Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Annual Report 2005-2006
Alternative Text Version - Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) Annual Report 2005-2006 (English Version)
MULTI-AGENCY PUBLIC PROTECTION ARRANGEMENTS (MAPPA)
Making our communities safer and reducing re-offending is our highest priority and one of our biggest challenges. That is why the work undertaken through these multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) is so important. The supervision and management of sexual and violent offenders who pose the highest risk of serious harm, whether in the community or in custody, is complex and challenging; and is an aspect of public service where the public rightly expects all reasonable action to be taken.
Although we have made significant progress in the last five years with the development of MAPPA across England and Wales, the review this year of a number of tragic incidents where people have been murdered or seriously injured reminded us of the importance of reviewing performance, improving practice and learning lessons. It is vital that these tasks are undertaken by the probation, police and prison services, as well as by those other agencies that contribute to the assessment and management of offenders. The publication of MAPPA Business Plans by each Area in this year's annual reports offers a helpful and necessary programme of local development and review and must lead to enhanced practice. It will be essential that this progress is transparent and shared with local communities.
In addition to this, however, it is important that no opportunity is missed to consider other measures that will further enhance public safety. This is why we are undertaking the Child Sex Offender Review, to look at how a particular group of offenders, who provoke anxiety for many, are best managed in the community. The review is consulting a wide range of practitioners and key stakeholders including the MAPPA lay advisers, and will report around the end of the year.
Finally, in commending this report to you, I want to take the opportunity to thank all those involved locally in working with sexual and violent offenders, or in ensuring that these arrangements are fit for purpose. Where MAPPA is working well it is based on maintaining high professional standards and effective multi-agency collaboration in the delivery of robust risk management plans. While it is not possible to eliminate risk entirely, where all reasonable action is taken, the risk of further serious harm can be reduced to a minimum and fewer victims will be exposed to repeat offending.
Gerry Sutcliffe MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
For Criminal Justice and Offender Management
Protecting the public is one of the most crucial tasks of the criminal justice system and one which requires the cooperation, expertise and involvement of a number of agencies.
Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) have now been in place for five years and have grown significantly in that time. Through MAPPA, we now have multi agency teams meeting on a regular basis to manage the risk posed by violent and sexual offenders in the community, and to ensure every legal measure possible is taken to prevent those offenders from causing further harm.
This report outlines the current MAPPA procedures and practices, and how MAPPA has developed over the last five years. In 2001/2 the initial foundations for the arrangements were laid down; in 2003/4 major steps were taken by the government to strengthen the arrangements; and in 2005/6 MAPPA Strategy Groups have become operational across Northumbria in each local authority area, leading to greater involvement of MAPPA agencies at a local level.
In the past few months, the issues surrounding public protection have come under a great deal of media scrutiny, as some high profile cases have come to light nationally where offenders under some form of supervision have gone on to commit serious further offences.
Realistically, we can never completely eliminate risk. Sadly, there will always be incidents where someone goes on to reoffend in spite of the measures which have been taken. When this happens it is tragic and regrettable. We will, therefore, continue to take all reasonable action to reduce the harm caused by sexual and violent offenders and put the protection of the public as our highest priority.
Within MAPPA, offenders are managed at three levels and in Northumbria, in the last year, none of the offenders managed at the two highest levels were charged with a further serious sexual or violent offence.
We hope this report will prove useful in explaining the background to how MAPPA has developed over the past five years, as well as providing the reader with the latest information on how MAPPA works now and what we can reasonably expect to achieve.
MAPPA – THE FIRST FIVE YEARS
A National Overview of MAPPA 2001-2006
It is now just over 5 years since the implementation of the Criminal Justice and Courts' Services Act 2000 that led to the formation of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements, commonly known as MAPPA. As the national strategic body overseeing the implementation and development of these arrangements it is important for us to review the progress made, to identify the challenges ahead and set out the national plans for improvement. It is also an opportunity for the first time to provide a national commentary on the MAPPA annual statistics and to explain what they are telling us about the growth and complexity of these arrangements.
Much has been achieved in terms of enhancing public safety in the last 5 years and the arrangements are rightly described as world leading. Yet we are acutely conscious that a number of serious case reviews and other reports published this year indicate there is still much to do to ensure that the arrangements are fit for purpose and apply consistently across England and Wales. Unless those operating these arrangements ensure that all reasonable action is taken to reduce the harm caused by sexual and violent offenders they will have failed. While we recognise that it is never possible to eliminate risk entirely the public are entitled to expect the authorities to do their job properly. Making our communities safer and reducing re-offending is our highest priority and one of the greatest challenges facing the agencies and staff involved.
Over the last year all agencies responsible for establishing, maintaining or contributing to these public protection arrangements have been extremely busy: the probation service, the prison service, the police service who form the Responsible Authority in each area, plus the range of agencies who have a duty to co-operate in these arrangements and include health, housing, education, social services, youth offending teams, Jobcentre Plus, and electronic monitoring services.
In addition to the agencies, each area has this year benefited from the input of lay advisers. These are people recruited locally but appointed by the Secretary of State to offer key support to the strategic management of the MAPPA process. Their role is essentially to ask often fundamental questions of senior practitioners and bring a community perspective to a process that could otherwise lose sight of its main function: to protect members of the public from serious harm. Together, all of those inputting to MAPPA have ensured that more high risk sexual and violent offenders have been identified and proactively managed this year than ever before.
The national MAPPA Statistics
As the scale and complexity of MAPPA has increased so the analysis of the annual report
statistics has become more important in understanding local and national developments in these arrangements. The national analysis offered below, based upon reports from the areas, highlights a number of important trends, particularly in respect of the volume of referrals for multi-agency management at Level 2 and Level 3 (MAPPP), and the outcomes of that management. The individual area MAPPA annual reports are published elsewhere on this web-page and should be consulted for detailed local commentary.
The number of offenders in the community that come within the remit of MAPPA increased this year, as anticipated, although the rate of that increase has slowed from last year (13% to 7%) - see Table 1. A number of factors may have contributed to this slow down. Firstly, the increase of registered sex offenders (RSOs) is much less than in previous years at just over 3%; secondly, fewer offenders than expected have been referred into MAPPA under Category 3. (These are those offenders who are neither registered sex offenders nor currently supervised by the probation service/ youth offending team but do have a history of physical or sexual violence and are considered by the Responsible Authority to pose a current risk of serious harm to the public.) The reasons for these variations from expectation are unclear but the RSO variation may in part be due to a number of areas last year (2004/5) incorporating offenders who were still in prison and to refinements areas have continued to make to referral procedures and the management of risk thresholds. Registered Sex Offenders continue to form by far the largest category
Registered Sex Offenders
For the first time this year the MAPPA annual reports include a breakdown of the total RSO population for the basic policing units within each area (see individual area reports). This, together with the density of RSOs per 100,000 of the population, which ranges from 36/100,000 to 81/100,000 across the 42 Areas of England and Wales, illustrates the variable distribution of RSOs within the community. There are no obvious or simple explanations for the distribution of RSOs, which in any case is barely significant statistically.
MAPPA management levels
It is important to remember that the majority of offenders within MAPPA do not pose a significant risk of serious harm to the public and can therefore be properly managed through the normal supervision arrangements provided by the probation service, youth offending teams and by police sex offender registration This is described as level 1 management and accounts for about 71% of the MAPPA population. However, for offenders whose risk of serious harm is high or complex and requires active management by more than one agency, referral to Level 2 or Level 3 (MAPPP) meetings is vital. A case will generally only qualify for level 3 management where the intervention of senior agency representatives is required to affect the risk management plan with the authority to release or prioritise exceptional resources.
This is the second year in which both Level 2 and Level 3 (MAPPP) data has been available and Tables 2 and 3 illustrate the number of offenders now subject to collaborative/ multi-agency risk management (29% of the MAPPA total). For each of these 13,783 offenders agencies will be required to meet on a number of occasions and to progress actions that reduce the likelihood of re-offending. The tables also provide a fuller picture of the commitment and resources being provided by the Responsible Authority and other partner agencies within MAPPA. The Level 3 MAPPP, the highest level of risk management, continues to focus on the most complex offenders, sometimes referred to as the 'critical few', and involves senior managers within each area.
