Cheshire, Halton & Warrington

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements Annual Report 2002-3

Foreword
By Paul Goggins, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Community and Custodial provision in the Home Office As the recently appointed Minister with responsibility for the MAPPA, I am pleased to introduce this, the second, annual MAPPA report. It is clear that in the last year (2002/3) the multi-agency public protection arrangements (the MAPPA) continued to play an important role in what remains one of this government’s highest priorities – the protection of the public from dangerous offenders. As someone with many years experience of working in the field of child protection, I am particularly impressed by the important contribution the MAPPA are making to strengthen collaboration between agencies at a local level where the focus is on the dangerous offender. These improvements must, however, impact on the protection of children. As the tragic death of Victoria Climbie showed, an effective multi-agency partnership is crucial and the MAPPA are an important element. To ensure greater consistency in the MAPPA across the 42 Areas of England and Wales, and to prepare for the implementation of measures contained in the Criminal Justice Bill, we published the MAPPA Guidance in April. Building on good practice, that Guidance clarified the structure of the operational arrangements as well as the importance of formal review and monitoring – of which this annual report is a vital part. The Criminal Justice Bill will strengthen the MAPPA in two ways. First, it will make the involvement of other agencies part of the statutory framework. Second, it will introduce the involvement of lay people – those unconnected with day-to-day operation of the MAPPA – in reviewing and monitoring the MAPPA. Annual reports and this new lay involvement show the Government’s commitment to explaining how the often sensitive and complex work of public protection is undertaken.

The Government is also strengthening the protection of the public with other measures in the Criminal Justice Bill. They include new sentences for dangerous offenders to prevent their release if they continue to be dangerous. Additionally, the Sexual Offences Bill will tighten up sex offender registration, introduce a new offence of ‘grooming’, and enable sex offender orders to be imposed on violent offenders who pose a risk of causing serious sexual harm – thereby extending sex offender registration to them. I commend this report to you and congratulate all the agencies and individuals who have contributed to the achievement of the MAPPA locally in your local Area.

Paul Goggins

The National Picture
This section of the report draws attention to wider context of the operation and development of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (the MAPPA). The most important work undertaken within the MAPPA is done locally, led by the police and probation – who act jointly as the ‘Responsible Authority’ in your Area – and in each of the 42 Areas of England and Wales. The experience and good practice upon which this work is based began in the 1990s – most significantly as a result of the closer working relationship required by the Sex Offender Act (1997). The Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act (2000) formalised that relationship and built on the existing experience by requiring the police and probation services to establish arrangements (the MAPPA) for assessing and managing the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders. The Act also required the Responsible Authority to publish an annual report on the operation of those arrangements. This report, covering April 2002 to March 2003, is the second annual report. The importance of partnership Key to the development of the MAPPA in the past year has been the closer involvement of other agencies, such as housing, health and social services, working alongside police and probation. The truly multi-agency nature of the MAPPA and the collaboration which underpins it is to be strengthened further by the Criminal Justice Bill. The Bill will place a ‘duty to co-operate’ on a wide range of organisations including local health authorities and trusts; housing authorities and registered social landlords; social services departments; Jobcentres; Youth Offending Teams; and local education authorities. In addition, the Prison Service will join the police and probation services and become part of the MAPPA ‘Responsible Authority’.

Supporting and co-ordinating the development of the MAPPA throughout the 42 Areas of England and Wales, is the National Probation Directorate’s Public Protection Unit (PPU). This Unit acts as a central point for advice and, increasingly, involvement in the management of difficult cases. These include, for example, UK citizens who have committed serious offences abroad and return to this country without anywhere to live. The Unit is also able to provide financial support when the risk management plans make exceptional demands upon local resources. Involving the public MAPPA developments in the next 18 months will also include the appointment by the Home Secretary of two ‘lay advisers’ to each Area. The eight Areas of England and Wales which have been piloting these arrangements since January (Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Durham, South Wales, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey and West Midlands) report that they add real value. Lay advisers will contribute to the review and monitoring of the MAPPA which is undertaken by each Area’s Strategic Management Board – the work of which you can read more in this report. The purpose of appointing ‘lay advisers’ is to ensure that communities understand more of what is done to protect them and that those involved professionally with the MAPPA are aware of the views of the community. The lay advisers will not ‘represent’ the community in the way, for example, that local councillors do, nor will they be involved in operational decision-making. And, given the sensitivity of much of what the MAPPA does, especially with the few offenders who pose a very high risk of serious harm to the public, it is not practicable for the general public to be involved. Lay advisers will, however, ensure an appropriate and a practical level of community involvement.

