Alternative Text Version - Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Annual Report 2004 (English Version)
Alternative Text Version - Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Annual Report 2004 (English Version)
ACPC - Area Child Protection Committee
LCJB - Local Criminal Justice Board
MAPPA - Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements
MAPPP - Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel
NPS - National Probation Service
OASys - Offender Assessment System
RMM - Risk Management Meeting
SMB - Strategic Management Board
TDI - The Derwent Initiative
YOT - Youth Offending Team
We are pleased to introduce the third annual MAPPA Report for Northumbria.
Over the past three years we have made great strides in protecting the public through the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements. Dangerous offenders will always be with us, but the work of MAPPA means that we are able to manage and minimise that risk better than ever before.
We would like to take this opportunity to welcome the prison service on board for the forthcoming year to act as the 'Responsible Authority' alongside probation and police services. Similarly, the Criminal Justice Act 2003 also imposes a 'Duty to Co-operate' from 2004/5 onwards on all the agencies involved.
However, in Northumbria we have been very fortunate in that all agencies have willingly co-operated from the start and we look forward to continuing this productive working relationship in the forthcoming year.
Northumbria is also currently recruiting two lay advisors, members of the public, to sit on the Strategic Management Board and work alongside the partner agencies in deciding MAPPA procedures. This welcome public perspective will help to ensure greater openness in the proceedings and a closer affinity with public perception.
We now have an established MAPPA Unit, based at police headquarters in Ponteland. This unit includes police and probation staff and reflects the commitment Northumbria has as an area to managing risk through a multi-agency approach, and is a significant step forward.
Inevitably, the number of offenders supervised under MAPPA will continue to increase year on year for a time. This is due to the cumulative effect of cases coming into the system and remaining subject to risk management for a number of years.
We hope members of the public will find these figures reassuring, rather than alarming, as they demonstrate that every year we are aware of, and as such
managing, more high risk offenders. We hope you will find this report useful in providing you with the latest information on MAPPA
procedures in Northumbria.
Chair Chief Constable
Northumbria Probation Board Northumbria Police
National overview of MAPPA:
Sexual and violent offences are dreadful crimes that deeply affect the lives of victims and their families and inspire fear in local communities.
Their impact can be profound and long-lasting, leaving victims feeling
unsafe even in their own homes.
The Government regards tackling sexual and violent crimes as one of its highest priorities.
Having set up the MAPPA in 2001 – which provided for the first time a firm statutory basis for the work police and probation jointly undertake to protect the public from sexual and violent offenders – it has in the last year done a great deal to strengthen the MAPPA and the wider public protection framework.
Strengthening the MAPPA:
The national development of the MAPPA has concentrated on preparing to implement the MAPPA provisions of the Criminal Justice Act (2003).
These provisions came into force on 5th April 2004 and help strengthen the MAPPA by:
(i) making the Prison Service part of the 'Responsible Authority' with police and probation;
(ii) formalising the involvement of other agencies which can make an important contribution to helping offenders not to reoffend – the Act imposes a 'Duty to Cooperate' with the Responsible Authority upon:
- Local Authority Housing, Education and Social Services
- Health Service bodies
- Jobcentre Plus
- Youth Offending Teams
- Registered Social Landlords which accommodate MAPPA offenders
- Electronic Monitoring providers
(iii) the appointment by the Home Secretary of two members of the public ('Lay Advisors') in each Area to assist in monitoring the effectiveness of the MAPPA.
Work on the duty to co-operate has been taken forward by two separate and complementary initiatives. First, in many areas the duty to cooperate formalises what has already begun to be established as good practice.
The statutory basis of the duty will help ensure a more consistent engagement of all these agencies across England and Wales.
Secondly, the relevant Central Government Departments and the Welsh Assembly have been involved in developing the Guidance which the Home Secretary issued on the duty to co-operate.
The reform of the way in which child protection is organised, following the public inquiry into the tragic death of Victoria Climbie, will reinforce the importance of effective joint working between different agencies which the MAPPA has itself promoted.
The introduction of an element of public scrutiny of this often complex and sensitive area of public protection through the appointment of two Lay Advisers in each Area, has been carefully and successfully trialed and evaluated.
As Home Office Minister Paul Goggins said: "Lay Advisors will play a vital role…We are committed to giving them not only an insight into how this work is carried out but, more importantly, an opportunity to question what is being done and why."
