Safer local communities as more offenders managed in MAPPA
Dated: 26 Oct 2010
New figures released today show that more offenders are being managed within the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) framework. This means risk management plans are in place to protect the public and keep communities safer.
MAPPA is a system of working together, sharing information and resources, and assessing and managing risk. It ensures every proportionate and legally available measure which can be taken is taken to reduce the likelihood of their reoffending. This can include monitoring arrangements, restrictions on offenders’ movements and activities, and additional security measures put in place to protect victims and other vulnerable people.
As at 31 March 2010, 1352 offenders are being managed within MAPPA, compared to 1279 last year. This increase means that more offenders who need to be managed within the MAPPA framework, are being, and the appropriate risk management plans are in place to effectively protect the public.
MAPPA has been in place in Northumbria since 2001, and has proven itself to be an effective means of ensuring public safety. 2009/10 has seen further refinement of MAPPA systems meaning it is now even more effective, because it is more efficient.
Changes to the referral process means the right level of management* for each offender is identified at the earliest opportunity. This means resources are directed where they are most needed and offenders are less likely to be managed at too low or too high a level.
Also, the introduction of a new panel system of MAPPA meetings, where the risk management plans for each offender are formulated and regularly reviewed, has meant greater expertise is developed and individual plans can be reviewed more quickly.
During the reporting year, only 46 managed at levels 2 and 3, the highest reporting levels, were returned to custody for breach of licence (102 in 2008/9). This demonstrates how effective the MAPPA arrangements are in safely managing offenders in the community, and that most offenders do comply with the restrictions paced on them. For the small number who break the conditions - which does not necessarily mean a further offence has been committed – swift action is taken and they are promptly returned to prison.
978 offenders are managed on the sex offenders register** (919 in 2008/9). This is 77 people per 100,000 of the population, which is less than 1% (65 2008/9***). Other means of managing sex offenders include sexual offences prevention orders (SOPOs). This can be imposed by the courts at point of sentence, or at a later stage if the police have concerns about an offender’s behaviour in the community. During 2009/10, 65 SOPOs were issued (50 in 2008/9). This increase in the use of SOPOs shows that more measures are in place to manage sex offenders effectively.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Dave Pryer, chair of Northumbria's MAPPA Strategic Management Board, said: "A continuing strength of MAPPA is that working in partnership to prevent harm provides an effective and efficient method of protecting the public.
"One of our successes this year has been improving our business processes, improving communication, information sharing and professional risk assessments. This means more offenders are being effectively managed at the correct level.
"It is pleasing to note the significant drop in those being managed at the highest reporting levels who were returned to custody for breaching their licence. This demonstrates how effective the MAPPA arrangements are in safely managing offenders in the community.
"However we are never complacent and are determined to continue driving down the numbers of people re-offending."
Wynne McLean, head of public protection, Northumbria Probation Trust, said: “Managing offenders in the right way is critical to protecting the public. Probation offender managers play an active role in this, working closely with partner organisations, and are expert at developing and delivering highly effective risk management plans. Although we can never completely eliminate risk, through MAPPA, we can ensure offenders are safely managed and the risk is reduced.”
Alan Tallentire, Regional Manager, Custodial Services North East, said: "Staff within prisons actively work in conjunction with our partners to share information and knowledge as part of the MAPPA process. This multi agency approach is essential for public protection when planning the transition of offenders from custody into the community"