A conference hosted by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton has made the case for improved data and information sharing amongst organisations involved in keeping our communities safer.
Representatives from local authorities, housing associations, police, health and youth intervention services came together to share their experiences with issues faced by all communities, learn how they can provide useful information to other agencies, and find out about new information available to them that can significantly improve the impact they have on the safety of their communities.
More than 60 organisations and 1,000 practitioners are now using the data and information sharing tools provided by the Commissioner’s office, which have been designed to empower partners with easy access to high quality crime and community safety data in their area as well as a secure multi-agency information sharing space.
However, even more collaboration between agencies is needed for residents to experience the full benefit of these tools.
Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane said: “Data sharing between partner organisations beyond our immediate field of expertise is increasingly important in a multi-agency, preventative approach to tackling issues such as violent crime, and essential to our ability to respond to the challenges of changing crime, technology and demographics.
“Sharing data and creating the tools to use it to create intelligence and actionable, evidence based plans makes sense as it improves both effectiveness and efficiency. But it will continue to be essential that expertise and local understanding sit alongside the ability to see broader context. This conference and the growing partnerships will empower both the local and strategic understanding.”
Andy Wheeler, Neighbourhood Quality Officer at Havant Borough Council, said: “We are a small team where community safety is only part of what we do, so we rely even more so on information sharing tools to best manage our partnership arrangements. InterAct provides useful insights that we wouldn’t have access to otherwise, and SafetyNet+ is an essential tool that allows us to manage the Support Families Programme effectively and saving hours of administration time, enabling us to focus on the things that matter.”
The conference also saw university students undertaking research placements with the Commissioner’s team presenting their work and highlighting a range of research opportunities for partners to get involved in next year.
Leah Morgan from Southampton University said: “It was a very informative day that showcased the benefits of working in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office. Learning about the work of these partnerships was eye opening and I think the conference did great in encouraging cooperation from other organisations to help make communities safer.”