The use of Level 3 MAPPP has been refined over the last 3 years as part of a concerted effort to ensure that resources are focused where they can be most effective in enhancing public protection. This year they have been employed in under 3% of the total MAPPA caseload. At the same time, Level 2 risk management meetings, which are locally based, have increased in number (12,505) and become the engine room for MAPPA. Whilst there is an element of focus on level 3, all Areas have recognized the necessity of ensuring adequate management and administrative support for Level 2; and this is reflected in Business Plans.
Interventions and Outcomes
Information about the scale and categories of offender is complemented by information on direct interventions and outcomes for this MAPPA managed group (ie those under Levels 2 and 3). These measures deal with breaches of licence and court order, with sex offender registration requirements and related court orders, and with further offending – see tables 4 and 5.
The headline figure is, no doubt, that reflecting the number of offenders who, while managed at levels 2 or 3, are charged with a serious sexual or violent offence. Compared with 2004/5, this year saw a reduction in the number of serious further offences in this population from 79 (0.6%) to 61 (0.44%) cases this year. And the biggest impact was where you would want and expect it – with the more intensively managed Level 3 cases. On the face of it the figures are encouraging but they should be treated with caution for 2 reasons. Firstly, we have only collected the data for 2 years; secondly, with such small numbers any change can trigger a wholly disproportionate, misleading percentage variation. What is apparent, however, is that the figure is low and whilst any serious re-offending is a matter of great concern, such a low serious re-offending rate for this particular group of offenders is to be welcomed and supports the view that MAPPA is making a real contribution to the management of dangerousness in communities.
The data relating to breach of licence and court orders is positive as this reflects an increase in action taken in level 2 and 3 cases prior to them having opportunity to commit serious further harm; ie to recall offenders to prison. A similarly encouraging picture emerges from a reading of the data on various sex offender provisions – see table 5. Action taken to enforce the sex offender registration requirements through caution and conviction increased by 30% from last year and affected 1295 offenders, 4.3% of the total registered in the community. There was also considerable use made of the range of new civil orders available under the Sex Offences Act 2003(sexual offences prevention orders, notification orders, foreign travel orders). In total 973 orders have been granted this year an increase of 446.
A Year of Challenges
The raw data provided in the national statistics is helpful but necessarily quantitative. In order to get a better feel for the quality of MAPPA business it is necessary to work with other forms of analysis and, during the course of this year, a number of inspection reports and a small number of management reviews of specific cases have been published which have both detailed shortcomings in practice and highlighted many positive developments in public protection practice.
It is essential that the product of these, and future, reviews and reports shape the development of MAPPA through central guidance and local practice and it is instructive to set out the lessons learned this year.
Strengthening Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Published in October 2005) is available on:
This research was undertaken by De Montfort University and found evidence of greater effectiveness and efficiency across MAPPA teams in England and Wales, compared to an earlier review of public protection arrangements, which had been conducted before the MAPPA legislation was introduced in 2001. It found that areas were meeting the MAPPA Guidance specification to a large extent.
It also found that the arrangements had been strengthened by the inclusion of the Prison Service within the Responsible Authority and by the designation of a number of duty-to-cooperate agencies (a consequence of the Criminal Justice Act 2003). The MAPPA process facilitated effective contributions by agencies so that representatives could make operational decisions and develop risk management plans.
The report made a number of recommendations for policy and practice development which are being taken forward through the revision of the MAPPA Guidance and the MAPPA business planning process.
Managing Sex Offenders in the Community (A joint thematic inspection by Her Majesty's Inspectorates of Probation and Police published in November 2005) is available on: http://inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmiprobation
This inspection found that there was greater focus by police and probation on improving the assessment and management of high risk sex offenders which offered the prospect of improved performance. However it noted a number of deficiencies in relation to MAPPA case management records; police home visits for registered sex offenders and training for both police and probation staff on assessment and management of risk of harm.
These deficiencies have been addressed through the National Offender Management Service Risk of Harm Improvement strategy and the development and imminent publication of the Police Public Protection Manual.
An Independent Review of a Serious Further Offence case: Damien Hanson and Elliot White (published in February 2006) is available on:
This was a report by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Probation into the murder of John Monckton and attempted murder of his wife Homeyra in November 2004 by two men under the supervision of the London Probation Area. The report identified overall failures and some specific deficiencies in the way the two cases were managed.
Although neither offender was referred to MAPPA Damien Hanson, who was assessed as presenting a high risk of serious harm, should have been. Importantly the report has established a number of principles against which future case management within MAPPA and the National Probation Service will be judged. Key amongst these is that the public is entitled to expect that the authorities will do their job properly i.e. to take all reasonable action to keep risk to a minimum.
In response to this report, an action plan was issued to the National Probation Services to ensure delivery of effective implementation of the report's five 'key' recommendations and 31 practice recommendations.
An Independent Review of a Serious Further Offence case: Anthony Rice (published in May 2006) is available on:
This report was completed following the murder of Naomi Bryant in August 2005. The independent review was requested by the Responsible Authority for MAPPA in Hampshire who were concerned by a number of issues that had contributed to the risk management failure.
The report details principal findings and recommendations for a range of agencies within and outside MAPPA. Each of which is being taken forward. Importantly it revealed the failure to manage the offender's risk of harm to the public was not due to any single act of negligence or deficiency. Rather it was a cumulative failure of processes and actions throughout his sentence supervision, both in prison and in the community. This is an essential point to grasp and reinforces the importance of having an integrated offender management system from start to end of sentence with clear and consistent practice between the three core MAPPA agencies, prisons, probation and police.
The key recommendation for MAPPA was about maintaining a better balance between human rights of offenders and protecting the public, and using existing MAPPA guidance properly. Work is already underway to revise and strengthen national guidance and improve MAPPA's foundations by way of the national and Area MAPPA business plans.
Joint Police/Probation/Prisons Thematic Inspection Report: Putting Risk of Harm Into Context (published in September 2006) is available on:
This report found that much had been achieved, including that planned interventions were generally effective in containing offending behaviour. There were also many areas for improvement and the report makes recommendations for the more consistent use of MAPPA and sharing of MAPPA good practice, improved risk of harm assessments and sentence planning and greater victim awareness.
It is important to note that the fieldwork to support the inspection concluded in the autumn of 2005, prior to the launch of the Risk of Harm Improvement Action plan and other actions referred to in this overview. Nevertheless, the report has been welcomed and will be considered in further detail by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Risk of Harm Improvement Board as well as the Responsible Authority National Steering Group (RANSG).
Actions to develop MAPPA
Effecting change to these public protection arrangements requires concerted action from a range of agencies and key stakeholders. MAPPA is not an agency but a set of national arrangements that requires each contributor to ensure that their own agency's practice is fit for purpose and that the manner of their collaboration is effective in assessing and managing the risk posed by sexual and violent offenders.
It is important to note that MAPPA has benefited significantly this year from the work undertaken by individual agencies; work that has a direct bearing on how dangerous offenders are assessed and managed. This includes the OASys Quality Assurance Programme implemented from July 2005; implementation of the offender management model from April 2006; the launch of the NOMS Risk of harm Guidance and Training resource pack June 2006; and the planned roll-out of the Police Public Protection Manual.
MAPPA will increasingly benefit from the expansion of ViSOR (the Violent and Sex Offenders Register). ViSOR is an integral part of plans to strengthen public protection through improved risk assessment and management and will provide electronic support for MAPPA allowing efficient data sharing between Police, Probation and Prisons. The police have been using ViSOR since April 2005 and the system will be implemented into the prison and the probation service during 2006/7. For the first time the Responsible Authorities will be working together on the same I.T system to Reduce Re-offending.