Other Legislative Measures:
In addition to this work to strengthen the MAPPA, the Government has also begun to strengthen other statutory provisions, the most significant of which is the Sexual Offences Act (2003) and the measures to introduce new sentences for 'dangerous' offenders which will keep them in custody until they no longer pose a serious risk to the public.
The Sexual Offences Act overhauls the many antiquated sexual offences and plugs loopholes in the law. In updating sexual offences, it strengthens the law on rape and on sex offences against children.
It introduces new offences of 'sexual grooming' and extends the protection from exploitation in prostitution or pornography to children up to the age of 18.
For the first time, it will be an offence to buy sexual services from a child below this age, targeting those who abuse children in this way.
The Sexual Offences Act also strengthens the Sex Offenders Register, which has proved a valuable means by which the police can monitor convicted sex offenders within their area, and introduces new civil orders to help prevent further offences from being committed.
The Focus on victims:
In addition to all this work to tackle offenders, the Government has rightly placed much greater emphasis upon meeting the needs of victims.
The victims of sexual offending are identified as a priority group within the National Victims and Witnesses Strategy. This strategy which was published in July 2003, aims to improve support and protection for victims and witnesses by:
- Reducing the adverse effects of crime on victims and witnesses, and preventing secondary victimisation
- Encouraging more victims and witnesses to come forward
- By offering more options to victims and witnesses, including alternatives to
attendance at court. These initiatives will help towards another key Government target, that of improving public confidence in the criminal justice system.
The Government is underpinning this work in its Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill which is currently going through Parliament.
It will create a new independent post of Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses to be a champion/voice for all victims of crime and a new statutory Victims' Code of Practice (to be implemented in April 2005) which will build on the existing Victims' Charters and set out specific responsibilities that each Criminal Justice Service Agency and Victim Support Service must provide to victims.
Key achievements within Northumbria:
Building on the national drive to strengthen MAPPA, Northumbria has refined its arrangements for the identification, assessment and risk management of relevant offenders and enhanced its multi-agency approach by developing systems which facilitate the exchange of information between agencies.
A principal achievement in November 2003 was the establishment of the Northumbria Strategic Management Board (SMB) referred to in greater detail later in this report.
The identification of appropriate representatives was not an easy task
in Northumbria due to the size of the Area and it was a welcome sight to have the Northumbria SMB assembled for its inaugural meeting on 13 November 2003.
Northumbria Police and Probation had for some time been working towards the co-location of public protection staff in each service.
This was finally achieved, also in November 2003, when the MAPPA Unit opened for business at Northumbria Police Headquarters.
The MAPPA Unit is staffed by -
Public Protection Manager
Sex Offender Registrar
(See contact details at end of report)
The MAPPA Unit has revised the procedures for the identification of relevant offenders ensuring that all violent and sexual offenders are included in the arrangements and are effectively risk managed at the appropriate level.
These procedures have strengthened the arrangements in Northumbria, ensuring a quality service using robust systems.
Effective joint working between agencies is a key component of MAPPA and over the past year the Responsible Authority (Probation and Police) has striven to ensure that agencies are aware of the valuable contribution they can make and know how to engage with the MAPPA process.
Links with the Area Child Protection Committee (ACPA) procedures are crucial and within Northumbria a standardisation of procedures to link child protection and public protection has been established.
Ensuring that systems in both structures are complementary is essential and have, therefore, been devised to address public protection within child protection and vice versa.
Engaging the three Mental Health Trusts within the Northumbria Area has been a priority for the Responsible Authority and this has resulted in some of the most productive work in establishing protocols and procedures for managing risk.
The MAPPA Unit has taken on a promotional role for MAPPA and delivered presentations on the operation of the arrangements and their significance to a range of agencies aimed at both their managerial and practitioner staff. If you would find such a presentation useful, please contact the MAPPA Unit, contact details at the back of this report.
Confidence in the operation of the established systems and knowledge of procedures regarding their interface with MAPPA is essential for all agencies in order to ensure that public safety is a priority and an achievable aim.
Case study 1 – David:
Category 1 - Registered Sex Offenders
A 52-year-old man was due for release subject to Probation licence supervision having served a 9 year prison sentence for rape of an adult female.
The Probation Officer responsible for supervising the licence began planning for the man's release at an early stage and initiated a MAPPP meeting prior to the offender's release. The offender was also subject to sex offender registration for an indefinite period. The meeting included representatives from prison, police, probation, an approved premises (formerly probation and bail hostel) manager and a victim liaison officer who had had recent contact with the victim of the offence.
