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Cross Scheme Offenders: Guidance on shared protocols - Based on West

Midlands Model


1. Launched by the Prime Minister in September 2004, the aim of the Prolific and
other Priority Offender programme is to allow Crime and Disorder Reduction
Partnerships, the Police, Probation and Prison Services, Youth Offending Teams and
other partners to develop multi-agency schemes to identify and target the most
problematic offenders who cause disproportionate harm to communities in which
they live. The strategy has three interlocking strands:

- Prevent and Deter – stop young people engaging in offending behaviour

and graduating into the next generation of prolific offenders;

- Catch and Convict - those offenders who commit the most crime in their
local areas, or whose offending causing the most harm to the local

- Rehabilitate and Resettle - those identified as prolific offenders, so that

they stop their offending, by offering a range of supportive interventions.
Offenders are offered the opportunity for rehabilitation or face a very swift
return to the courts.

Cross-Scheme Offenders
2. This guidance is intended to help schemes and key partner agencies involved
in the PPO programme to tackle the problems associated with those PPOs who
offend in areas other than the locality in which they live and in which they are
registered as a PPO. Classification or definition of a PPO will vary from area to area,
taking account of local circumstances, but for the purpose of this guidance,

a cross- scheme offender is a PPO whose offending impacts on a PPO scheme

area other than the area where he or she resides or is registered as a PPO.

It will be in the interest of the scheme covering the area in which the offender lives
(“the home scheme”) and the wider programme to register the PPO where there is
evidence of such offending and adopt the PPO. This group of PPOs are known as
cross-scheme offenders.

We expect schemes to be focused on Police Basic Command Units, led by

Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships within a framework established at
LCJB area level. Schemes will comprise of multi-agency teams, directly
overseen by Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and key partners to
target a small number of highly active offenders engaging them through a range
of interventions programme.

3. This guidance is drawn up following a scoping study carried out by

Staffordshire Probation Service, the Government Office for the West Midlands and
West Midlands Police, to measure the extent of the problem posed by cross-scheme
offenders in the region. The scoping study included:

- profiling of PPOs (ethnicity, gender, age etc);

- where they live;
- where they offend;
- the nature of their offending behaviour (i.e. drugs, burglary, car crime etc)
- definitions of PPOs where offending is outside home PPO scheme, and
- difficulties / barriers around adopting cross-scheme offenders.

Reference has also been made to other guidance developed by schemes, notably
the PPO schemes in London. A summary of the London Model is attached at Annex

4. In order to develop an effective and robust strategy, it is recommended that

Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and schemes review the extent to which
they may be affected by the activity of cross-scheme offenders. Where it is
perceived that there may be a problem, it would make sense to attempt to identify the
number of such offenders and to devise a strategy, where necessary, to manage their
activity effectively. There is evidence in the West Midlands scoping study that
some prolific PPOs remain unregistered as PPOs because they offend outside
their home locality.

Role of partner agencies: Catch and Convict/ Rehabilitate and Resettle

5. The West Midlands scoping work helped to highlight some of the underlying
management problems and issues surrounding cross-scheme offenders and the aim
of this guidance is to help partners within PPO schemes to target, identify and
monitor offenders involved in schemes where they are not registered as PPOs. It
intends also to help schemes to adopt and develop local protocols where these
problems arise. However, it is recommended that before schemes develop their own
protocols, they make some assessment of the extent to which cross-scheme
offenders are a problem as shown in the GOWM example (see annex A).

6. The West Midlands experience highlights the potential problems associated

with cross-scheme offenders both in terms of the nature of offending in areas where
the PPO travels and difficulties in engaging key partners to share appropriate
information on agreed protocols in the effective identification, monitoring and
supervision of these offenders. Their scoping study, which is evidenced based,
reveals the extent of the problem and has enabled this guidance to set out an
effective strategy that will advise Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships on how
best to deal with problems associated with cross-scheme offenders in their schemes.

Proposed process and responsibility

7. For the purpose of this guidance, it is recommended that the home scheme
where the PPO resides should take responsibility for the day-to-day management of
the cross-scheme offender. It is recommended that all partner agencies where there
is evidence of cross-scheme offending, share intelligence around PPOs and use an
active list to monitor their activities. However, where a cross-scheme offender comes
to the notice of the police in the area where he or she has offended or been arrested,
the scheme or Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership should register the cross-
scheme offender as a “potential” PPO and inform the home owning scheme. The
home owning scheme should, in the first instance, have the responsibility and draw
up an Action Plan with the help of key agencies involved in the monitoring and
supervision of the offender to ensure that, as far as it is practically possible, all
partners agree to a clearly defined protocol to help cross-scheme offenders access
appropriate services and interventions.

