Sharing Information with Essex Police

Download the Essex Police Information Sharing Form here

Essex Police Public Protection Operations Centre Triage Team

In September 2016, Essex Police implemented a new Public Protection centralised Operations Centre Triage Team. Within this team is incorporated the roles and functions of the previously named ‘Child Sexual Exploitation Triage Team’. This team will be the primary point of contact for Public Protection related referrals from partner agencies.

The Triage Team is subdivided into a Child Triage Team (managing all child abuse, including online and CSE referrals), and an Adult Triage Team (managing all vulnerable adult referrals). The team is supported by Missing Person Liaison Officers (MPLOs), Hate Crime Officers (HCOs) and an Intelligence Support Team, and consists of Detectives and police staff that are responsible for:

  • Receipt of public protection referrals from partner agencies.
  • Completion of background research for each referral.
  • Assessment to determine initial police response and risk management requirements.
  • Initial strategy discussions for new referrals.
  • Allocation of referrals to the appropriate police team or intelligence development and monitoring of the concern.
  • Responding to requests for information – unless the case is or has been subject of investigation.

Missing Person Liaison Officers (MPLO)

The responsibility of the Missing Person Liaison Officers is to maintain a comprehensive overview of missing people within a defined area in order to identify those who are at risk of significant harm and to co-ordinate the response from Essex Police and its partners, so as to reduce the likelihood of harm occurring to vulnerable people. There are 10 MPLOs; one for each Essex Police District Policing Area.

Hate Crime Officer (HCO)

There is one dedicated Hate Crime Officer per local policing area. The HCO will concentrate their safeguarding and multi-agency working through focus on high risk victims and repeat victims of hate crimes.

How to contact the Triage Team (Child or Adult)

  1. In an emergency situation: If there is an immediate threat to life or safety Essex Police should be contacted on 999.
  2. Urgent response to a referral is required – but no immediate threat to life or safety: Between the hours of 08:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday: Contact the Triage Team directly by telephone: 101, extn 180022 or 180043. For urgent cases a verbal referral will initially be accepted however it is requested that the original referral be supported by a written referral (see Essex Police Child Information Sharing Form), as soon as the urgency of the situation has been reduced.
  3. Outside of the above hours: Contact the relevant Geographical Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT) via the Essex Police Force Control room, by using the 101 call number. There are now 6 CAIT: Colchester – Chelmsford – Basildon – Southend – Grays & Harlow.
  4. Non-urgent response to a referral required: It is requested that the referral be in writing using the Essex Police Child Information Sharing From which must be sent via a secure email address e.g. .gsi/.pnn /.nhs.net.

    Email for the Triage Team – OC.triage.team.essex@essex.pnn.police.uk

Authorities under whom information is shared

The Whole Essex Information Sharing Framework (WEISF) is the overarching information sharing framework under which all information sharing agreements across the county are based. Information shared in respect of a risk to children will be shared under the Southend, Essex, Thurrock (SET) Child Protection Procedures, safeguarding children information sharing guidelines and the Caldicott Guidance. Information shared in respect of a risk to vulnerable adults will be shared under the auspices of the SET Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Guidance. The manner in which information can be disclosed takes into account the following:

  • To meet the policing purpose of protecting life and property; preserving order; preventing the commission of offences; bringing offenders to justice, or fulfilling a duty or responsibility arising from common law or statute.
  • The Data Protection Act 1998 (the processing of personal information).
  • The Human Rights Act 1998, Articles 2 and 3 and 8 for the rights of life, to be free from torture and the right to have a private life without suffering violence.
  • Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
  • Section 115 Crime and Disorders Act 1998
  • Section 120 Learning and Skills Act 2000
  • Section 325 Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Duty to co-operate)
  • Sections 39 & 39a Police Act 1996 (Code of Practice on the Management of Police Information)

What information can be shared?

Any information which may relate to sexual exploitation of a child or vulnerable adult can and should be shared.

This may be clearly significant in nature; e.g. the name of a suspected abuser or victim, or the make, colour and registration number of a vehicle used by a suspected abuser.

In some cases the significance or clarity of the information may be less clear; e.g. a child reporting they have seen a potential victim getting into a blue car on their way home from school or a pattern of unexplained behaviour.

What if the source of the information does not want their details disclosed to the police?

If the source is another professional or third sector worker who has obtained this information as part of their role, they should not be considered as a confidential source and their details should be disclosed. Any information about risk posed by disclosure of this information should be included on the information sharing form. The police will then be in a position to make an informed judgement on risk and further contact.

If the source is not a professional and does not wish their details to be passed to the police this can be respected in the majority of cases. However the originating agency / organisation MUST keep details of the source and record on the information sharing form where that information can be found and any reference number. In some cases there will need to be discussions with the originating organisation about risks to the source if their details are not disclosed and further information may be required to judge any risk to the source of the information.

What will the police do with the information?

  • The police will enter the information onto their intelligence database under the category of ‘Sexual Exploitation’.
  • They will review the new information against all previously held intelligence relating to sexual exploitation and also against any specific references contained within the information document.
  • If this new information provides sufficient intelligence to allow a further oversight of information held and additional investigation this will be referred to the most appropriate department for continuing investigation.
  • Information on the police database will be securely held in accordance with the Management of Police Information Act (MoPI) and will be disposed of under timescales and procedures agreed under the auspices of the Act.

Will the police pass the information to other agencies?

If the information or development of the information shows a defined risk to a child or vulnerable adult, the police will make a safeguarding referral to the relevant Local Authority in the usual way. The LA will then be responsible for safeguarding in accordance with the guidance relating to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.

If the information or development of the information shows a potential criminal offence may have been committed, information will be shared with the most appropriate agencies. This may include on a case by case basis organisations such as: Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU), CEOP, another police force, any Local Authority where the adult or child resides, Health agencies, the Salvation Army (for human trafficking), the Missing People charity and others who may be able to provide additional information or assist in a specific investigation.

Download the Essex Police Information Sharing Form here