The National MAPPA Business Plan
As the national coordinating body for the Responsible Authority, the RANSG, is tasked with exercising oversight of MAPPA and ensuring its continued development. To help meet these aims the RANSG published, in November 2005, a three year National MAPPA Business Plan 2005-8. The plan identifies four broad areas of MAPPA where significant and consistent improvement is necessary. These include the following;
MAPPA Development Strategy
- Achieve dedicated MAPPA coordination and administration capacity in all areas during 2006/7 (underway)
- Develop RANSG to include national representation of Duty to cooperate agencies (achieved)
- Revise and publish MAPPA Guidance (by April 2007) – see existing Guidance at: http://www.probation.homeoffice.gov.uk/output/page30.asp
Monitoring and Evaluation
- Areas to implement a MAPPA Business Plan for 2006/7 (achieved – see area annual reports)
- Development of multi-agency public protection performance indicators (underway)
- Improve the recording and collation of data (underway)
- Develop guidance for a serious case review process (planned for consultation later this year)
Communication and Strategic Partnerships
- The publication of the MAPPA Annual report (achieved)
- Development of the annual report to improve public understanding and engagement (ongoing)
- National MAPPA conference (achieved – November 2005)
- Develop a national communication strategy (issued in June, but Child Sex Offender Review may add further impetus)
- Delivery of lay adviser national training (delivered but also developing so far)
- National coordinators conference (delivered – May 2006)
- Collate core training material (underway)
- Areas to implement a training strategy for new practitioners, new members of the strategic management board and for coordinators and administrators (underway)
Areas have been asked to produce annual reports on this model and local business plans are attached to area annual reports for the first time. Future reports will record the progress that has been achieved.
The introduction of MAPPA enables agencies to work more closely than ever before to exchange information and manage offenders collaboratively, ensuring that potentially dangerous offenders are being properly risk assessed and robustly managed in the community.
Effective management of high-risk offenders, as a discipline, is still relatively in its infancy. There is continuous development and the standards and good practice of tomorrow are likely to be different from today's, achieved through experience and research. The challenge therefore is not only to match current practice with what we know, but also to respond rapidly to new learning.
The Inspectorate helpfully suggests that what they are describing can be better understood as the identification of stages on a journey rather than a destination reached. Since their introduction in 2001, the 42 MAPPAs covering England and Wales have travelled a great distance in a short time to establish the new arrangements. The vital public protection work of MAPPA is undertaken by skilled and committed staff and everyone engaged in the arrangements acknowledges the need for constant vigilance and improvement. The journey is not easy, but communities are safer because, as this report demonstrates, the Responsible Authorities are travelling together in the right direction.
Case File: Paul
Level 1 MAPPA
Paul is a foreign national and arrived in the United Kingdom as an asylum seeker. He is now classed as an EU national. As a result of reports of domestic violence and associated child protection concerns a referral was made to the local Public Protection Unit in December 2004. It was discovered that Paul had nine previous convictions, one of which was for the sexual abuse of a child. (The other offences related to theft, deception and disorderly conduct). He was convicted of sexual abuse in June 1999 for offences committed between 1993 and 1995 against his daughter who was aged between 9 and 10 years. These incidents came to light following a disclosure by the child to her grandmother. Following his conviction he was sentenced to three years imprisonment.
Once aware of his conviction for a sexual offence an application was made for a Notification Order and a summons to attend the Magistrates Court was served in September 2005.
Paul appeared at Court in October 2005 and the Notification Order was granted, in line with the sexual offence committed abroad and sentence that was imposed i.e. three years imprisonment. He is subject to sex offender notification (registration) requirements for an indefinite period.
KEY MAPPA ACHIEVEMENTS – WITHIN NORTHUMBRIA
The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) were established in April 2001 following the legislative requirements of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. MAPPA, therefore, is now marking its first 5 years and this report provides an opportunity to reflect upon the progress made during those intervening 5 years and in particular the achievements of the last year in Northumbria.
Since 2001 the Responsible Authority for MAPPA (Northumbria Police and Probation Services joined by the Prison Service in 2003) have translated the legislation and the national guidance into a set of arrangements which takes account of the complexity of an area such as Northumbria, both in terms of its geography and its mixture of local and district authorities within the duty to co-operate agencies covered by the arrangements
After 5 years of managing risk through MAPPA in Northumbria between 2001 and 2005, the following has been achieved:
The foundations for multi-agency management of risk were laid down in the first year of MAPPA (2001/2) through the development of information sharing protocols, an identification of those offenders requiring management by MAPPA and a structure of risk management covering three significant levels which still today form the basis of MAPPA in Northumbria i.e.
Level 1 – ordinary risk management,
Level 2 – inter-agency risk management
Level 3 - multi-agency public protection panels.
During 2002/3 the Responsible Authority focused upon securing the co-operation of those agencies required to assist in the management of the risk posed by sexual and violent offenders, ensuring that they understood the valuable and crucial contribution they would make to the MAPPA. There was an emphasis upon consistency across the 42 Police/Probation areas of England and Wales in the way that the MAPP arrangements were delivered and to ensure this occurred, national guidance was issued in April 2003. Northumbria's structure was already in line with this national framework and to ensure clear lines of accountability with the Responsible Authority (Police and Probation at that time) Northumbria Police and Probation Services appointed dedicated staff at Detective Sergeant and Senior Probation Officer level to oversee and manage the arrangements.
During 2003/4 the Government took major steps to strengthen the MAPPA with a number of provisions within the Criminal Justice Act 2003. These arrangements came into force on 5th April 2004 and included:
(i) making the Prison Service part of the 'Responsible Authority' with police and probation
(ii) formalising the involvement of other agencies which could make an important contribution to managing risk – the Act imposed a 'Duty to Co-operate' with the Responsible Authority upon:
- Local Authority Housing, Education and Social Services
- Health Service bodies
- Jobcentre Plus
- Youth Offending Teams
- Registered Social Landlords who 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.
Also enshrined in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 was the introduction of new sentences for "dangerous" offenders intended to keep these individuals in custody until they no longer pose a risk of serious harm to the public. The Crown Court in Newcastle upon Tyne has been able to impose these sentences since April 2004.
The Sexual Offences Act (2003) was also a significant piece of legislation during this period. The Act overhauled the many antiquated sexual offences and plugged loopholes in the law.
The year 2003 also saw the publishing of the Government's National Victims and Witnesses Strategy which aims to improve support and protection for victims and witnesses.
These Government initiatives providing, as they do, more opportunity for robust management of the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders, were instrumental in driving forward an overhaul of the Northumbria MAPP arrangements in order to refine local arrangements for the identification, assessment and risk management of relevant offenders and to enhance existing systems for facilitating the exchange of information between agencies.
A principal achievement in November 2003 was the establishment of the Northumbria Strategic Management Board (SMB) to oversee the MAPP arrangements. In addition, Northumbria Police and Probation Services established a joint MAPPA Unit at Police Headquarters.
The MAPPA Unit took on the task of awareness raising across the "Duty to Co-operate" agencies and continues to deliver presentations on the role of MAPPA to a range of agencies both at managerial and practitioner level.
The year 2004/5 began with the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and the need to incorporate its provisions for strengthening the MAPPA into local arrangements. During this year Northumbria achieved full representation, at senior level, of all agencies with a duty to co-operate, on the Strategic Management Board (SMB). The Prison Service was included within the Responsible Authority for MAPPA and there was, therefore, appropriate Prison Service representation on both the SMB and the MAPPA Steering Group in Northumbria. A Lay Advisor was appointed to the SMB to assist in the MAPPA review functions, but not the operational decision making.
Northumbria Police, responding to the challenges of prioritising public protection, established public protection units (PPUs) in each of their 6 area commands which are co-terminus with the 6 local authorities in Northumbria. The PPUs include police officers who have dedicated roles in regard to MAPPA, child protection and domestic violence. A central Public Protection Unit was also created at Police Headquarters and this now incorporates the joint MAPPA Unit.