8. A local PPO team panel or forum made up of Local Criminal Justice Board
and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership partners will enable agencies
including those representing the home scheme and where the offender offends, to
meet and review cross-scheme offender cases regularly, particularly to measure the
impact of crime for which they are responsible. Local definitions of PPOs in areas
where they offend and reside may hinder this process particularly where the PPO
does not meet the required PPO threshold. In these circumstances, and again by
mutual agreement, schemes and their representative partners need to be flexible
about definitions criteria which could potentially hinder agencies from coming
together and effectively managing these offenders.

9. Figure A below sets out the process by which agencies can develop a simple
plan of action that will determine the way in which a cross-scheme offender can be
tracked across schemes using JTrack to monitor them. The harm caused by an
offender offending in a neighbouring scheme area should be jointly managed with the
scheme where the offender resides. Reducing the harm is a whole community
approach where schemes come together to seek a solution to managing that harm
and reducing it.

Scenario 1

Offends in Area B.
Offender lives in Area A. Nature of offending is
Not currently a PPO above Area B’s PPO

Area A considers request Area B request Area A

to put offender on their
PPO list

Area A manages
If yes offender as PPO
Does offender meet Area A
threshold? and both areas
continue sharing
ongoing intelligence

Presumption that Area A put offender on

If no PPO list (on quid pro quo basis) but for
discussion between areas. But if offender
is listed. Areas continue sharing ongoing
Scenario Two

Offender living in Area A

Already a PPO Offends in Area B

Area B informs Area A

PNC identifies offender as
and both areas continue
to share intelligence
Scenario 3 (Transient offender)

Offender lives and offends in

Offender also offends in
Area A, but level and nature
Area B (or in more than
of offending is below PPO
two areas)

Combined offending pushes offender

above threshold in areas A and B

Can this be spotted by


If yes If no

Offender added to Offender missed

PPO list in area A and from scheme
all areas share
ongoing intelligence

10. It is important for all the agencies involved in this process to agree to an action
plan for all cross-scheme offenders and share appropriate information through the
relevant IT systems.

Transient PPOs

11. In developing this guidance, we have taken into account, a small but
significant number of PPOs who may offend in more than one scheme area but
whose offending in any one scheme may not alone warrant PPO status. Figure A
Scenario 3 describes the process. However, their cumulative offending may amount
to significant prolific behaviour to warrant registration as a PPO. Offenders who are
organised and travel to one or more specific areas or locations are likely to fall into
this group. Again, we suggest where there is evidence of this that the home scheme
where the PPO resides should consider registering the offender as a PPO.

Prevent and Deter

12. As in the other two strands, there is evidence that young people in the
Prevent and Deter strand may also be involved in cross scheme offending. While the
Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership may have overall responsibility for
running the scheme, the day to day responsibility tends to rest with the local Youth
Offending Team to work with the police to identify and target those most at risk of
crime in their communities. Where there is evidence that young people are offending
outside their Yot area, it is for the home Yot, where the young person lives, and the
Yot where the young person offends, to establish a forum in which to devise a plan to
monitor and prevent such young people from getting involved in further criminality
and progressing on to full PPO status.

Selecting cross-scheme offenders

13. The PPO Catch and Convict guidance sets out clearly how PPOs are to be
selected locally using a selection matrix and various other data and intelligence.
However problems may arise where a PPO who lives in scheme A may not reach the
threshold of scheme B where the PPO offends. This point is covered in Scenario 3 in
Figure. A. For the purpose of this guidance, it is recommended that schemes adopt
a flexible approach on how they target and adopt the cross-scheme offender who
travels around neighbouring schemes to commit crime.

Role of agencies and targeting interventions

14. Agencies who will need to be involved in the tracking, monitoring and
supervision of cross-scheme offenders are:

- Police
- Probation
- Prisons
- Yots
- Local authorities
- Courts/CPS
- Offender Managers

15. When a PPO has been identified as a cross-scheme offender, it is important

that Offender Managers and the Police from both scheme areas liaise with each
other to draw up an action plan and set out a clear framework as to how each agency
will respond to the needs of the offender. If an offender is actively engaged in crime
near a scheme or area other than where he or she lives, it may be easier for
resources or intervention to be transferred with the consent of the home owning
scheme. Clearly, there may well be instances where this is not practical, particularly
where issues around transferring resources for drug treatment is concerned. The
home owning scheme should engage with agencies in areas where the PPO offends
and agree a strategy to help and manage the offender. Reducing or stopping their
offending is the ultimate aim.
When the offender re-offends

16. In schemes where the offender is being managed as part of the rehabilitate
and resettle strand of the programme, there may well be instances where a PPO re-
offends in the adopted scheme. It is the responsibility of Probation, Police and other
criminal justice agencies to bring the offender to justice. Again, liaison officers from
the adopted scheme should notify the home owning scheme of the arrest and any
other breach the offender has against him or her. These details should then be
passed to the home scheme where the cross-scheme offender can be appropriately
monitored and supervised by the local PPO team.

