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Information Sharing

Exploring law enforcement consensus in information sharing priorities

A priority area of research for the VKPP is information sharing, embedded in multiple actions within the National Vulnerability Action Plan (NVAP, 2020-2022). It refers to the sharing of personal information legally and professionally by practitioners who provide safeguarding services which enables the risk of abuse or harm to be identified, assessed and mitigated.

Information sharing is a perennial issue in child protection and adult safeguarding, and has for decades been acknowledged as a challenging and entrenched issue in serious case reviews and in reviews of the child protection system in the UK. The issue is highlighted specifically in police inspections as well as within some recently commissioned research into information sharing. Whilst a range of information sharing barriers and challenges have been  identified, it is less clear which of these should be a priority for intervention and/or further research.    

To explore the extent to which there is consensus amongst law enforcement experts, VKPP are planning to undertake a Delphi Study, underpinned by a detailed Rapid Evidence Assessment on information sharing. The Delphi method is a widely accepted approach for generating data from experts in a specific domain and has been described as a group facilitation technique which aims to convert individual opinion into group consensus. It is an iterative multistage process where a panel of experts are asked to review and rate statements across a number of survey rounds.

The aims of research are:   

  • To map the range of information sharing challenges/ priorities within policing in England & Wales
  • To identify the most pressing issues on which there is consensus among experts
  • To document and share these issues for future planning of interventions and/ or further research and evaluation.  

The literature review is currently underway which will identify the range of information sharing challenges reported in published materials.  Later in 2022, following a mapping of potential participants, the Delphi survey will be launched which will include a consultation session at the end.