MAPPA Offenders This year the annual report provides a more detailed breakdown of the number of sexual and violent offenders who are covered by the MAPPA in your Area. As last year, the figures include the number of registered sex offenders. Because sex offender registration is for a minimum of 5 years (and generally for much longer) the figures are cumulative. This is why they have increased – by 16 per cent in England and Wales. Only a very small proportion (about six per cent throughout England and Wales) are considered to pose such a high risk or management difficulty that they are referred to the highest level of the MAPPA – the Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (the MAPPP). Figures alone do not, of course, tell the whole story. The anonymised case studies illustrate the practical work of the MAPPA, and demonstrate the preventive action which can be taken. Prior to the MAPPA, action of this kind was mainly taken by one agency alone, with the effect that on occasion offenders’ behaviour which might have triggered preventative action went unnoticed. The multi-agency approach of the MAPPA helps ensure that if an offender does breach the condition of the licence under which they were released from prison or a court order prohibiting certain activities, then action to enforce the condition or order and protect the public can be taken more swiftly. If you are interested in reading the reports of other Areas, they will be published on the National Probation Service’s website www.probation.homeoffice.gov.uk (under the public protection section) with all of them being available once the last Area has published its annual report in September.

1. Origins of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements
This is the second annual report detailing the local arrangements for dealing with sex and violent offenders. Local arrangements for dealing with Sex Offenders began in September 1998 with the introduction of the Sex Offenders Act 1997. In May 1999, a complimentary but separate Public Protection Protocol (PPP) was agreed between the partner agencies to provide risk assessment and management procedures for those dangerous offenders not catered for by the Sex Offender arrangements. These arrangements formalised the existing partnerships for sharing information for the assessment and management of sex and other dangerous offenders between the following agencies: • • • • • • • • • Cheshire Constabulary National Probation Service Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Social Services North and South Cheshire Health and NHS Hospital Trusts Youth Offending Teams Education Housing Prison Service Cheshire Fire Service

The Public Protection Protocol gives substantial information on the roles of the multi agency partners and details of the way in which Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) operate. This is a public document, it can be seen in public libraries in Cheshire, is accessible on the Police and Probation Service websites or available in hard copy from the contact points identified in Annex ‘A’. Local Points of Contact Details are contained in Annex 'A'.

2. Summary of Roles and Responsibilities
Joint Assessment The police and probation services in Cheshire have a responsibility to make arrangements for the joint assessment of risks posed by people sentenced to 12 months imprisonment or more for violent or sexual offences. All sex offenders in this category are liable to registration under the Sex Offenders Act. Adult male offenders are assessed using the Risk Matrix 2000 framework (a structured assessment that predicts the likelihood of a sex offender committing a further sexual offence) and discussed in Sex Offender meetings on a monthly basis. Female and adolescent Registered Sex Offenders are also considered and assessed at these monthly meetings. All prisoners serving 12 months or more for violent offences are assessed by the supervising Probation Officer using Risk Matrix 2000 (violence), a similar assessment to the one described above for sexual offenders. Any assessment of high risk is shared with the police and very high risk considered for Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel meetings using the agreed protocol. Joint Management Registered Sex Offenders are dealt with by way of at least monthly Sex Offender Risk Assessment Meetings, chaired by the Police Divisional Crime Manager. The standing attendance at these meetings includes the Local Probation Manager and representatives from Social Services and the Youth Offending Teams. Other partner agencies are invited to attend as required. In relation to other dangerous people, Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel meetings are convened by the Probation Public Protection Manager as and when they are required, throughout the County, and always involve the Police Crime Managers and at least one other partner agency manager who are or may become involved with the dangerous person. Roles and Responsibilities Social Services have been involved with the development of both protocols and play a key role in the area of child protection, mental health and vulnerable adults. Health in its various guises played a significant part in the development of Cheshire Fire Service have more recently joined the Multi-Agency group and will play an invaluable role in advising practitioners on the management of those offenders who commit arson and related offences. both protocols and attends meetings where their specific input is required. The Youth Offending Teams since their inception have played a full part in relation to young offenders. The Chief Housing Officers took responsibility for providing attendance at strategy and operational meetings, and take the lead role in co-ordinating the other housing providers. Local Authority Education Departments have a specific role to play in relation to young offenders still in education and the protection of children from adult predators. The Prison Service has a critical role to play in providing information on dangerous offenders being released from custody. Early information received from them assists in the planning for the management of such offenders in the community.