17. The matrix at Annex A outlines the roles and responsibilities for local agencies
and schemes in managing cross-scheme offenders.

Use of JTrack

18. All PPOs should be flagged on PNC and appear on JTrack. It is

recommended that when a PPO is arrested by the police in a neighbouring scheme,
details of the arrest are entered on JTrack as soon as it is practically possible and
the home scheme notified of the arrest where the offender resides. This will minimise
instances of double counting and will ensure that any case changes are monitored
and recorded when the offender passes through the Criminal Justice System. Some
well established practice within force areas already exists where PPOs are being
tracked or monitored. However, there may well be barriers to effective practice when
offenders offend outside the force area. This guidance seeks to help those agencies
and partners who have responsibility for cross-scheme offenders within schemes of a
force area.

Commissioning and managing treatment of cross-scheme offenders involved

in drug use

19. In the first instance, it might be practical for the home scheme where the
offender resides, to take the responsibility to ensure that adequate provision is made
for the effective intervention and treatment of those PPOs whose criminality is
associated with drug use. Securing treatment will reduce the risk of re-offending as
soon as possible.

20. The introduction of Testing on Arrest and Required Assessments will, in those
areas where cross scheme offenders are subject of such requirements, make
provision for treatment in the home area of the offender. Where further voluntary
treatment is appropriate following a Required Assessment the provision of such
treatment would be negotiated between police, treatment providers and offender at
the time of the Required Assessment and could, if convenient for all parties, be
provided by an agency from an area outside that of the offender’s area of residence.

21. It will be the responsibility of the Drug Action Team then to commission
services to meet the needs of individuals in their local population. The general
principle for a PPO to receive funding is that the cross-scheme offender should have
had an assessment of his or her individual treatment needs and have a ‘treatment
plan’ that is managed by a drugs worker or appropriate offender manager. If this is
not the case, then the respective DAT should be contacted. The usual practice is that
the DAT where the cross-scheme offender resides is responsible for funding their
treatment wherever the treatment is located.

22. If the most appropriate service to meet a person’s needs is based outside of
the resident DAT’s boundary, then it is possible for the DAT to spend their own
money to commission treatment from the outside service. This does not require any
transfer of central funding to a different DAT.

23. However, a potential problem occurs when a cross-scheme offender enters a

treatment service outside of the area of their residence, and the treatment provider
does not engage with the appropriate DAT until the drug offender is fully engaged
with treatment. Understandably, this can cause tension when the DAT of residence
would have been able to provide equivalent or better services within their locality.
The potential risk may involve the cross-scheme offender to lose out if their treatment
is then abruptly terminated because of a lack of funding.

24. Good communication, therefore, between treatment providers and DATs, and
offender mangers is essential. In some cases, DATs can come to a reciprocal
agreement in the knowledge that cross-scheme offender from either side are
accessing treatment services in each other’s area.

25. In April 2001, the Government set up a special health authority, the National
Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA), to increase availability, quality and
effectiveness of treatment.

26 The NTA website ( holds a number of leading guidance

documents on commissioning and also includes details of training on effective
commissioning practices. Included is guidance on effectively commissioning services
on a regional level, when a number of DATs within the same region of the country
can work together to commission from a treatment service.

Local Area Agreements

27. Now that Local Area Agreement contracts have been introduced, it is
important the these arrangements are used within each scheme area to drive the
identification of shared local priorities and with all partners engaged in a multi agency
approach to target those involved in cross scheme offending. The issue of cross-
scheme offenders should feed into Local Area Agreement where appropriate to
ensure it receives local priority.


28. It is recommended that schemes consider this guidance to help identify,

monitor and manage cross-scheme offenders in their areas. Attached in Annex B is a
check list to commence this process and to establish a locally shared protocol to
tackle problems associated with cross-scheme offenders.

