Intelligence-led safeguardingMajor figures from the Service came together to discuss the benefits of collaborative working at the MASH: Intelligence-Led Safeguarding Conference 2014, which took place earlier this week in the City of London.

Attracting a wide range of public sector delegates, the event witnessed ACPO child sexual exploitation lead Ian Critchley discussing the impact of coordinated working, both nationally and within his own force of Lancashire. Detective Sergeant Sean Byron of the Home Office PND project meanwhile talked about the ways in which local partners can use the Police National Database to inform their efforts to protect vulnerable people.

Speaking of Lancashire’s use of MASH – a dynamic safeguarding and information-sharing model, bringing together both statutory and non-statutory caring agencies - Detective Superintendent Critchley said: “There’s no stereotype when it comes to who might be at risk from child sexual exploitation – it’s a matter of picking up on the warning signs, which means seeing the whole picture. The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub in Lancashire allows us to do this. The key is co-located multi-agency teams which allow the dynamic sharing of information.”

He continued: “The fundamental thing that we have to learn to do – both on a local and national level – is to operationalise the intelligence. In Lancashire we’re making this work through the development of ‘problem profiles’, which inform our work with partners. We’re also on the way to developing a single pathway for all agencies, as well as integrating ICT to share relevant information in an appropriate way. The MASH is providing us with the richest picture we’ve ever seen.”

Picking up the theme in relation to the Police National Database, Detective Sergeant Byron said: “Everyone in this room needs to know about the PND, which since its establishment in 2011 has grown to incorporate over two billion records. It’s phenomenally powerful, particularly if searching for information on potential offenders from across force boundaries.”

Event facilitator and original developer of the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub model Nigel Boulton said: “The PND is an amazingly useful tool, for instance in keeping track of transient families or children that are being brought into the country. It’s something that can really help local authority decision-makers make sure that all vulnerable people remain ‘above the radar’. ”

Other speakers at the conference included Senior Healthcare Researcher at the Institute of Psychology Dr Gail Gilchrist, Rory Patterson, Director of Children’s Social Care in the London Borough of Southwark, and Hillingdon MASH project manager Priscilla Kurewa. The keynote address was delivered by NSPCC Head of Strategy (disabled children, sexual abuse) Jon Brown. 

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