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Evidence Base – Sharing and using data

Data, and the availability and quality of data shared between partners, has been included in previous strategic assessments and is again highlighted as a priority this year. Where data flows between agencies we consistently see a more efficient service provided by partners and better outcomes for our residents; where data doesn’t flow or is unreliable, partners struggle to grip and deal with issues and our effectiveness is much reduced.

The implementation of new databases and procedures has had an impact on recording practices for antisocial behaviour, and without robust and reliable data, meaningful analysis for future strategic assessments will continue to be challenging. Challenges also remain around the recording of hate crime, with inconsistent recording of crimes as opposed to incidents and variable treatment of the crossovers between hate crime and antisocial behaviour.

Data can also be lacking because of a lack of public willingness to report incidents. The recent Kingswood crime survey told us that almost three quarters of respondents who said that they had been a victim of crime in Kingswood within the last 18 months had not reported it; where incidents have been reported we also need to ensure that we have robust sharing mechanisms in place to make sure all relevant agencies are informed.

We also need to ensure that we use the data available in the most effective way, for example the loss of the MARAC Annual report has resulted in a large gap in performance data. The report would include a detailed picture of victim and perpetrators and this data was extremely useful in understanding where to direct resources and identify areas of unmet need. It is worth noting that this was a resource-intensive exercise however, and it may be unrealistic to expect this report to be produced again; it’s recommended that alternative sources of information should be explored.

Some data-sharing initiatives have proven very successful, for example the creation of a centrally monitored hate crime database. This is beginning to provide reliable, duplicate-free data with which to form the local evidence base for designing interventions, targeting resources, commissioning opportunities, and informing equalities impact assessments. Similarly, the ‘Scaled Approach’ used by the Youth Offending Service means that those young people needing the most help should attract an enhanced and priority service from all youth justice and welfare agencies in a bid to reduce/stop their risk and improve their outcomes. These types of initiative show how important good datasets and data-flows are to effective partnership working.