Pre -Sentence Post -Sentence

Catch & convict Rehabilitate & resettle
targeting Selection/ Arrest Courts Sentences: Custody Release De-selection
Monitoring Community
No action No action No action: Local court to Probation in Offender Police & Offender
CSOs in but maintain list consider PPO Scheme A managers in probation from manages in A &
Scheme of all PPOs in To consider as a priority and manage the Scheme A to Scheme A to B to agree on
A (not offending) area registering PPO remit case to Community manage supervise CSO criteria for de-
if referred to by scheme court if sentence of custodial during release selection for
another scheme appropriate CSO sentence on agreed action CSO based on
plan action plan

CSO travelling Police of Police, probation Police arrest No action No action No action No action No action
to Scheme B to scheme B to and other CSO in scheme
offend target CSO agencies to B and inform
monitor and home scheme A
crime patterns
and draw up an
Action Plan


to be completed for all PPOs identified as offending in more than one BCU
Name Where PPO Area/ scheme Scheme where Offender Profile If PPO If PPO is
of lives where PP offends PPO is Drugs misuse identified identified as
PPO registered Burglary outside home a PPO
Driving offences Scheme area: outside the
Robbery describe any home area:-
Summary offences good practice describe any
BCU Theft or difficulties good
Scheme other regarding practice or
CDRP ownership of difficulties
the PPO home about
scheme. prioritising
resources by
the home
X1 BCU W’lhamtn Chase Chase Drugs misuse Identified No
Staffordshire through crime interventions
patterns as PPO
being an currently on
offender on remand
and inter force
X2 BCU… BCU Wolverhampton drugs misuse The offender is No direct
Wolverhampton Wolverhampton
currently in intervention
Staffordshire… Chase(staffs)
prison. There at this stage
has been as he lives
effective off
liaison Staffordshire
between police area
and West
Midlands to
achieve this
driving offences
Summary offences
Theft and handling
stolen goods
xTheft from shops
vehicle crime
- Violence
PPO Scheme -

South Staffordshire

Force Area… -
Checklist for schemes to develop effective protocols in tracking, monitoring and
managing CSOs

Yes no comment
Is cross scheme offending a
problem in your area?

Is there a shared protocol in

place to manage CSOs?

Have you identified the number

of PPOs who offend outside
their schemes?

Have you scoped out the extent

of the problem?
Which agencies are involved in
tackling CSOs?

Who has responsibility on arrest

of PPO for entering JTrack
updates: i) PPO owner or ii)
arresting area?

Do neighbouring schemes
share intelligence on CSOs?

What have been the barriers to

lack of engagement by key

Is information exchange
between agencies effective?
Annex D

Tackling Cross scheme offenders: London Model

In general a PPO will appear on the borough (CDRP) PPO list for the
borough in which they offend. As London Probation supervises offenders
according to the borough where they reside, there is potential for confusion
to arise with PPOs who live and offend in different boroughs. Such PPOs
are known as ‘cross-border offenders’.

Within LP it has been agreed that if an offender appears on the PPO list in
one borough then that individual should be treated as a PPO throughout the
organisation. This means that if the offender lives in a borough where
he/she is not on the CDRP PPO list he/she should still be supervised by the
PPO team in the borough where he/she resides and receives the same
levels of enhanced supervision available to all PPOs. PPO teams may
need to keep an alternative list of LP PPOs if they are supervising several
offenders within this category.

The offender manager should always be an officer from the PPO team
where the offender resides (home borough). They will be responsible for
the case management of the individual and associated tasks, for example,
ensuring an OASys is completed within 5 working days and that their PPO
status is flagged on Delius. These arrangements will require ongoing liaison
with the borough in which the PPO offends (offending borough).

All members of the PPO team should be actively involved in the case
management of the offender in the home borough. For the police liaison
officer this may mean that they have to go ‘off borough’ or liaise with
colleagues in another borough regarding offending behaviour and police

Cross-border offenders should have one action plan, written and

implemented by the offender manager. In some circumstances it might be
that the PPO is discussed at the PPO panels in both the home borough and
the offending borough. The home borough may wish to focus on the
probation centred case management aspects as of the case, whereas the
offending borough should focus more on the police input and offending
behaviour. As a general principle arrangements should be agreed by both
boroughs which aim to keep the management of the case as straightforward
as possible and ensure that both boroughs are fully updated on the
individual’s progress.

The home borough should be treated as the active borough for the
purposes of all monitoring activity. This includes the Home Office PMF
return and eOASys/NS monitoring. These arrangements should be made
clear to all PPO team staff to ensure that duplication in monitoring is
avoided. For the same reasons it is important that cross-border PPOs do
not appear on more than one CDRP PPO list.
Our particular thanks to the following who have contributed in helping to draw up
this guidance:

Richard Taylor - Offender Management Coordinator,

Government Office West Midlands

Jim Atkins (retired) - Staffordshire Probation

D.C. Sean Lawlor - Staffordshire Police

Insp Dave Murcott - West Midlands Police