The meeting received risk assessments from police, probation and the prison indicating the level of risk posed by this man. Information regarding the views of the victim and her current need for protection in view of the offender's release was shared with the meeting.
A Risk Management Plan was drawn up which recommended that the offender be released to Approved Premises where there would be monitoring of his activities, as well as the opportunity for him to become involved in programmes of work to address his offending behaviour, especially in regard to the effect the offence would have had upon his victim.
It was also recommended that an alarm be installed in the home of the victim and that conditions be included in the licence to prohibit any contact with the victim and to restrict the offender's movements in terms of visiting the area in which the victim lived.
The offender was also subject to close monitoring under the sex offender registration. The Action Plan was drawn up detailing whose responsibility it was to carry out these actions and within what timescale.
The offender was made aware that he was being managed by the Level 3 MAPPP because of the high risk he posed and was also made aware of the Risk Management Plan which had been devised.
The offender is now released and living in the community subject to the risk
management arrangements mentioned above. He is closely monitored through police, probation and the hostel.
The alarm, which was fitted in the home of the victim, has given her reassurance and she is aware of the non-contact condition in the offender's licence.
This case is being successfully managed in the community through the collaborative MAPPA arrangements and is regularly reviewed to ensure that these arrangements remain appropriate to the case.
Case study 2 – Stuart:
Category 1 - Registered Sex Offenders
A convicted sex offender, living in the community, whose offences were committed against children, was referred to the Level 3 MAPPP by the police.
He was subject to indefinite sex offender registration, but not under any statutory supervision by the probation service.
It had come to the attention of the police that this offender had joined a church group and was also visiting leisure facilities in the Northumbria Area. The latter activity had been brought to the attention of the police through the Leisurewatch project managed by The Derwent Initiative.
The MAPPP for this offender included police, probation, a housing association representative, a representative from the local Social Services Department and a Victim Liaison Officer.
The MAPPP had to consider the risk posed by this man's activities and decide how to manage that risk.
Decisions were made and a Risk Management Plan was drawn up:
- To monitor the offender's home circumstances through the housing association
- To increase home visits by the police in line with his sex offender registration and for these to be unannounced and include evening visits
- To apply for disclosure to the church authorities regarding his membership of the church group
- To notify local leisure facilities within Leisurewatch arrangements
- To pursue application for a Sex Offender Order which would include prohibitions to prevent the offender engaging in certain activities
The above Action Plan was proceeded with and the offender was made subject to a Sex Offender Order. Breach of this order could result in a further prison sentence.
How the MAPPA operate within Northumberland:
The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) by definition include all the arrangements required under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 to assess and manage the risks posed by "relevant" sexual and violent offenders.
Therefore, MAPPA in Northumbria is designed to ensure that the identification of all relevant offenders who are covered by the legislation is systematically
undertaken to ensure that all those identified are included in the arrangements.
Certain sexual and violent offenders are automatically included in MAPPA by virtue of their sex offender registration (Category 1) or their length of custodial sentence (Category 2).
These offenders are identified by police and probation staff who have responsibility for monitoring their behaviour either through sex offender registration (police) or post-release licence supervision (Probation).
Other offenders are identified through their previous offending behaviour and are subsequently assessed as posing a risk of serious harm to the public because of their current behaviour.
This third category (Category 3) can be identified and referred into MAPPA by any agency and provide the most significant challenge to ensuring their inclusion. Systems have been established in Northumbria to facilitate these referrals and awareness raising across the Northumbria area has taken place to enable agencies to engage effectively with the process.
The process is illustrated as an appendix to this report, and explained in detail here.
Having identified "relevant offenders" as outlined in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, the next step for MAPPA is the decision making regarding the level of risk management required for every relevant offender referred into the arrangements.
This decision is made in Northumbria by Probation Assistant Chief Officers
who operate as Divisional Directors for each of the 4 probation divisions within the Area.
Referrals are, therefore, received by Divisional Directors whose contact details can be found at the end of this report.
The decision taken relies upon approved risk assessment tools and professional judgement regarding the level of risk management required for each offender.
Public safety is the particular focus of this decision-making process and the
term public is used to include children and victims of domestic violence.