The Violent and Sex Offender Register (ViSOR) was made accessible to Northumbria Police in March 2004 when data inputting began. In the past police areas occasionally experienced difficulties in ensuring that all relevant information held by one area was transferred to another when the offender moved address. Each MAPPA offender will now have one ViSOR record which is transferred to another area when the offender moves, thereby enhancing the sharing of information in order to manage risk.
The year 2005/6 has been characterised by the committed involvement and ownership of the MAPPA by the duty to co-operate agencies. In Northumbria, in order to ensure that MAPPA has a local dimension and relevance at operational level, we have established 6 local MAPPA Strategy Groups which exist in the 6 Local Authority/Police Public Protection Unit areas. Sitting on these strategy groups are local senior managers of the duty to co-operate agencies who are likely also to be involved in the operational management of risk through their involvement in Level 2 and 3 MAPPA meetings. These groups are chaired by Probation senior managers and provide a crucial component to the effective running of the MAPP arrangements in Northumbria. These groups provide a conduit between the SMB and the risk management of individual offenders. They have been responsible for driving forward local initiatives in respect of:
- MAPPA Training/Awareness raising requirements
- Establishing local single points of contact for MAPPA within each of the duty to co-operate agencies.
- Taking forward any issues of appropriate attendance or representation at meetings.
- Ensuring a multi-agency local dimension to the management of risk.
In addition to the Strategy Groups' enhancement of MAPPA, there has been a strengthening of the arrangements through the addition of 3 Probation Senior Practitioner posts to the MAPPA Unit. These 3 staff were appointed to the Unit in September 2005 and are responsible for convening and chairing all the Level 2 MAPPA meetings on offenders who are not supervised by the Probation Service. Currently this number of offenders stands at 95. As well as managing these Level 2 meetings, the Senior Practitioners carry semi-specialist responsibility for specific areas of risk i.e. domestic violence, sex offenders, child protection and mental health.
The Northumbria MAPPA Annual Report for 2004/5 contained an SMB Action Plan which is detailed below:
- To develop a statement of purpose for the SMB.
- To produce an annual report which includes the SMB action plan by 1 May 2005.
- To monitor statistics and movement between categories and levels within MAPPA on a quarterly basis.
- To ensure that all duty to co-operate agencies are signed up to the memorandum by 1 September 2005.
- To produce guidance on MAPPA in Northumbria for all agencies and organisations to be distributed by 1 September 2005.
- To produce a directory of MAPPA contacts within agencies i.e. single points of contact (SPOC) by 1 September 2005.
- To identify training needs within and across agencies by 1 September 2005 in order to ensure that MAPPA processes are in place.
- To develop further, current media strategies which respond appropriately to the media in order to reduce negative community impact by 1 September 2005.
The above Action Plan was completed within 2005/06.
The organisational structure of MAPPA within Northumbria provides the most effective way to identify, risk assess and risk manage sexual and violent offenders by using a multi-layered approach which ensures that both strategic and operational methods are used to best effect in order to provide protection to the public.
Case File: Peter
Level 2 MAPPA
Peter had a relevant conviction for Section 47 Assault against a previous partner. The current referral was made when an external agency became involved with Peter's partner Carol following a number of call outs to the couple's home by the police. Carol indicated to Peter that she wished to leave the relationship; he threatened her with a knife and reported that he would kill her should she try to leave him. Carol did not pursue charges against him as she was too scared of what he may do; she felt that the only way to end the relationship would be to move away from the area so that he did not know where she was.
Following the multi agency MAPPA level 2 risk management meeting, a risk management plan was drawn up which included:
- All agencies to support Carol's application for re-housing through the council
- Crime prevention checks re: safety of new address and fitting of panic alarms by police
- Police markers placed on the addresses of both Peter and Carol to ensure a priority response
- Police to visit Peter to make him aware they would pursue charges if there were any further incidents
- Checks by Social Services to see if there is any contact or potential risks to Peter's children from a previous relationship.
As a result of the above plan:
- Carol was able to move home and Peter was not informed of her new address.
- The alarms remained in place to ensure that Carol felt safe.
- Carol continued contact with support services until she felt she no longer needed to.
- Social services clarified that Peter had no ongoing contact with his children.
- Following a 3rd review meeting, Peter was exited from MAPPA when it was felt that sufficient time had passed - he was unaware of Carol's new address and there had been no new incidents reported of threats or violence.
HOW THE MAPPA OPERATE LOCALLY
The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), by definition, include all the arrangements required under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (re-enacted and strengthened by the Criminal Justice Act 2003) to assess and manage the risks posed by "relevant" sexual and violent offenders. Therefore, MAPPA in Northumbria is designed to ensure that all relevant offenders who are covered by the legislation are systematically identified and included in the arrangements.
There are 3 categories of offender managed through MAPPA:
Category 1 Registered sex offenders. These offenders will be required to register their address with the police under the terms of the Sex Offender Act (1997) and its amendments.
Category 2 Violent offenders and other sex offenders not required to register who have been
sentenced to 12 months imprisonment or more and are currently subject to post-
release licence supervision by the Probation Service.
Category 3 Other offenders who are considered by the Responsible Authority to pose a risk of serious harm to the public.
There are two essential criteria for category 3 offenders:
- Firstly, the offender must have a conviction for an offence which indicates they are capable of causing serious harm to the public. The offence could have been committed abroad and there is no time limit on when the offence was committed.
- Secondly, the Responsible Authority must reasonably consider that the offender is likely to cause serious harm to the public.
Category 1 and Category 2 offenders are identified by the police and probation services, but Category 3 offenders can be identified by any agency and referred into the arrangements. Category 1 and Category 2 offenders are automatically included in MAPPA because of the offence they have committed and as a result of the disposal they receive from the courts.
In addition to the 3 categories of offender in MAPPA, there are 3 levels at which the risk that these offenders pose will be managed.
Level 1 Ordinary risk management (the offender does not require the active involvement of more than one agency in order to manage the risk). A total of 942 offenders have been managed at Level 1 during the reporting year.
Level 2 Local inter-agency risk management (the offender does require the active involvement of more than one agency in order to manage the risk, but this can be achieved by the inclusion of practitioners and middle managers of the agencies identified). A total of 331 offenders have been managed at Level 2 during the reporting year.
Level 3 The Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP) (the offender does require the active involvement of more than one agency in order to manage risk and because of the high level and imminence of the risk posed or the complexity of the case, the inclusion of senior managers from the agencies identified is required. Level 3 risk management is intended for the "critical few". A total of 45 offenders have been managed at Level 3 during the reporting year.
The majority of offenders included in the MAPPP arrangements are managed at Level 1 by the Police and Probation Services.
The requirements of sex offender registration and the civil orders detailed under "Sex Offender Legislation" page 24 can be sufficient to manage the risks posed by Category 1 offenders.
The conditions in post-release licences, together with supervision by the Probation Service, can be sufficient to manage the risks posed by Category 2 offenders.
Together, police and probation manage the majority of Category 1 and 2 offenders without the active involvement of other agencies, but where necessary these offenders will be referred to level 2 or 3 multi-agency risk management.
Category 3 offenders, however, cannot be managed at level 1. They are not automatically included in MAPPA and rely upon identification by all agencies. They need to have the qualifying offence, but in addition, their current behaviour must be giving cause for concern to the agency making the initial referral. Because the inclusion of Category 3 offenders is based upon an assessment of risk, they can only be managed at either of the two higher levels i.e. level 2 or 3.
4.1 Assessing the Risk
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 probation, police and youth offending teams (YOTs) 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 use the same risk assessment tool, the Offender Assessment System (OASys). Risk assessments in regard to young offenders (under 18s) are completed by the YOTs, using an assessment tool called ASSET. Both tools ensure a consistency of approach and enhance the flow of communication resulting in greater accuracy in assessment. Northumbria Probation Area has been using this assessment tool since October 2001 and the YOTs have been using ASSET since April 2000. Both are able to identify dynamic risk factors, which will vary, together with the static, actuarial risk factors, such as those derived from past behaviour. They complement the assessment mechanism used by the police to identify serious sexual and violent offenders.
