Early intervention portal helps to reduce harm

A crucial tool to help police signpost people into support services across the West Midlands has been launched.

The Impact Pathways website is an essential part of the force’s drive to act early and prevent people from coming to future harm.

Impact Pathways is a one-stop shop, detailing agencies that can help people in their hour of need, to be used by police, emergency services colleagues, local authorities and even those in need, themselves.

The site offers details of more than 100 external agencies across the West Midlands where staff and members of the public can go to for help and advice across a wide range of subjects.

“Impact Pathways effectively maps and highlights many of the various service providers and support agencies operating across the West Midlands who can provide help to those in need,” said Chief Superintendent Rachel Jones, whose Offender Management team is leading on the project for the force.

“Split into local authority areas, this is the first type of joint multi agency support facility we have seen.

“It allows members of the public and professionals to search in their local area for the resource, knowledge and expertise of statutory agencies such as the NHS, private companies, and a whole range of charities and community groups which exist to support people.

“The website is an important part of the force’s commitment to adopting an ethos of intervention and prevention. The message is clear – if we act early we can help nip problems in the bud and prevent future harm. We want to tip the balance away from costly and low impact reactionary measures to offer a better service to people, which is more effective in preventing harm and a considerable drain on resources.”
The Impact Pathways website, which is delivered under WMP2020 and forms part of the Intervention and Prevention project, is split into nine area of help and advice (pathways) covering:

  • Drugs – Find out how and where to access support including rapid prescribing, local support groups, residential rehab, group recovery programs and more
  • Alcohol – Find out how and where to access support including detox, local support groups, residential rehab, group recovery programs and more
  • Accommodation – Find out how and where to access support including emergency and supported housing, council and private tenancies and more
  • Children and families – Find out how and where to access support including coping with a partner or parent in prison, supporting a loved one with substance misuse recovery, parenting support, child care options and more
  • Finance, benefit and debt – Find out how and where to access support including money management and budgeting, debt relief orders, benefit claiming and appeals, emergency payments and more
  • Mental and physical health – Find out how and where to access GP surgeries, dentists, counselling, mental health support groups, leisure facilities and more
  • Attitudes, thinking and behaviour – Find out how and where to access support including: anger management courses, developing motivation and awareness of self and others support groups and more
  • Education, training and employment – Find out how and where to access employment advice, training courses, qualifications, volunteering and more
  • Women – domestic abuse and sex working – Find out how and where to access support including one to one and group counselling, community outreach support, support groups and more.

policeThe site, which allows information to be automatically translated into 50 different languages, also contains a wealth of other information such as: mapping food banks; how to register with a GP/dentist; how offenders can keep their home if they are imprisoned, etc.

It has been estimated that the total cost to public services in the West Midlands alone for late intervention in 2014-2015 was £909 million. The cost to policing alone was just under £64 million.

“Early intervention, which includes signposting people to the right help, isn’t about saving money, it’s about doing the right thing, but at the same time the economies we could make by adopting this approach could be ploughed into more frontline policing,” added Chief Supt Jones.

“Officers should ask themselves two questions when they are called to an incident – how do I act here and now to prevent this from becoming a more serious issue and which partners do I need to help me? If that means signposting people to agencies where they can go for help that should be one of the options they consider.”

The agencies listed on the site are arranged by the type of services they provide and a postcode search facility. The agencies listed have information about how to access their services and often this is free, confidential and may even be a walk-in service.
Officers are urged to put forward other agencies they are aware of across the force areas, for inclusion on the site. Agencies who would like to be featured on the website can use the enquiry form on the site.

You can access the site at: www.ipwm.org.uk. The site will be pre-loaded onto the new devices which will be rolled out to frontline officers next month and is seen as a key tool in helping officers with referrals and support to people in need of assistance when attending incidents.

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