Many "relevant" offenders within MAPPA can be managed at:
- Level 1 - Ordinary Risk Management - which involves the monitoring of offenders by police and probation services under sex offender registration requirements and/or post-release licence which may have several additional conditions included in order to protect previous victims and any future
potential victims. A total of 648 offenders were managed by the MAPPA at Level 1 during 2003/4.
The following two levels are required when Level 1 ordinary risk management is considered insufficient to manage the risk.
- Level 2 - Inter-Agency Risk Management - is required where there is a need to involve other agencies in the management of the risk posed by a particular offender. Offenders managed at this level may require the
involvement of the Social Services Department, the Housing Authority, the local victim agency, mental health services or other agencies in addition to police and probation services in order to manage the risk posed. During 2003/4 a total of 202 offenders were managed by MAPPA at Level 2.
- Level 3 - The Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP) - is intended for the "critical few" offenders who pose the highest risk or where the management of their risk is very complex requiring multi-agency representation on the panel at the highest level. The agencies previously mentioned would be involved, but their representations would need to have
sufficient seniority within their agency to be able to make decisions on behalf of their agency and allocate resources to manage the risk where necessary.
During the reporting year the Northumbria MAPPA has managed 37 offenders at Level 3.
The MAPPA managed 37 offenders at Level 3 during 2003/4.
The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements, therefore, are comprehensive in terms of both category of offender and level of risk management. They will include a range of interventions and actions in order to manage risk and are underpinned by responsibility to victims and the enhancement of public safety.
Crucial to the identification of offenders referred to MAPPA are the features of the individual case.
The type of offence and the resultant sentence assist in the identification of relevant offenders who are covered by MAPPA. In addition to this, the application of robust risk assessments distinguish which level of MAPPA is the most appropriate for the management of these relevant
sexual, violent and other dangerous offenders.
Structured, well researched risk assessment tools are used by both Probation and Police to assess risk in terms of who is at risk and the level of risk posed to those individuals by the offender.
The National Probation Service and Prison Service will shortly be using the same risk assessment tool i.e. Offender Assessment System (OASys) which will ensure a consistency of approach and enhance the flow of communication towards greater accuracy in assessment. Northumbria Probation Area has been using this assessment tool since October 2001.
OASys is able to identify dynamic risk factors, which will vary, together with the static, actuarial risk factors, such as those derived from past behaviour. This assessment tool complements the assessment mechanism used by
the Police to identify serious sexual and violent offenders.
Risk assessments in regard to young offenders (under 18s) are completed by the Youth Offending Teams, using an assessment tool called
Critical to rigorous risk assessment is the collation and sharing of all information. This sharing of information takes place within MAPPA which leads to informed decision making about the management of the risk.
The risk assessment is not a one-off activity and must be regularly reviewed and monitored to ensure that any variation in the offender's risk status is reflected in the Risk Management Plan.
Managing the risk:
For offenders subject to statutory supervision, which can include community orders or post release licence, there are National Standards to which the offender must comply, plus the opportunity to impose restrictive conditions which are all rigorously enforced.
A post-release licence may contain a variety of conditions tailored to
manage the risk posed by that individual offender.
An example of conditions often applied might be:
- Requirement to live at a particular address e.g. approved premises and to observe a curfew enforced with an electronic tag
- Prohibition on entering certain localities
- Prohibition on making contact with certain individuals or groups of people – and particularly victims
- Restrictions on the type of employment they may have.
Failure to keep any of the conditions set will result in the Probation Service taking enforcement action and could result in the offender being returned to custody.
The National Probation Service, together with voluntary organisations, manages Home Office Approved Premises (formerly probation and bail
hostels). These premises provide enhanced supervision of offenders and bailees in order to protect the public and reduce risk.
Within the Northumbria area there are four Approved Premises which can provide the additional level of monitoring and supervision required for offenders who are subject to MAPPA.
Offenders can be instructed to reside in Approved Premises through conditions imposed in community orders and post-release licences.
In exceptional circumstances cases can be referred to the National Probation Service's Public Protection Unit which can provide a national perspective and enlist the support of police and probation in other parts of the country.
It can also provide additional short-term resources where these are deemed necessary.
In addition to statutory supervision and the imposition of conditions, it may be necessary for the police to take measures such as close monitoring and/or an application for a Sex Offender Order.
A Sex Offender Order will include a number of prohibitions which, if
breached, will result in the offender appearing before the criminal court and facing a sentence of imprisonment of up to five years or a fine or both.