Critical to rigorous assessment is the collation and sharing of all relevant information. This sharing of information takes place within MAPPA and 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.
4.2 Managing the Risk
For offenders subject to statutory supervision by the Probation Service 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.
Case file: Simon
Level 3 MAPPA
Simon was convicted at Crown Court in December 2000 for 12 counts of indecency with a child and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. He had befriended his neighbour who was a single mother with an eight year old girl. He had groomed the mother and child to the point where he was regularly baby-sitting the child, this is when the offences occurred.
He was released from prison in January 2005 and is subject to supervision on licence until August 2007. He is being managed at level 3 MAPPA and currently resides in approved premises.
As a result of monitoring and management it was discovered that Simon had in his possession a small photograph and pencil sketch of his victim. When challenged about his possession of these items he disclosed that he was still fixated with the child.
A decision was made to apply for a Sexual Offences Prevention Order by way of complaint. The following prohibitions were applied for:
- Not to approach or communicate directly or indirectly with any child
- Not to knowingly permit any female child or young person to enter or remain in any area which is in his possession or control or to enter or remain in private premises knowing a female child to be present
- Not to enter or remain in any premises being used by female children for educational or recreational purposes or to entice towards himself any child
- Not to loiter in any place within 20 metres of a female child or young person
- Not to undertake any activity whether paid or voluntary that is likely to bring him in contact with any female child under 16
Simon appeared before the court in June 2005 and an interim order was granted. A full hearing subsequently took place and Simon was made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for life. He has now been in the community for over 12 months. He has recently commenced suitable employment following consultation with his probation supervising officer and police risk management office, who will continue to monitor him in the community. The next step will be to manage his move on from Approved Premises.
4.3 Sex Offender Legislation
The year 2003 saw a complete change in sex offender legislation resulting in an updated set of offences more relevant to today's society. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 which came into force on 1 May 2004 created new offences, such as grooming, an offence which was welcomed by the police and probation services alike, as it enables potential risk to be dealt with more easily and at an earlier stage.
Besides updating the list of sexual offences, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 also reformed the Sex Offender Registration legislation. It imposed more stringent requirements on sex offenders, including the requirement to notify Police of any change of name or home address within three days, to provide their National Insurance number and a requirement to notify the Police of their details every 12 months, even if there are no changes to those details.
The sex offender registrar in the MAPPA unit at police headquarters monitors all offenders who have a requirement to register and Northumbria Police always deal robustly with those offenders who fail to comply with the legislation.
4.4 Court Orders Designed to Manage Risk
In addition to statutory supervision and the imposition of conditions, it may be necessary for the courts to impose orders which contain prohibitions to restrict the activities of certain sexual offenders.
The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, together with the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and the Sexual Offences Act 2003, has extended the power of courts to impose these orders upon sexual offenders who pose the highest risk to the public.
4.41 Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO)
This order can be imposed at conviction or upon application by the police under civil proceedings. The SOPO can be imposed at both magistrates' courts and crown courts.
The SOPO will be designed to include prohibitions tailored to manage that individual offender's risk and will, therefore, be exclusive to that offender. Prohibitions included in a SOPO could be intended to prevent an offender entering school playgrounds, visiting swimming baths etc. Breach of a SOPO is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
In addition to the SOPO there are other orders which can be obtained upon application by the police in regard to sexual offenders. These are risk of sexual harm orders, notification orders and foreign travel orders.
4.42 Risk of Sexual Harm Orders (ROSHO)
This is a new civil preventative order containing prohibitions that can be applied for by the police against any person thought to pose a sexual risk to children aged under sixteen years. It is not necessary for the defendant to have a prior conviction for a sexual offence. The court can make an order if it is satisfied that it is necessary for the purpose of protecting children generally or any individual child from the defendant.
4.43 Notification Orders (NO)
These orders are intended to protect the public in the UK from the risks posed by sex offenders who have been convicted or cautioned for sexual offences committed overseas. Such offenders may be British citizens or foreign nationals who reside in the UK. A Notification Order requires the offender to register their details with the police as if they had been convicted in the UK. An application for a Notification Order is made to the magistrates' court acting in its civil capacity. A notification order, once imposed, carries the sex offender registration requirements for the offender.
4.44 Foreign Travel Orders (FTO)
This order is intended to prevent offenders with convictions for sexual offences against children from travelling abroad where there is evidence that they intend to commit sexual offences against children abroad. In these cases the police may apply to a magistrates' court for a foreign travel order.
To date Northumbria Police have not needed to apply for a foreign travel order.
4.45 Disqualification Orders (DO)
In addition to those orders previously mentioned, the senior courts e.g. the Crown Court, the Appeal Court, a Court Martial and the Courts Martial Appeal Court also have the legislative authority to impose disqualification orders on certain offenders convicted of offences against children. Individuals convicted of one of a list of specified sexual and violent offences against a child, or supplying Class A drugs to a child, may be eligible for the imposition of a Disqualification Order.
The Disqualification Order prevents an offender from "working with children". Examples of working with children extend from babysitting to working as a school teacher and from working in a local authority or social services department to voluntary work at a boys football club. They also include positions whose normal duties include the supervision or management of another individual who works directly with children, for example a member of a school governing body.
These orders must be imposed upon adult offenders unless the court is satisfied that it is unlikely the offender will commit any further offences against a child and makes this statement in open court. The order is also available for offenders under the age of 18 years at the discretion of the court. A disqualification order applies for life, although there is an appeal process.
The effect of this recent legislation and the introduction of orders which limit and prohibit the activities and behaviour of offenders who pose a risk of serious harm to the public has been to increase the "external controls" available to the multi-agency risk management of offenders and to strengthen the statutory provision available to enforce these restrictions for the protection of the public.
4.5 Violent and Sex Offender Register (ViSOR)
The Violent and Sex Offender Register (ViSOR) is a national database used to manage the four categories of violent and sexual offenders and is also used to manage potentially dangerous persons. The four categories include registerable sex offenders, non-registerable sex offenders, violent offenders, dangerous offenders and potentially dangerous persons i.e. those who have not been convicted of an offence, but are considered to represent a potential risk of serious harm to the public.
In Northumbria the details of all registered sex offenders are on the ViSOR database. In order to manage sexual and violent offenders effectively, public protection Risk Management Officers must have detailed knowledge of the offender's relevant offending history and have access to as much information as possible relating to that person's current lifestyle. This will include personal details, statutory supervision details, sex offender registration details, victim details and so on. ViSOR provides officers with a personal profile of each offender and as more facts and intelligence are gathered through researching offenders' backgrounds, during interview and whilst visiting them at their homes, the profiles are becoming more comprehensive.
In the past police areas occasionally experienced difficulty in ensuring that all relevant information held by one area was transferred to another area when an offender moves address. Each offender will now only have one ViSOR record and if the offender does move to another area, then the ViSOR record will be transferred with him/her. The sharing of information held on offenders is, therefore, made extremely easy with the ViSOR system.
ViSOR is a useful tool in the investigation of crime. It has recently been used in a high profile case to determine which offenders may be potential suspects.
4.6 The Role of MAPPA and Approved Premises
Approved Premises are managed by the Probation Service, and other voluntary or private sector providers.
Premises are approved by the Home Secretary under Section 9 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services
Act 2000, and operate under guidance set out in Regulations, National Standards and non-statutory
Approved Premises are used to house a number of MAPPA offenders, usually on initial release from prison. Many offenders who have completed the custodial part of their sentence remain subject to close oversight by the probation service, during a period 'on licence' in the community. The licence period provides the opportunity to monitor and support resettlement and the offender can be recalled to prison swiftly by the probation service if they fail to comply with a licence condition. Approved Premises provide a staged return to the community, affording significant additional monitoring and oversight of the offender's behaviour and activities; this provides an important opportunity for the probation service and police to assess the offender's behaviour and motivation on release.
