Innovation Exchange

East and Midlothian Public Protection Office

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

Further Information

In East Lothian and Midlothian, it was recognised that, while structures in Public Protection have evolved separately, the reality for most service users is that their needs often span more than one area. In response, the East and Midlothian Public Protection Office was created, with the establishment of East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Team, with officers from adult support and protection, child protection,  and  the domestic abuse service. This team is co-located with the local Police Scotland Public Protection Unit and Midlothian and East Lothian Drug and Alcohol Partnership. The primary aim of the team is to work in a more integrated way to strengthen practice across the whole public protection arena.

 

To address the significant overlaps, Committee structures were also streamlined and East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Committee (EMPPC) was established in July 2014 incorporating the duties and functions of the Adult Protection Committee, Child Protection Committee, Offender Management Committee and Violence Against Women Partnership and to ensure robust links with Midlothian and East Lothian Drug and Alcohol Partnership (MELDAP).  This was the first such committee in Scotland to be established in this way.

 

The East and Midlothian Public Protection Committee is the key strategic group dealing with public protection matters across East and Midlothian and includes representatives from key partners (Social Work, Police Scotland, NHS Lothian, Education, Housing, 3rd sector etc). The committee reports to senior officers through the East and Midlothian Critical Services Oversight Group.

 

Theme: Community Safety

midlothian council logo
east lothian council logo

All Public Protection activity takes place within two axes:

 

  • Preventative – Reactive
  • Individual – Community engagement

 

Activities include:

 

  • Community and Agency staff awareness raising
  • Education / risk management initiatives
  • Specific initiatives to address identified harm to groups – e.g  financial harm / child sexual exploitation
  • Investigation and protection planning

 

The Public Protection Office is well placed at the hub in the centre of the whole spectrum of activity having an overview / offering support and guidance towards a more holistic approach.

  • Taking a “Lifespan” approach to protection issues
  • Putting the person at the centre of the process and looking at the situation with a wider lens
  • Shared staff capacity resulting in a broader more flexible base
  • Less duplication of effort
  • More effective and efficient processes
  • Reduction in overall costs
  • The shared aims – across all key agencies which are
  • to keep people safe, and
  • the importance of mutual learning across disciplines,
  • Controversies around information sharing and confidentiality have lessened as relationships have developed and trust has grown.
  • Collaborative leadership has enabled Public Protection to become more holistic, both for the service user and organisationally.
  • People do not neatly fit into one category and issues like Domestic  Abuse and  Alcohol and Drug misuse are common themes with many of the service users with whom we work.
  • Bringing together the individual partnerships into one Public Protection Committee across two local authorities has streamlined processes considerably and the group now demonstrates a significant level of trust and integrity. An example of this is senior officers chairing case reviews for the other local authority.

 

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

Anne Thompson

East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Team Manager

East and Midlothian Councils

0131 653 5151

Case study added to site: June 2016

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