Sex Offender Orders are civil orders introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which are applied for by the police and can be imposed for a minimum period of 5 years.
The prohibitions contained in this Order are intended to protect the victim and any other members of the public considered to be at risk.
Restraining Orders are now available to the Crown and Appeal Courts through the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 in respect of sex offenders. They offer the opportunity to restrain an offender's behaviour in a way similar to a Sex Offender Order by imposing restrictions which, if breached, can result in a sentence of imprisonment.
The purpose of a Restraining Order is to impose, from the point of sentence, restrictions on the offender's behaviour towards the public in general, or particular individuals in cases where this is necessary in order to protect them from the possibility of serious harm from the offender.
A Restraining Order can be attached to any sentence of imprisonment imposed by the Crown Court and the probation or police service can remind the Judge of the advantages of imposing this type of Order.
The Court would need to consider whether the restriction of liberty it would involve would be justified. The distinctive feature, and added advantage of a Restraining Order, is that the victim is protected (e.g. from harassment) while the offender is in custody and not solely after release.
A Restraining Order can be imposed for a fixed or indefinite duration.
Managing the risk:
Whilst Northumbria Probation Area rigorously enforces National Standards for the supervision of offenders and adherence to conditions within post-release licences, these "external controls" are intended to be supported by the development of "internal controls" through the offenders completion of nationally accredited offending behaviour programmes.
These programmes are intended to develop offender responsibility for their own behaviour and to assist the individuals in developing strategies which will reduce the risk of them re-offending.
Attendance on these programmes can be imposed as a condition of a community order or a post-release licence and failure to comply will be rigorously enforced.
Footnote: The Sexual Offences Act 2003 which came into force on 1 May 2004 combines the existing sex offender orders and restraining orders under a single order called a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).
The SOPO can be imposed by any court at point of sentence or upon application by the Police in the same way as a sex offender order.
The SOPO will contain conditions which prohibit an offender engaging in certain activities, such as entering children's playgrounds or visiting swimming baths.
Breach of a SOPO will be punishable by a maximum penalty of five years.
Disclosure is another important tool used to manage the risk posed by these offenders. Whilst every effort is made to reduce the need to disclose information about an offender there are occasions when this must be done in the interests of public protection.
Disclosure may be to an individual, an organisation or to the wider public. Each case is considered individually and should disclosure be required then Home Office Guidelines are always adhered to.
In addition, the legality and proportionality of disclosure is considered by the Northumbria Police Legal Department in each case.
Northumbria Probation Area runs a National Sex Offender Programme accredited by the Correctional Service Accreditation Panel. This programme has a proven track record for reducing the risk of re-offending.
There are also two accredited programmes addressing problem solving skills and victim awareness and another two accredited programmes which focus upon substance misuse and drink impaired driving.
In addition, Northumbria Probation Area runs a non accredited programme which addresses the behaviour of domestic violence perpetrators.
As the suite of programmes develops it is intended that an offender within the high risk groups will have the opportunity to address the complexity of their offending behaviour through attendance on these programmes and thereby internalise strategies which will contribute to the reduction of the risk they pose.
The Risk Management Plans devised to protect the public in regard to offenders who pose a risk of serious harm are dependent upon sound supervision and monitoring arrangements and the imposition of conditions i.e. in post release licences or Court Orders and registration requirements.
These are the "external controls" which enable the Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel to exert influence over the offender's behaviour.
Case study 3 – Brian:
Category 2 - Violent Offender
An offender convicted of assaults against his partner was due for release from prison and a MAPPP was called by the Probation Service to ensure that all safeguards were in place to protect the victim prior to the offender's release on licence supervision.
In attendance at the meeting were representatives from the Housing Department, Police, Probation, Education, Social Services Department and the Victim Support Service, together with the Probation Victim Liaison Officer.
The meeting considered the current situation in regard to the offender's partner who had been rehoused and wanted no further contact with the offender.
There were concerns that the offender would want to trace the partner and the issues of risk related not only to the woman, but also her children.
The post-release licence offered the opportunity to include conditions to prevent the offender having contact with the victim and these included an exclusion zone, a no contact condition in regard to the woman and her children and a condition to reside as directed by the Probation Service to prevent the offender moving in with another partner without the risks being properly assessed and managed.
The offender and the victim were made aware of these additional licence conditions. The children's school was made aware of the exclusion zone so that it could take action if the offender approached the children at school and the Police set up a monitoring system whereby any calls or reports of contacts to the Police could be actioned straight away.