Admissions decisions are made by the Probation Service, based on a rigorous process of risk assessment. Where an offender is subject to MAPPA, the risk assessment will also take in the views of other local agencies. Each referral is, therefore, subject to at least two, and sometimes three, levels of scrutiny before a final decision is taken.
4.7 Accredited Programmes
Whilst Northumbria Probation Area and Northumbria YOTs rigorously enforce 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 offender's 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.
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 reoffending. There are also two accredited programmes addressing problem-solving skills and victim awareness and another two programmes which focus upon substance misuse and drink impaired driving. In addition, a nationally accredited domestic abuse programme has now been launched in Northumbria which requires, as a core element, the inter agency risk management of all offenders on the programme.
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 Arrangements to exert influence over the offender's behaviour.
Disclosure is another important tool used to manage the risk posed by dangerous 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 invoked. In addition, the legality and proportionality of disclosure is considered by the Northumbria Police legal department in each case.
Case file: Michael
Level 2 MAPPA
Michael received a hospital order in 1995 and had been in hospital (subject to section 37 MHA) until June 2003 when he was discharged under section 117 and was being managed under CPA. He was initially convicted of serious sexual offences against children and is subject to Sex Offender Registration (indefinitely). Concerns were raised by Police at the state and stability of Michael's accommodation and his ability to manage without support. It was also noted that he was associating with other ex hospital residents who are also known to the Police in relation to sex offences. Additionally he had befriended a family and was visiting their home, where it was known that there were children at this address.
In view of the concerns raised at a Level 2 risk management meeting, a risk management plan was formulated which included:
- Mental Health and Learning Disability Services to confirm that Michael is to remain subject to sec 117 MHA and update the joint assessment of risk and need
- Housing Department to repair accommodation
- Hospital to offer option of structured activities or employment.
- Social Services and Police to establish and monitor Michael's contact with the identified children and to disclose information to the family who were befriended by him
- Police to consider the use of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) on Michael to manage risk
Michael accepted some of the practical support offered regarding his accommodation and structured activities. The family were made aware of his offences and the risk implications, but the family continued to allow and encourage him to have contact with their children. As a result, the Social Services Department called a child protection conference and the children were registered on the Child Protection Register. A plan to manage the risk to the children was devised and this is being managed and monitored by Social Services.
An application is being made to the Court by the Police for a SOPO to restrict Michael's contact with all children and vulnerable adults. Michael's behaviour and whereabouts are being closely monitored by all agencies and it was agreed that he will continue to be managed as a Level 2 MAPPA.
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT BOARD
Membership of the SMB includes:
North East Area Manager - HM Prison Service
Customer Relationship Manager - Securicor Justice Services
Regional Youth Justice Board - Sunderland Youth Offending Service Manager
Professor of Forensic Psychiatry - Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside Mental Health Trust
Head of Mental Health - Northumberland & Tyne & Wear Strategic Health Authority
Head of Services - Regeneration Housing, North Tyneside
Head of Adult Services - Sunderland Social Services Department
Head of Property and Housing - Berwick upon Tweed Borough Council
Detective Superintendent, Crime Management (Child Protection)- Northumbria Police
Detective Sergeant, MAPPA Unit - Northumbria Police
Director of Operations - Northumbria Probation Area
Public Protection Area Manager - Northumbria Probation Area
ACC Operational Policing Support - Northumbria Police
Professor of Psychiatry - Northgate and Prudhoe NHS Trust
Assistant Head of Service - Inclusion and Achievement (AEN)
Investigation and Referral Support Co-ordinator (Child Protection) DfES
Local Education Authority
Chief Executive - Byker Bridge Housing
Northumbria Deputy District Manager - Jobcentre Plus
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, the levels at which risk is being managed and data on enforcement action, together with details of those offenders subject to the MAPPA 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.
The SMB works alongside the Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) and the Local Criminal Justice Board (LCJB) to promote the protection of the public. Both the MAPPA Annual Report and the MAPPA SMB Business Plan are submitted to both boards to update them on progress.
6.1 Strategic Board members
Youth Offending Teams
"Youth Offending Teams in Northumbria continue to use the MAPPA arrangements in ensuring that dangerous offenders are systematically tracked and that arrangements are in place to manage the risk that they pose effectively. The numbers of very dangerous young people is low in relation to adults and this is reflected in the lower number of referrals to MAPPA from Youth Offending Teams in Northumbria".
Youth Offending Teams
6.2 Local MAPPA strategy group members
"From the perspective of a Youth Offending Service being able to work with other agencies within the MAPPA process is undoubtedly helpful. Some staff initially find the prospect daunting. However, once they have experienced attending MAPPA meetings to share information on individual young offenders and agree risk management strategies they would agree that the process helps them focus on how best to manage individual cases. Generally staff also find that one of the most helpful aspects of MAPPA is the ability to share information from a variety of agencies. Within Sunderland, staff have also welcomed opportunities for joint training, such as the seminar presented by staff from the Public Protection Unit and have requested further training. In particular staff have asked to look at how risks presented by young offenders may need to be approached slightly differently to that with adult offenders. For instance, young people may still need to be in an environment with other young people, such as school, even if their offence was against young people and, therefore, the risk management strategy would need to reflect this".
Youth Offending Service - Sunderland
"I have only recently become involved in MAPPA meetings, but have found them very useful at operational and strategic levels. I think they have improved the working together between agencies".
Northumberland – Healthcare
"The original MAPPA guidance did not properly take into account the complexity of an area such as Northumbria with 12 local authority areas (including the 6 district councils in Northumberland) to relate to. The creation of our 6 local strategy groups however has been a positive development and these groups are increasingly the main engine rooms which help make MAPPA more relevant for duty to co-operate partners".
Chair of Northumberland and North Tyneside Strategy Groups
"Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements are now well established in Newcastle Area Command. Staff from the MAPPA Unit continue to work in partnership with other agencies to protect the public in Newcastle from high risk offenders. A programme of awareness training has been carried out for all staff within the area command and the VISOR computer system has been adopted which enables offenders to be monitored more efficiently".
DCI Northumbria Police – Newcastle Public Protection Unit
"The development of the MAPPA strategy in Newcastle has not only improved inter-agency co-operation by establishing a systematic framework for information sharing, but has also increased the confidence of front line workers in social care agencies for raising or exploring concerns with colleagues within the framework. Before MAPPA, staff with concerns about individuals, particularly if they had insufficient detail at the time, did not always know where to go with those concerns in order to ensure that they reached the right audience".
Children and Families – Newcastle
THE ROLE OF THE PRISON SERVICE IN MAPPA
One of the important ways in which the Criminal Justice Act (2003) strengthened MAPPA was to make the Prison Service part of the Responsible Authority with police and probation in each of the 42 areas in England and Wales. The Prison Service has been given this enhanced role in recognition of the important part if plays in protecting the public by keeping offenders in custody; helping them to address the causes of their offending behaviour; and by undertaking other work to assist in their successful resettlement back into the community.
As part of the Responsible Authority, the prison service is represented on each of the Strategic Management Board (SMBs) in the 42 Areas. The Area Manager for the Prison Service, North East Area, has appointed a designated operational manager to provide representation on all three SMBs in the North East and to co-ordinate the strategic and operational contributions of the North East prison establishments to MAPPA.
The main focus of the prison service contribution is at operational level. A number of measures have been put in place to ensure that this will be effective and result in:
- Prompt identification of MAPPA offenders
- Prioritisation of MAPPA offenders for OASys assessment so that their details can be used in sentence planning arrangements, including interventions to manage and reduce risk.
- Regular monitoring of the behaviour of those assessed as presenting the highest risk and sharing information with police and probation colleagues.
- All relevant risk management information being provided to multi-agency meetings which help plan an offender's release.
- At least three months notification to police and probation of the expected release dates of those offenders who have been referred to the multi-agency public protection panel (MAPPP) and at least six weeks notification of those being managed at level 2 risk meetings.
