I have been at a meeting of our MoveOn partners in Florence this week. Everyone at Progetto Acrobaleno was buzzing following a visit from the Duchess of Cornwall the previous day. They were keen to show me where Camilla spoke to their clients, where Camilla had signed their visitors book, where Camilla had chatted about our MoveOn project etc... One group of migrants had only arrived in Italy 3 days beforehand and they were being introduced to Camilla, their view of European Royalty must be somewhat coloured by the fact that a Duchess came to meet them on day 3! I was struck by the excitement that a royal visit had created, perhaps more so in Italy than in the UK. It hit me that there are many things in the UK that we don't know how well we do.
A little later on we heard from a speaker who works for the Italian state finding employment opportunities for migrant women (and men although this wasn't the subject of the talk) who was telling us how they have achieved the most success by working in partnership with both state and third sector partners freely referring cases between one another and working hand in glove for the benefit of those who need their support.
Both of these experiences reminded me of our Protasis project. Protasis is a partnership led by EPLO in Greece along with partners from other European countries to identify and share best practice in policing where police officers have to work with victims of crime. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the UK was included in the partnership for the benefit of the other partners as an example of best practice, since as with the royal family, we are held up as an example of excellence when working with victims. As with the Italian model of finding work for migrants, the success is partly fueled by the willingness and ability of different agencies to cooperatively work together for the common good of the victims. We heard from Hertfordshire police who work with victim support amongst a suite of organisations, in a single office to ensure that when a victim presents to the police they can be fully supported without being passed from pillar to post, having to re-live their trauma at each stage. The synergy between the successes in the Move On project and the successes in the Protasis project for me was a great example of why IARS exists. Taking models of excellence from one area of work and applying them to another we are uniquely able to share that practice between sectors on a daily basis.
For more information on our Protasis project, look at: http://www.iars.org.uk/content/protasis-empowering-policing-professional...