The offender was released from prison subject to these conditions and has, to date, complied with his licence supervision.
Case study 4 – Jimmy:
Category 3 - Violent Offender (Mental Health)
The MAPPA Unit in Northumbria was alerted by Mental Health Services that a discharged patient had been arrested for an incident which had placed his neighbours in some fear and distress.
The concerns were that, dependent upon the decision regarding both the prosecution of this man and any disposal by the Court, he could no longer return home because of the incident and he was considered to pose a risk whatever the outcome of the criminal justice process.
This man was under no form of statutory supervision, but did have previous "relevant" convictions.
An urgent Risk Management Meeting was called which brought together representatives from Mental Health Services, Police, Housing and Social Workers from the Community Mental Health Team.
The risk was assessed and a management plan was drawn up to focus upon:
- Mental Health Service provision, both short and long-term
- Housing – appropriate accommodation had to be found immediately
- Social Work support in the community
- Police monitoring
The plan had to be flexible enough to cope with the immediate situation and the risk posed on that day, but also had to include contingency plans which could be activated if the man was charged and subsequently released from custody.
In this case the man was remanded in custody initially, but then released on bail. The Risk Management Plan, therefore, having been devised, had to swing into action two to three weeks later when the man was bailed and required risk management in the community.
The timeliness of this referral by Mental Health Services, however, ensured that the risk was managed in a multi-agency way at the earliest opportunity and that the plan could respond to the changing situation where necessary.
Northumbria Probation Area established a specialist Victim Liaison Unit in 1995 to respond to a National Standard for probation services to contact the victims of sexual and other violent offenders sentenced to imprisonment of four years or more.
Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 imposed a statutory duty upon the NPS to undertake victim contact work with the victims of sexual and violent offenders sentenced to 12 months or more in custody, thereby substantially increasing the provision for victims.
Northumbria Probation Area offers a comprehensive service to individuals or families who have been affected by this type of crime. The Victim Liaison Unit is run by probation staff and a victim support co-ordinator. *
The probation worker's role is two-fold; providing the victim with information about the custodial process and obtaining information regarding any concerns they have about the offender's release.
With consent, the victim's concerns are included in a report submitted to the prison and parole board for consultation when the offender is being considered for release.
This can have a direct impact on the offender's living arrangements back in the community and can influence the post release licence conditions.
Where a victim indicates that they would welcome ongoing contact, Victim Liaison staff will keep in touch during the whole of the offender's sentence.
The aim is to keep victims informed of developments, to meet any general support needs or, if necessary, to refer them on to specialist agencies for more in-depth counselling or support.
Northumbria Probation Area has a formal partnership arrangement with Victim Support who receive referrals in respect of the partners of men who undertake the Domestic Violence Group for perpetrators.
Northumbria Police also have specialised units which focus upon domestic
violence, both in terms of responding to the perpetrators of violent behaviour and in offering support to women and families as victims in these cases.
The Victim Liaison Officers (VLO) are now well integrated into MAPPA and attend all relevant meetings.
There is good ongoing liaison between the Police, Probation staff, Prison staff and Victim Liaison Officers and appropriate licence conditions such as no contact or specified exclusion zones are often included at the victim's request.
Through MAPPA, the Victim Liaison Officer can work with the Police in establishing safety plans e.g. alarms and security devices for the victim which will improve their security in addition to the restrictions which may be included in the offender's licence.
The Police also offer support to the victims of sexual and other violent offenders from the point when an offence is reported until the end of the court process. The representation of victim issues by the Victim Liaison Officer within MAPPA ensures that the victim perspective is given a high priority and that the opportunity for re-victimisation is substantially reduced.
The specialist knowledge provided by the Victim Liaison Officer can also be used to inform the process of protecting potential future victims by their unique contribution to the assessment and management of future risk posed by the offender.
This is likely to be particularly relevant in cases where the offender has been
involved in an abusive relationship within the family or in other forms of domestic violence.
*Victim Support is the national charity for people affected by crime. It is an independent organisation, offering a free and confidential service, whether or not a crime has been reported.
Trained staff and volunteers at local branches offer information and support to victims, witnesses, their families and friends.
Victim Support provides a witness service based in every criminal court in England and Wales to offer assistance before, during and after trial. You can call the Victim Support line 0845 3030900 for information and details of local services and other organisations.