- No changes to release dates or arrangements being made without prior consultation with police and probation
Playing an effective role in the multi-agency risk management of MAPPA offenders requires good communication between criminal justice partners. The Prison Service has taken steps to ensure that there are dedicated points of contact for public protection at both area level and in every prison establishment, and that these are published together with police and probation contacts to ensure better communication across the Responsible Authority.
With the ever increasing MAPPA population and proportion of those received into prison likely to grow with the introduction of the new public protection sentences, the inclusion of the prison service as part of the Responsible Authority will continue to be vital in protecting the public.
Case file: John
Level 2 MAPPA
John had a history of convictions for sexual offences against children. In 1974, his last offence, he was given a hospital order (without limit of time). Following his Mental Health Review Tribunal it was decided that he should be conditionally discharged from hospital and appropriate plans were made for him to be safely supported and managed in the community.
A multi agency risk management meeting was convened and a risk management plan was formulated which included:
- John to be conditionally discharged under the restrictions of the Mental Health Act
- John to engage in structured and supervised activities and have no contact with children at home or in the community
- Appropriate supported living accommodation with 24 hour cover commission forensic outreach support.
John was conditionally discharged with 24 hour staff supervision. He is adhering to his conditions and is engaging with mental health services staff. He is residing in his own appropriate accommodation together with the group of named staff to provide 24 hour cover and individual work. John's behaviour and whereabouts are being very closely monitored by all agencies and it is agreed that he will continue to be managed at a Level 2 MAPPA
Section 8 .
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 National Probation Service 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. From April 2006, this statutory duty has expanded to contacting victims of serious crime in mental health cases. (Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004) The unit can also offer a discretionary service to victims e.g. a racist harassment case where the prison sentence was less than one year.
Northumbria Probation Area offers a comprehensive service to individuals or families who have been affected by this type of crime. 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. There are also protocols in place to safeguard the confidentiality of information from victims to protect them. 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 the probation worker and a victim liaison officer 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. There is a high take-up rate by victims in MAPPA cases.
Northumbria Probation Area works closely with Victim Support* who receive referrals in respect of the partners of men who undertaken the domestic violence group for perpetrators. Northumbria Police also have specialist staff within the public protection units who focus upon domestic violence, both in terms of managing the risk from perpetrators of violent behaviour and in offering support to women and families as victims in these cases.
The victim liaison officers (VLOs) are now well integrated into MAPPA and attend all relevant meetings. There is good ongoing liaison between the police, probation staff, prison staff and VLOs and appropriate licence conditions, such as no contact or specified exclusion zones are often included at the victim's request or need for their protection.
Through MAPPA the VLO 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 and VLOs liaise with the police before contacting victims or their families in such cases.
The representation of victim issues by the VLO 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 VLO 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 year ahead
The year 2006/7 will be dominated, for MAPPA, by the Area Business Plan which reflects actions identified in the MAPPA National Business Plan for 2005/08.
The Northumbria Area MAPPA Business Plan is structured under the following four specific aims:
1) MAPPA Development Strategy
2) Monitoring and Development Strategy
3) Communication and Strategic Partnership Strategy
4) Training Strategy
The Northumbria MAPPA Business Plan is included in this report at Appendix A.
Case file: Darren, category 1, level 2 MAPPA
Darren entered into a relationship with a woman, with a ten year old daughter; he abused the child over a period of three years having gained the confidence of the mother and grooming the child. He was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court in February 2002 for three offences of rape of a female under 16 years and one of indecent assault of a female child under 14 years. He received a total of 6 years imprisonment.
Information was received by the Public Protection Unit from the Prison that Darren had started to correspond with a woman who was living with her daughter who had three young children.
A decision was taken in line with disclosure guidelines to inform the woman of Darren's current conviction and the circumstances of it. It transpired that she was aware of the prison sentence but believed that he was serving a custodial sentence for a physical assault and had no knowledge of the sexual abuse.
As a result of the disclosure the woman ended the relationship. Darren continues to be subject to Level 2 MAPPA meetings and his behaviour is monitored closely by a number of agencies to ensure that he does not form a relationship with another woman which would result in children being put at risk.
Since the first report was published in the summer of 2002, the collection of data has been refined to ensure that all relevant offenders are included in the arrangements and to facilitate the interrogation of the information in order to enhance public protection.
The collection of data for this year's report has remained the same as for last year. The total number of offenders that have been managed through MAPPA between April 2005 and the end of March 2006 has risen from 1206 to 1318, an increase of 112.
The number of Category 1 offenders (registered sex offenders) living in the Northumbria area has increased from 851 to 898, a total increase of 47. This increase is to be expected due to the length of time offenders are required to remain on the register.
The number of Category 2 offenders (violent and other sex offenders) included on the Northumbria MAPPA register, during the reporting year, is 269, an increase of 13 on last year.
The number of Category 3 offenders (other offenders) referred into MAPPA during 2005/6 is 151. This figure has increased by 52 since completion of last years Annual Report. These offenders can be identified by any agency and their inclusion within MAPPA is dependent upon a risk assessment. These offenders are not automatically included because of their offences and/or disposal, as with category 1 and 2, they are assessed as being likely to cause serious harm to the public and can only be managed, therefore, at level 2 or 3 which are the higher levels of risk management.
The increase in the Category 3 MAPPA population can be seen as a direct result of awareness raising by the MAPPA unit with the relevant agencies within Northumbria. Many of these referrals come from mental health services, local authority social services departments, housing etc. and these offenders will not usually have any current involvement with police and probation services.
In terms of levels of risk management the following applies:
Number of Offenders
Level of Risk Management
The number of offenders managed at Level 3, the highest level of risk management, has increased by 7 from last year. The most significant increase across the levels is in regard to Level 2 which has increased from 228 during 2004/5 to 331 in 2005/6. An increase of 103. The majority of these offenders are drawn from Category 3 which are the offenders who are being identified by a variety of agencies as requiring multi-agency risk management.
During the reporting year the courts imposed 37 full Sexual Offences Prevention Orders at point of conviction for a sex offence. The imposition of SOPOs on conviction has meant that the police no longer need to spend time and effort applying for the orders on complaint to the magistrates; a lengthy and time consuming process. That said, there will still be occasions when police do need to apply on complaint and during this reporting year 8 applications have been made, with one full and 7 interim orders imposed.
Police can apply for Notification Orders where an offender has been convicted or cautioned for a sexual offence overseas. During 2005/2006 Northumbria Police applied for 1 Notification Order which was subsequently granted by magistrates, thereby requiring the offender to register his details.
Northumbria Police has a robust approach to dealing with offenders who breach sex offender registration requirements or Sexual Offences Prevention Orders. Indeed during the past year 117 offenders have either received a caution or been convicted of breaching the registration requirements.
Out of a total figure of 376 offenders managed at the higher levels of 2 and 3, there were no offenders charged with a serious sexual or violent offence.
A total of 47 offenders subject to Level 2 or 3 risk management were returned to custody at the request of the Probation Service.
NORTHUMBRIA AREA MAPPA STATISTICS 2005-6
The number of offenders dealt with under MAPPA will inevitably increase year by year due to the cumulative effect of cases coming into the system and remaining subject to risk management procedures for a significant period of time. In addition, changes have been made this year to the way in which the data is recorded and the level of risk posed by offenders who are included in the statistics.
1. Category 1 MAPPA offenders: Registered Sex Offenders (RSO)
i) The number of Registered Sex Offenders on 31 March 2006 - 898
This is the number of sex offenders currently residing in the Northumbria Police area who are subject to registration. This does not include RSOs who are in prison.
ia) The number of Registered Sex Offenders per 100,000 head of population - 64
The number of Registered Sex Offenders per 100,00 head of population within Northumbria.
ii. The number of sex offenders having a registration requirement who were either cautioned or convicted for breaches of the requirement, between 1 April 2005 And 31 March 2006 - 117
This is the number of offenders who failed to comply with the requirements of their registration order and were either cautioned or convicted. The breach may have been as a result of failure to notify the police or their address within the prescribed time, failure to notify police that they had changed their name or failure to notify police of their intention to travel abroad.
iii) The number of Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPOs)
a) applied for on complaint
b) interim orders granted
c) full SOPOs imposed by the courts, both on complaint and at conviction in Northumbria Area between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006
This order can be imposed at conviction or upon application by the police under civil proceedings. It is designed to include prohibitions tailored to manage the individual offender's risk and is therefore, exclusive to each offender. No SOPOs were refused when applied for on complaint.
