talktowitnessPan London lead on Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs Detective Superintendent Dick Henson has discussed the importance of joined-up working across agencies at a major conference earlier this week.

Speaking of the genesis of the various safeguarding models that are now employed across the capital, he said: “We’ve had 70–or-more years of lessons learned, many of which have centred around what happens when agencies fail to join up properly. Indeed, the Child Risk Assessment Model which we use in London alongside the MASH, was developed directly after the death of Baby P – a tragedy that occurred following a plethora of missed warning signs and opportunities to intervene.”

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Discussing the increased intelligence possible through better information-sharing at an early stage, he said : “The emphasis now has to be on developing a holistic understanding, and then acting on the information that we share. You can’t answer the final question until all the segments are in place - which is one of the reasons we’ve rolled multi agency safeguarding hubs out across every London borough.

“If we don’t get this right in these times of high organisational risk, the pain will be shared - and in my view, rightly so.”

D Supt Henson was speaking during the afternoon session of Monday’s pan-organisational MASH: Intelligence-led Safeguarding Conference 2014. He joined Detective Sergeant Sean Byron and Detective Superintendent Ian Critchley, two other force senior figures also heavily involved in the facilitation of multi-agency work.