The strategic management of MAPPA in Northumbria:
In last year's MAPPA Annual Report we heralded the establishment of a Strategic Management Board (SMB) for Northumbria. This task is now complete and the Board held its inaugural meeting in November 2003.
The SMB comprises senior managers from the agencies mentioned
earlier in this report as having a statutory duty to co-operate with MAPPA. It includes:
Customer Relationship Manager
Securicor Justice Services
Youth Justice Board
Professor Adult Forensic Psychiatry
Mental Health Trust
Head of Mental Health
Strategic Health Authority
Head of Services
Head of Adult Services
Sunderland Social Services Department
Head of Property & Housing Berwick,
Victim Support Services
North East Area Manager
HM Prison Service
Plus senior representatives of the
Assistant Chief Constable
Superintendent Child Protection & MAPPA
Director of Operations
Northumbria Probation Area
The SMB is responsible for the monitoring and reviewing of MAPPA and for ensuring that the risk assessment and management arrangements are
revised where necessary to reflect legislative and wider criminal justice changes.
The board is, therefore, provided with data by the MAPPA Unit which includes information on the number of offenders in MAPPA, a more detailed
breakdown of those being managed by the MAPPP (Level 3) and data on enforcement action, together with details of those offenders subject to
the MAPPP who have been charged with a further serious sexual or violent offence.
This quantitative data is accompanied by case examples which serve to highlight issues of organisational and operational difficulty, as well as featuring examples of good practice and successful inter-agency working.
In Northumbria we are in the early stages of establishing the Strategic Management Board duties and incorporating them into the Multi- Agency Public Protection Arrangements. This Annual Report 2003/4 will be the first overseen by the SMB and will provide a benchmark for future development.
There is a need to progress the linkages between Area Child Protection Committees, Local Criminal Justice Boards and Crime and Disorder Partnerships.
To date there has been significant progress in terms of addressing the overlap between ACPC and MAPPA both in strategic and operational terms.
This has been facilitated by the representation on both structures of senior members of the MAPPA Responsible Authority.
The Local Criminal Justice Board continues to oversee MAPPA as before and has a role in receiving and approving the MAPPA Annual Report.
Over the next twelve months the linkage between the Crime and Disorder Partnerships and MAPPA will need to feature more prominently in the development of public protection work in Northumbria and will be part of our approach to the development of increased public confidence in MAPPA.
The year ahead:
With the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act (2003) and the Sexual Offences Act (2003) come the inevitable challenges for MAPPA in
Northumbria in terms of responding to the requirements of this legislation.
The Prison Service became part of the "Responsible Authority" in April 2004 and already there is prison service representation on the MAPPA Steering Group in Northumbria.
The agencies with a "duty to co-operate" with MAPPA are engaging with the process and receiving guidance from within their own organizations regarding what this will entail in practical terms.
The year 2004 will also see the introduction of "lay advisors" to SMB. Lay Advisors, two per area, will be members of the public with an interest in community issues and public protection, and will sit on the SMB to act as a 'critical friend' and provide another perspective to MAPPA.
They will not be responsible for supervising offenders directly and will contribute at a more strategic level.
The recruitment of lay advisors is scheduled to take place in Northumbria between April and June 2004 and will be followed by a period of induction and national training prior to them taking up their appointment early in 2005.
A national database for violent and sexual offenders ViSOR is expected to be available to Northumbria during the coming year.
Work will continue to develop the links between the Area Child Protection Committees (ACPC) and MAPPA and to engage especially with the Crime and Disorder Partnerships in terms of public safety.
The Sexual Offences Act which introduces new categories of offences will have an impact upon the number of subsequent registered sex offenders who will be included in MAPPA.
The objectives listed below continue to underpin MAPPA and are the focus for risk management in the Northumbria Area:
- To ensure consistent and effective public protection arrangements are in place
- To prepare and deliver effective risk management plan
- To reduce re-offending
Case study 5 – Terry:
Category 3 - Sex Offender (Child Protection)
The Social Services Department made a referral to the Probation Divisional Director in regard to a man they believed posed a risk to children.
It was confirmed that the man had previous convictions for sexual offences against children, but because these had been committed over 10 years ago he was not bound by the Sex Offender Act 1997 and was not a registered sex offender.
He was also not subject to any statutory Probation Service supervision.
The Divisional Director convened a Risk Management Meeting as a result of the referral and representatives from Police, Social Services, Housing and Probation attended the meeting.
