Sergeant Colin Reed, Central East BCU – Partnership & Prevention, Metropolitan Police Service, Central East BCU (Hackney & Tower Hamlets)
In 2016 Tower Hamlets received over 18,000 calls relating just to ASB. Analysis found that they needed to improve their identification of perpetrators and as a result they established a new way of working to identify and engage with perpetrators and issue a warning with the intention of reducing re-offending.
Since establishing the ASB Warning Notices system they have issued over 12,000 ASB Warnings but only 8% of those issued with a warning have been served a repeat notice.
Sgt Colin Reed said ‘The ASB Warning System is proving successful so far in reducing reoffending. ASB perpetrators who are issued with a second or third notice are visited at home by officers so that we can try to identify what the issue is. Often there is a catalyst that sparks the offending such as the perpetrator being unemployed for a period of time or being excluded from school. The idea of the ASB Warning System is to stop the offending from continuing or escalating by identifying the offender’s support needs and diverting them away from crime. An example of the support provided can range from a mentoring scheme to get the offender back into education or apprenticeship opportunities.’
“Since establishing the ASB Warning Notices system they have issued over 12,000 ASB Warnings but only 8% of those issued with a warning have been served a repeat notice.”
The ASB Warning System was developed for Tower Hamlets Police and the Local Authority who worked in collaboration with Empowering-Communities to build a bespoke system that would help them identify offenders and share information with partners who could deliver interventions. The system uses a combination of EC-Connect’s encrypted referral forms and E-CINS for the multi-agency partnership element.
Colin said ‘We were using spreadsheets but it became too cumbersome to manage as the number of warnings we were issuing were rising. We needed a system that would not only allow us to register the ASB Warnings but to address GDPR compliance too. We were sending out emails to various partners that contained people’s details which, with the advent of GDPR, we knew was not appropriate.’
The hard copy Warning Notices are completed by Tower Hamlets Police Officers, Council Enforcement Officers and the Parks Guards and a carbonated copy is served on the perpetrator. The data is then uploaded onto EC-Connect by Police Officers so all the data is populated in a standardised format which drops into E-CINS for multi-agency support.
“I was drowning in emails before but E-CINS has improved our processes and made everything more transparent to our partners which is saving us time.”
The ASB Warning System is a cross-partnership scheme which involves police officers and local authority Enforcement Officers sharing the offender information with partners such as registered social landlords whose tenants are ASB perpetrators causing issues on a particular estate. Data is also shared with Drug and Alcohol Support Services and the Homeless Outreach Workers if relevant.
Colin said ‘The Homeless Team’s clients tend to move around frequently and having the ASB Warnings on E-CINS improves the practitioners’ opportunities to monitor and engage with clients who have been issued with Warning Notices as all the information relating to that individual’s offence is recorded in one place and they can locate their whereabouts more easily. It stops them from falling off the radar and it also enables the Drug and Alcohol practitioners to identify clients’ associates who may be influencing them and stopping the Outreach Support Providers from working with them. Essentially, by having this information on E-CINS it is improving the service that the Outreach Teams can provide for homeless people and those with drug and alcohol problems.
‘All of the partners have access to the system who can do their own downloads and research. We used to have silo systems and unless there was a physical meeting no one knew what was on each other’s system.
‘I was drowning in emails before but E-CINS has improved our processes and made everything more transparent to our partners which is saving us time. It has also meant we can save time by reducing the need for physical meetings too.’
Tower Hamlets Council are using E-CINS for a Home Office funded pilot scheme to manage hardened and chaotic drug users who are living on the street, may have mental health problems and are involved in vagrancy and begging and have refused any kind of support.
The Council have a dedicated team that are looking at the ASB Warnings to identify those individuals who are being issued with Warning Notices and case managing those individuals using legislation to get them into support and rehabilitation.
The team carry out their own research and reporting via E-CINS without the need to contact the Police for input, thus saving police time and resources.