Working in Partnership – multi agency meetings

Working in partnership was not always fascinating! This was especially true as I became involved in multi agency groups, a substantive part of my work experience from the time in Milton Keynes to the end of my career. It was in the Crime Prevention Panel in Milton Keynes that the importance of being there and waiting first struck me. Many of the meetings of this group were tedious and of dubious effectiveness. Police would present information about crime patterns and we would all say how useful it was for this information to be shared. No consequences could be observed in the way people worked in the light of this information. I often wondered what I was doing sitting through such apparently pointless meetings. As time passed, however, it gradually became clear to me that I was becoming more influential in how meetings were conducted, and my presence seemed to be valued by others in the meeting. This meant that I was building relationships that were useful outside the meeting as well as becoming more useful in the meetings. In this case it would be hard to argue that the meetings themselves were especially useful in preventing crime, but it did help me as a local manager to become part of a community of influence in the city. At least there was some public relations benefit to the exercise.

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