Information was shared regarding current concerns that several children had been observed visiting the home of this man who was living alone in the community.
Following the completion of the risk assessment process, it was agreed that there was a likelihood of this man reoffending given his previous offending history and his current circumstances whereby unsupervised children were visiting his home.
A Risk Management Plan was drawn up to focus upon:
- The risk to children who were visiting.
This involved identifying the children and the Social Services Department invoking their procedures for child protection. This could have resulted in charges being brought
- The risk posed by this offender
This involved the police making contact with the man and overtly monitoring the situation
It was also decided to offer the offender voluntary Probation supervision and thereby involve him in the management of his own risk.
The Housing Department had a role to play in ensuring that this offender was not in breach of their Safer Estates policy and, therefore, also had a role in monitoring the situation.
As a result of the interventions outlined in the Risk Management Plan, the children visiting were identified and investigations by Social Services and the Police concluded that no offences had taken place.
The offender agreed to co-operate with Police and Probation and became involved in the management of his own risk through voluntary contact with Probation and attendance at a long-term group for sex offenders.
The offender was pleased to retain his tenancy and co-operated with the Housing Department.
The opportunity for early intervention in this case enabled work to be undertaken with the offender to prevent further offending and also allowed for the identified children to be protected.
The statistical information included in this section provides data on the total MAPPA caseload for the Northumbria Area.
A comparison with last year's statistics shows a decrease in the number of violent and other sexual offenders (Category 2). This has arisen, because the data for 2002/3 for this category included offenders sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment who were still in custody and, therefore, not being managed in the community.
Under current guidance, however, the figure of 73 offenders includes only those being managed under the MAPPA who are living in the community.
The MAPPA caseload, therefore, includes 750 registered sex offenders. An increase of 118 on last year.
The 64 "other offenders" managed within MAPPA have been identified by a
variety of agencies and shows an increase of 17 on the previous year.
The total MAPPA caseload in Northumbria, therefore, is 887.
It has always been acknowledged that the number of offenders dealt with under MAPPA would inevitably increase year by year due to the cumulative effect of cases coming into the system and remaining subject to risk management for a significant period of time.
As the number of registered sex offenders has increased so has the number of offenders convicted or cautioned for the breach of this requirement.
In 2002/3 there were 41 breaches whilst in 2003/4 there were 68. In the
Northumbria Area the police Sex Offender Liaison Officers play a vital role in the management and monitoring of registered sex offenders.
Their proactive management of these cases is designed to identify breaches of registration requirements at an early stage and ensures that action is taken
against any sex offenders who do not comply.
This strategy is essential to safeguard the public and to reinforce to the offender the consequences of non-compliance with the registration requirement.
The total number of Sex Offender Orders currently imposed on offenders within Northumbria is 8 with a further 2 interim orders in existence.
These Orders provide an additional dimension to risk management as they include conditions which prohibit offenders from engaging in certain behaviours or activities.
They offer an additional structure through which victims can be protected
and further offending can be prevented.
In Northumbria there are no sex offenders subject to Restraining Orders living in the community. The figure of 37 is the total number of offenders who have been managed at the highest level by the MAPPP in Northumbria. The breakdown of this number appears in the table of statistics.
These offenders are considered to be the "critical few" who pose the highest risk or greatest level of complexity in terms of the management of their case.
It is worth noting that this figure has increased by only 3 since 2002/3 when 34 offenders were managed by the MAPPP.
In this reporting year 7 offenders managed by the MAPPP were returned to custody for breach of their licence requirement, compared with 10 in the previous year.
Of these 7 offenders, 4 were registered sex offenders and 3 were violent offenders. In each case they breached a condition of their post release licence. This resulted in the relevant Probation Officer taking enforcement action and the offender being recalled to custody.
There were no offenders subject to the Level 3 MAPPP charged with a serious sexual or violent offence during the reporting year.
A registered sex offender who had been made the subject of a Sex Offender Order, came to the attention of the police again when he began frequenting a café several miles from his home.
The intelligence received showed that the café was owned by a single parent
with a young female child. The offender was visiting the café on a daily basis and at one point started to work behind the counter.
The police arrested the offender and charged him with 6 out of the 7
prohibitions included in his Sex Offender Order.
The offender was remanded in custody and subsequently
sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.
Northumbria Police Headquarters
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 01661 868077