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3. Operation of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements
a) Sex Offenders Once an offender is required to register under the Act, notification is forwarded to a central police point located within the Force Intelligence Bureau. An initial intelligence package for use at the risk assessment and management meeting is prepared. Each offender is subject to a risk assessment based upon the Matrix 2000 model and is categorised according to the level of risk posed. This assessment determines the frequency of review on a specific individual and informs the decision making for the ongoing management plan. Meetings are held at least monthly with the core agency and other agencies are represented as

required to share information, determine the management plan and decide who will carry out each action. The purpose of these meetings is the safe management of offenders within the community. The frequency of review is determined by the level of risk. Other Dangerous Offenders When any partner agency considers that a person, with whom they are professionally in contact, poses an unacceptably high risk, they may request that a MAPPP meeting be convened. This is co-ordinated centrally by the Probation Public Protection Manager who arranges the risk assessment meetings by inviting all appropriate partner agencies. If the person is an offender, the Probation Service will carry out a formal risk assessment. For others the determination of risk level is made by the referring agency. A Senior Manager from the referring agency will chair the meetings. These meetings are set up as requested and will continue at agreed intervals for as long as the risk posed is deemed unacceptable. The action plans from such meetings will complement the supervision plans where the person is under the supervision of the Probation Service or the Youth Offending Team. The criteria, which have to be met before a MAPPP meeting will be held, are: • The likelihood of harm to another person occurring is considered to be high. • The level of harm to that person would be potentially life threatening. • There is a substantial chance of the harm being carried out. • The potential victim is known specifically or by type. • The person cannot be managed alone by the referring agency.

• The person cannot be managed by the existing partner arrangements. • There is no other partnership procedure or protocol that would normally manage the person. MAPPP meetings are chaired by a senior manager from the agency requesting them. Each agency commits appropriate resources to the management plan. All actions are time bound and are reviewed at subsequent meetings. All MAPPP meetings are minuted to an approved format and circulated only to those persons in attendance and anyone specifically identified to receive them at the meeting. The chair of the meeting is responsible for ensuring that all actions required are clearly understood, assigned to specific individuals and carried out.

b) Case Studies This was a young woman serving a term of imprisonment for offences of arson. A MAPPP meeting was called to plan for her release from prison and management of her release in the community. Her first release was unsuccessful as she caused significant damage to the facility where she was placed and she was recalled to prison to serve the remainder of her sentence. Further MAPPP meetings were called and a referral was made for mental health assessment. Subsequently she was committed to a regional secure unit where she remained for some time. Her medication was changed and she made significant progress and has now been released into the community with a care plan that has assisted her to make the transition to independent living in the community.

