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LB Richmond: supporting vulnerable victims through the Community MARAC and Community Trigger

The ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014 is designed to shift the focus from centrally set targets, and the type of behaviour, to looking at the impacts on the lives of victims. Key components in the “putting victims first” approach are the Community Trigger and Community Remedy. These two tools also carry statutory duties for the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), which in London’s case are carried out by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC).

PROBLEM

Following a review of cases for the borough ASB Panel, LB Richmond took steps to improve services to vulnerable victims of ASB. Areas of focus included: agency “ownership” of relevant actions, and clarity in identifying victim need in the assessment process.

The incorporation of the Community MARAC model and the introduction of information sharing protocols between housing partners and Mental Health services have strengthened Richmond’s victim centred approach. However, there remained an opportunity to develop more of a ‘single system’ approach that had greater collective resilience in the area of risk management.

In common with other boroughs Richmond and its partners face multiple challenges in anticipation of further funding constraints, increased staff turnover and reliance on interim arrangements. Increased referral pressure on localised case management was also anticipated as partners sought to redefine their own capacity.

LB Richmond continues to maintain its commitment to online and direct reporting from the public, even though this is currently a resource intensive approach that could benefit from further integration. A model was therefore sought that would be more sustainable in the long term.

SOLUTION

  • Development of a ‘single system approach’ to risk management ensuring clear visibility in regard to ownership of risk, case progression and key points of contact, to maintain resilience in case management capability.
  • Development of an enhanced online reporting tool capable of capturing consent and providing assessment of need and direct referral into appropriate support at the first point of contact.
  • Shared workshops to strengthen partnerships and problem solving.

Background

In 2014 the Richmond Community Safety Team conducted an analysis of cases (from 6 June 2013 – 12t June 2014) as part of a wider engagement with community and voluntary sector groups.

The analysis revealed high levels of complex need with an average of 54 per cent of perpetrators having some history of engagement with Community Mental Health services. However, the picture for victims was less clear and reflective of a poorer quality of data overall. Despite a commitment to dip sampling: (one to one interviews with victims to gauge case management effectiveness), the contribution of Victim Support and the Tenants Champion the need for a more holistic approach to complex needs was clear.

Lacking the capacity to facilitate a full stand-alone Community MARAC, the panel has instead opted to incorporate the model into the existing ASB panel, with a revised referral process that makes use of the Met Police Vulnerability Assessment Framework

This approach has, in turn, been strengthened by new information sharing protocols between housing providers and CMHT in March 2015, the ongoing Met Police Mental Health Triage Pilot, good CMHT attendance at the ASB/ community MARAC Panel and free Mental Health training provided to panel members.

The Risk Management Project was originally conceived in response to planned shared service delivery with Kingston (known as the Thames Agreement). Work on the agreement was suspended in November 2014 and a subsequent shared service agreement with Wandsworth has since been formalised in January 2015, which aims to achieve savings in the region of £10 million a year for Richmond while preserving front line services. The Project remains at a scoping stage at this time.

 

ACTIONS

Introduction of an improved referral tool to support the combined ASB/Community Risk MARAC panel. The referral utilises the Met Police Vulnerability Assessment Framework as a more consistent indicator of risk than the standard Risk Assessment Matrix, which had been found to produce subjective results.

Establishment of training/mapping workshops to enable partners to undertake walkthrough of services, gap analysis and problem solving

Proposed Audit role for Victim Support manager and the Tenants Champion to provide independent assessment of victim case management.

Implementation of a Risk Management Project:

  • Scoping of project to develop a fully auditable cost-effective single system approach to risk management, ensuring clear visibility in regard to ownership of risk, case progression and key points of contact within a given referral pathway.
  • The project will build on recent information sharing agreements to allow authorised personnel to record/access case information at the point of call and notify assigned case workers and officers.
  • A key aim of the project will be to ensure that the tool is easily adaptable to the working culture of each agency. Co-design with CMHT and Safeguarding and other partners will be sought to ensure take-up.
  • Preliminary work on the project to date has been based on the repurposing of existing systems, but evaluation of cloud-based systems offering permissions-based case management framework and requiring minimal infrastructure will also be considered.

Implementation of Enhanced Online Reporting Project:

  • Development of an enhanced online reporting tool to provide a single point of entry model capable of capturing consent and providing assessment of need and referral into appropriate support at the first point of contact.
  • Basic assessment questions will follow a reduction approach, enabling straightforward service requests, but allowing progression to an assessment of need (incorporating NHS consent templates) where complainants identify issues likely to impact on their wellbeing.
  • In addition to providing professionals with an indicator of risk, the assessment profile aims to help complainants/victims recognise key factors in their experience of the problem while preserving individual resilience; highlighting a range of tools and services that will equip them to deal with the problem.
  • Responses to some issues will therefore focus on the individual’s role in problem solving. Residents dealing with neighbour disputes for example may be referred to the borough’s mediation provider for assessment as part of this process.

Outcomes

Both projects will need to take account of the future shared service model and are therefore currently in development.

Enhanced online reporting tool:

  • Early identification of vulnerability.
  • Rapid referral into services.
  • Case management capacity preserved for prioritised cases.
  • Increased resilience for service users.

Risk Management Project:

  • Delivery of a Single System Approach to ensure resilience of an integrated case management system across the borough.
  • Identifying ownership of risk at all points.

 

FUNDING

The development of an enhanced online reporting tool is undertaken at existing cost. Evaluation of delivery of risk assessment project is currently on hold pending development of a shared service model with Wandsworth.

Implementing the Community Trigger

From its introduction as a pilot borough in August 2012, Richmond‘s Community Trigger has been built on a strong partnership commitment to working closely with those affected by crime and anti-social behaviour. This approach, which is driven by three key agencies within the borough’s Community Safety Partnership (Richmond Council, Richmond MPS and RHP) also makes use of the borough’s Tenants’ Champion role to provide an additional level of transparency and scrutiny to the Community Trigger panel.

Ongoing awareness of the trigger has been maintained by building high levels of integration into existing publicity, complaint and reporting procedures, while also allowing each party to maintain its own house style. RHP, (Richmond’s largest housing provider) and Richmond Council both provide online reporting mechanisms and all partnership agencies provide information through websites and printed materials.

Feedback on the Richmond model has been good and highlights the personal contact that has been central to the partnership response, even where requests fail to meet the threshold. However, while the partnership is confident that it has the right level of integration and scrutiny to provide better services, the overall number of triggers has remained low.

Good levels of integration in regard to reporting may have contributed in part to low take up, but concern remains that awareness among residents is likely to diminish, despite current levels of marketing. A revised communications strategy is therefore proposed for delivery by the ASB Development Group.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

Colin Lucas
Anti-Social Behaviour Officer
[email protected]k