclusion programme to tackle problem gambling via the internet.
In 2010 he was approached by the Home Office ASB and Youth Crime Team and asked if he could help realise their vision of creating a complete Neighbourhood Management system that would allow victims, offenders and vulnerable persons to be managed on the one system.
E-CINS has been live for nearly 2 years and it is changing partnership working in the UK.
Gary opened his presentation by explaining how E-CINS was developed at the request of the Home Office nearly three years ago and was now delivering the vision of a cloud-based neighbourhood-management system that could be accessed by multi-agency partnerships to ensure everyone knows what everyone else is doing. He went on to address some questions which had been raised in discussion “I was asked earlier about the possibility that we could be bought out, perhaps by a larger software provider. The answer is no. As a not for profit Social Enterprise our social purpose remains central to our operation. As an organisation with primary social objectives any surpluses are reinvested to help and empower victims, local communities, vulnerable people and their families. This forms part of our constitution and it will remain so. There is no danger to any of our customers or future customers that our prices will rise beyond that which is reasonably justified and the funds of the organisation shall be applied only in furtherance of the aims and objectives of creating and managing sustainable projects to help and empower victims, local communities, vulnerable people and their families.”
Gary spoke further about E-CINS’ current position and why it has become a success in such a relatively short time “We’ve got a couple of thousand users and they are encouraged to proactively contribute to the product and the system. E-CINS will never be finished because we work in this agile continuous development environment. The conference itself reaffirms that situation because it was practitioners who asked for this and so today you will be hearing from practitioners, people who use the system on a day to day basis, either as a user or as a manager.
As Mr Blazeby was saying, from when I met the Home Office how on earth I went from a concept to live in 6 months I have no idea but here’s where we are today:
- We’ve been live for 704 days which equates to 17,000 hours,
- We’ve had no minutes of downtime so we’ve got quite a robust system and that equates, as a not for profit social enterprise, to over 20,000 hours of development time already gone into the system – in the commercial world that would have equated to around a £2million project.
- We’ve got 162 Teams/organisations accessing the system across 6 counties but over the next 6 months that’s going to go up considerably.
- We’ve got 2,000 users and every user is encouraged to give us feedback and tell us how the system can be improved upon.
- We’re now up to 42,000 reports on the system, over 6,500 profiles and 10,000 tasks.
Importantly, we’ve had NO funding which makes it quite a remarkable thing that we’ve been able to get to this situation.
Gary concluded his presentation with a slide showing how E-CINS acts as a safety net and announced that E-CINS can now evidence the difference it is making with case studies starting to come through showing how it is speeding up processes and in one case how it has even helped to prevent a death and a serious case review.