This involved a young man who was serving a period of imprisonment for drug related offences. These offences were of a violent nature to secure drugs or the money to buy drugs. He was also known to become uncontrollable when under the influence of cocaine and whilst this was not his drug of choice normally, he would resort to its use in the absence of other drugs or when depressed. He has said that on release from prison he could see no alternative but to return to drugs. He was known to be addicted to heroin and other illegal substances. In the past, treatment plans failed because his lifestyle was so chaotic that he was never sufficiently stable to work with the Community Drugs Team. The MAPPP meeting prior to his release discussed ways of stabilising him in the community so that treatment could be offered. Both the prescribing doctor and the Community Drugs Team attended the MAPPP meeting and agreed on a course of action that would assist the process. Since that time, and with the help of the Housing Authorities providing suitable accommodation, he has become stabilised on prescribed drugs and thus does not need to have recourse to street drugs. A Registered Sex Offender had been sentenced to a period of imprisonment. During the sentence he was assessed as a person who would pose serious threats to the community and the professionals who were trying to assist him. This was confirmed when he made threats against several individuals. At a MAPPP meeting it was identified that the recommendation should be a referral to psychiatric services. This was subsequently carried out and he is currently receiving treatment in a secure establishment.

c) Supervision of and Programs for Offenders All offenders released from prison subject to MAPPA are supervised by the Probation Service. Where the risk is deemed sufficiently high, they will be referred to an accredited programme of work proven to reduce the risk of reoffending. For Registered Sex Offenders, there is a sex offender treatment programme run in two parts, which takes approximately a year to complete. For violent offenders, programmes such as “Think First” are designed to assist them to confront their offending behaviour and change their thought processes in a way that will reduce future offending. For those whose offending includes substance abuse, there are programmes specifically designed to divert them from using illegal drugs or misusing alcohol. Offenders are required to attend these programmes as a condition of a community order or prison licence. Failure to attend without an acceptable reason will mean that those on community orders will be returned to court and those on licence will be sent back to prison. Offenders attending programmes are intensively supervised during the period of the programme.

Central to the ability of the police to prevent and detect crime is intelligence concerning potential offenders who are resident in their area. The requirement for sex offenders to register within three days of their release from prison, rather that the previous standard of 14 days, has resulted in information being more timely. This situation has been assisted by the early notification from the Prison Service of offenders due for release. Where there is clearly a high risk involved, an immediate visit to the offender’s home by a joint Police and Probation team can be planned. In these circumstances, the individual is left in no doubt of the interest being shown by the responsible authorities. d) Disclosure The core partner agencies are committed to sharing information in order to protect the public. Within the protocol, partner agencies reaffirm commitment and trust and recognise that where there is an identified level of harm to a specific person or the wider public, their protection takes precedence over individual confidentiality. All information shared is kept confidential to the meeting. Where the action plan requires disclosure to

a third party this can be authorised by the agreement of the meeting. This is always done within the principle of balancing the rights of the individual against the need to protect the public from the risk posed. From the above, it follows that the free flow of information between individual agencies is essential if appropriate and proper planning is to be applied to the assessment and supervision of potential offenders in the community. For example, a Registered Sex Offender being released from prison may have extended family. The risk of harm against the children of that extended family will be assessed and protection put in place where necessary. To this end a joint visit by Police and Social Services will be carried out to the parents of such children to ensure that they are aware of the risks and that they are able to protect their children. At these meetings, restrictions on the contact the offender could have would be determined. Such cases would be subject to monthly scrutiny by the local Risk Management Group where the information held by each of the partner agencies is shared.

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4. Strategic Management Board Arrangements
The Strategic Management Board is an inter-agency forum responsible for determining how the various services and professional groups should co-operate to exchange relevant information and to assess and manage the risk posed by the offenders for whom they hold responsibility. Partner agencies are represented on this group by senior managers who are able to commit resources, commission training and promote good practice. Their responsibilities include the development of local policies and procedures to evaluate and review the effectiveness of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements and to review and monitor the key performance indicators. They will be responsible for the recruitment, training and support of Lay Members, the identification of the training required in the Area and the

development of the Public Information and Education strategy.

The Strategic Management Board is currently considering the Further Guidance provided by the Home

Office which will be implemented incrementally from 1st May 2003.