C) 37 full SOPOs imposed on conviction.
1 full SOPO imposed on complaint.
iv) The number of Notification Orders
a) applied for
b) interim orders granted
c) full notification orders imposed by the courts in Northumbria Area between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006
This order applied to offenders who reside in the UK, but committed a sexual offence overseas. It will result in the offender having to comply with sex offender registration requirements.
v) The number of Foreign Travel Orders
a) applied for
b) imposed by the courts in Northumbria Area between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006
This order prevents convicted sex offenders from travelling abroad where there is evidence they intend to commit sexual offences against children living abroad. To date Northumbria Police have not needed to apply for a foreign travel order.
2. Category 2: violent offenders and other sexual offenders
vi) The number of violent and other sexual offenders living in Northumbria between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006 - 269
This figure is the number of violent and other sex offenders (not registered sex offenders) living in the community who were sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment and are currently subject to post-release licence supervision.
3. Category 3: Other offenders
vii) The number of "other offenders" between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006 - 151
This number of offenders were identified for risk management and referred into MAPPA by various agencies.
NORTHUMBRIA STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT BOARD (SMB)
MAPPA BUSINESS PLAN 2006/7
The Northumbria Area SMB MAPPA Business Plan responds to guidance issued under Probation Circular 88/2005 which requires all Areas to forward their plans to the Public Protection and Licence Release Unit (PPLRU) of the National Probation Directorate by 28 April 2006. The Police and Prison Services have received similar instructions from their national lead officers.
The Business Plan will also be presented to the Area Local Criminal Justice Board and to the Local Safeguarding Children Boards. The Northumbria Area MAPPA Business Plan is structured under the following four specific aims:
1) MAPPA Development Strategy
2) Monitoring and Development Strategy
3) Communication and Strategic Partnership Strategy
4) Training Strategy
MAPPA Development Strategy
To achieve dedicated MAPPA co-ordination and administration capacity
By April 2007 to confirm dedicated co-ordinator and administration posts in place.
Action Plan to support aim and achieve outcome
- review current co-ordinator and administrative capacity for MAPPA by June 2006 SMB meeting and present findings to the Board.
- SMB to either endorse current arrangements or propose alterations to improve dedicated capacity at meeting on 8th June 2006.
- if alterations required, alternative proposal to SMB for meeting on 7th September 2006.
- Following decision at SMB in September 2006, dedicated MAPPA co-ordination and administration capacity reassessed at SMB meeting in December 2006 and confirmation of arrangements sent to PPLRU.
Monitoring and Development Strategy
Monitoring arrangements to support the following in place:
- publication of the Annual Report
- an analysis of MAPPA risk management thresholds at Level 2 and 3.
- an analysis of MAPPA offenders who commit serious further offences.
- an analysis of attendance and level of co-operation of agencies contributing to Level 2 and 3 meetings.
- an analysis of diversity profile of offenders assessed at Level 2 and 3.
Induction and maintenance training for those identified above to be incorporated into a rolling programme following receipt of national strategy.
Action Plan to support aim and achieve outcome
- MAPPA Unit to devise database to include data on the five areas identified for monitoring mentioned above. Details of the database to be provided to SMB meeting in June 2006.
- SMB to agree database capacity and outline which reports the Board would wish to receive either quarterly, 6 monthly or annually.
- SMB Meeting on 7th September 2006 to be provided with the first set of agreed data retrieved from MAPPA database.
- Review of data collection to take place at SMB meeting in December 2006 in anticipation of guidance from the National Probation Directorate regarding data required for the MAPPA Annual Report 2006/7.
Communication and Strategic Partnership Strategy
To publish MAPPA Annual Reports which are designed to improve public understanding and engagement and to develop a communication strategy for the Northumbria Area SMB taking account of the national strategy devised by the Responsible Authority National Steering Group (RANSG).
By March 2007 to have in place a local communication strategy, building from the national strategy, which contributes to improved public understanding and confidence in MAPPA.
Action Plan to support aim and achieve outcome
- At the meeting in March 2006, SMB to consider draft media strategy prepared by Northumbria Probation Communications Manager in consultation with Northumbria Police Press Officer.
- If agreed, media strategy to take immediate effect, if not, revised version to return to SMB meeting on 8th June 2006.
- SMB to identify opportunities to work constructively with the media to improve public understanding of MAPPA.
- SMB to consider recruitment of second Lay Advisor to the Board and, in order to replicate membership of the SMB on the local MAPPA Strategy Groups, to consider the recruitment of lay advisors to sit on these groups. Consideration of the above to take place at the SMB meeting on 9th March 2006.
- Northumbria SMB to await receipt of the National MAPPA Communication Strategy from PPLRU expected by April 2006 in order to inform the local strategy required to be in place by March 2007.
- Northumbria Area SMB to include a training strategy in the business plan, to include:
- induction to MAPPA for new practitioners
- training for MAPPA SMB members
- training for MAPPA co-ordinators
Induction and maintenance training for those identified above to be incorporated into a rolling programme following receipt of national strategy.
Action Plan to support aim and achieve outcome
- The SMB training strategy relies upon receipt of the national training and resource pack currently being assembled by the PPLRU and expected by April 2006.
- following receipt of the pack and dissemination of the material the MAPPA Unit will produce a local training strategy to put before the SMB in June 2006.
- Following approval of the training strategy, work to begin to plan required events with the aim of delivering these from September 2006 onwards.
- Pending receipt of the national training and resource pack, Northumbria Area SMB through the MAPPA Unit, will continue to deliver multi-agency MAPPA awareness raising events through the auspices of the local MAPPA Strategy Groups.
Review of Northumbria MAPPA Business Plan
- Half yearly review – September 2006
- Annual review - March 2007
Organisational Chart – MAPPA Unit
The MAPPA Unit sits within the Central Police Public Protection Unit at Northumbria Police Headquarters.
The MAPPA Unit is a joint Police / Probation Unit.
Appendix D Key MAPPA contacts for Northumbria
M A P P A U N I T
Northumbria Police HQ
Newcastle upon Tyne
Staffed by key public protection staff from police and probation service, this unit is the first point of contact for all MAPPA and public protection enquiries.
The unit will then direct enquiries to local MAPPA strategic groups and other agencies as appropriate, and provide any necessary contact details.
NORTHUMBRIA PROBATION AREA VICTIM LIAISON UNIT
Victim Liaison Unit
Northumbria Probation Area
6th Floor Collingwood House
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 0191 261 2541
This unit provides an information service for victims of serious sexual or other violent offences where the offender receives a custodial sentence of over 12 months.
Bedlington 01670 822 334
Heaton 0191 276 4080
Gateshead 0191 477 8395
North Northumberland 01665 602 863
Newcastle 0191 274 4274
Victim Support is an independent organisation offering a free and confidential service to people affected by crime.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
MAPPA Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements
MAPPP Multi Agency Public Protection Panels
NPS National Probation Service
YOT Youth Offending Teams
RMC Risk Management Conference
TDI The Derwent Initiative
OASys Offender Assessment System
LCJB Local Criminal Justice Board
SMB Strategic Management Board
ViSOR Violent and Sex Offender Register
SPOC Single Point of Contact (Police Officer)
VLO Victim Liaison Officer
SOPO Sexual Offences Prevention Orders
ROSHO Risk of Sexual Harm Orders
NO Notification Orders
FTO Foreign Travel Orders
DO Disqualification Orders
RMM Risk Management Meeting
PPU Public Protection Unit
MHA Mental Health Act
CPA Care Programme Approach