Exclusive Chief Constable Interview - Part 3: Why is Essex Police failing to secure countywide cooperation with other agencies?

By Charles Thomson in Crime

THE CHIEF Constable of Essex Police has claimed it is not his fault the force is failing to work in a joined-up way with other agencies across the county.

The force was criticised in a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), for failing to create a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

A MASH would see police work with councils and other local bodies to offer joined-up support to crime victims.

But Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said the force could not work in the way HMIC wanted it to because it contains two unitary authorities – Thurrock and Southend.

In the report, HMIC said: “The force has not yet been successful in creating an effective MASH across the county in order that victims received the best multi-agency help.”

The report said the force was instead asking its public protection operations centre to complete ’as much of the work of a MASH as it can’.

The report continued: “A county MASH, with co-located partners, would streamline processes and improve services.”

Asked in an exclusive Yellow Advertiser interview why he had failed to set-up a MASH, Mr Kavanagh said: “The way the county is made up, we have the county council and we have two unitary authorities in Southend and Thurrock – and Southend and Thurrock have chosen, within their partnerships, to manage the sharing of information differently to the county.

“I would like the whole county to be together as much as it possibly can and I’m pushing partner agencies for us to use information as quickly as possible to safeguard.

“Unfortunately, at the moment, we still have three separate arrangements. That’s certainly not the choice of the police.

“But we have got great partnerships with Southend, Thurrock and the county and if we can get a platform for sharing information more effectively, we will do that, because it’s cheaper and it’s more effective.”

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