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5. Victim Work
Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 places a duty upon the National Probation Service, Cheshire to contact victims and ask if they wish to be consulted about the release arrangements for violent and sexual offenders sentenced to 12 months custody or more. In this area there is a specialist victim liaison unit with staff who work exclusively with victims of sex or violent offences, where the offender is sentenced to 12 months imprisonment or more. They initiate contact with the relevant victims who can choose whether or not they wish to be seen. Where a victim chooses to be consulted about the case, the victim liaison officer will normally meet with the victim(s) at a time and place convenient to them. The majority of victims are visited within their own home. Where contact is sought, the victim liaison staff enable the victim to receive information on the progress of the offender through their sentence. It also allows them to express their wishes on what conditions should be imposed on the release of the offender on temporary or final licence. In MAPPP cases where there is an identified victim, the Victim Liaison Officer will be required to make contact with the victim so that their current circumstances and concerns can be taken into account when planning the management of the offender in the community. In cases of a suspicious death, the police will identify to the bereaved an officer who can be contacted at any time to assist with such matters as family support, media attention and the progress of the investigation to date. Such contact may continue after an offender has been convicted. In cases of rape, the anonymity of the victim is of paramount importance. This is ensured by a police liaison officer through whom contact with the victim is made by any other professional. This helps to prevent the revictimisation of, or further trauma to, the victim in such cases. The potential for a victim personal statement to be made in criminal cases, bringing to the attention of a court the views of a victim, has been a welcome addition to the rights of those who have been the subject of crime. Victim Support “Victim Support is the national charity for people affected by crime. It is an independent organisation, offering a free 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 the Witness Service, based in every criminal court in England and Wales, to offer assistance before, during and after trial. You can also call the Victim Support line – 0845 30 30 900 – for information and support and details of local services and other relevant organisations. The contact numbers for local victim support services can be found in Annex ‘A’.

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6. Statistical Information
i. The number of registered sex offenders on 31 March 2003

No. of Offenders
390

ii. The number of sex offenders having a registration requirement who were either cautioned or convicted for breaches of the requirement, between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003

8

iii. The number of Sex Offenders Orders applied for and gained between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003

(a) The total number of Sex Offenders Orders applied for

0

(b) The total number granted

0

(c) The total number not granted

0

iv. The number of Restraining Orders issued by the courts between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003 for offenders currently managed within MAPPA

0

v. The number of violent and other sexual offenders considered under MAPPA during the year 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003 (as defined by section 68 [3], [4] and [5])

648

vi. The number of "other offenders" dealt with under MAPPA during the year 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003 as being assessed by the Responsible Authority as posing a risk of serious harm to the public (but who did not fall within either of the other two categories, as defined by s.67 [2b])

3

vii. For each of the three categories of offenders covered by the MAPPA ("registered sex offenders", "violent and other sex offenders" and "other offenders"), identify the number of offenders that are or have been dealt with by:

a) MAPPP - registered sex offenders

0

b) MAPPP - violent and other sex offenders

18

c) MAPPP - other offenders

3

6. Statistical Information
i. The number of registered sex offenders on 31 March 2003

No. of Offenders
390

viii. Of the cases managed by the MAPPP during the reporting year what was the number of offenders:

a) who were returned to custody for breach of licence

2

b) who were returned to custody for breach of a Restraining Order or Sex Offender Order

0

c) charged with a serious sexual or violent offence

2

Contacts
National Probation Service (Cheshire Area) website – www.cheshireprobation.org Address Public Protection, Beech House, Sealand Road, Chester, CH1 4RJ Phone 01244 394500

Cheshire Police website – www.cheshire.police.uk

Address Crime Policy, Police HQ, Nuns Road, Chester, CH1 2PP

Phone 01244 612000

Victim Support Branch Manager – Eastern Branch (covering Crewe, Macclesfield and Wilmslow) Branch Manager – Western Branch (covering Vale Royal, Chester and Ellesmere Port)

Address Divisional Police HQ, Crewe, CW1 2DQ

Phone 01270 212155

Winsford New Police Station, Collinsham01606 557717 Way, Winsford, CW7 2WA Divisional Police HQ, Arpley Street, Warrington, WA1 1LQ 01925 419339

Branch Manager – Northern Branch (covering Warrington and Halton)

Cheshire Area