Gwent Police and NPS Gwent Area

Annual Report in respect of Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, Sections 67 & 68

Introduction
Local arrangements in Gwent began in response to the Sex Offenders Act 1997 when Police and Probation were required to make joint arrangements for the assessment and management of registered sex offenders. We have built on these arrangements since and now have multi-agency protocols agreed by Police, Probation, Housing, Social Services and Health for the assessment of sex offenders and other potentially dangerous offenders. This annual report will provide further details of the arrangements made in Gwent and give contact points for any additional enquiries, including agencies other than Police and Probation.

1. Summary of Roles and Responsibilities
Recognising that effective public protection can only be achieved through collaborative arrangements Gwent Police and National Probation Service (NPS) Gwent Area have established close working relationships with other agencies, services and authorities whose responsibilities and participation can make a positive contribution to public protection in our communities. Those involved so far are the five Unitary Authorities of Newport, Torfaen, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent, Gwent Health Authority and Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust, Tai Trothwy Housing Association and NSPCC Pathways Project. The Unitary Authorities have a wide range of statutory responsibilities and their Housing and Social Services Departments, in particular, have duties to vulnerable groups including children in need and their families, the elderly, disabled people and those with mental health needs. The work of the four Area Child Protection Committees (Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire work together) is very relevant to the work of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPP) and regular representation by the Unitary Authorities is via their Social Services Departments. Health is represented through specific professionals who may be involved in a particular case and include Consultant Psychiatrists and Psychologists, Community Psychiatric Nurses attached to Community Mental Health Teams and representation from the local Forensic Unit. The five unitary authorities which make up the Gwent Police and Probation areas are represented by their Social Services departments at regular Multi-Agency Public Protection Meetings. The nominated representatives are the Child Protection Panel Co-ordinators for Caerphilly, Newport, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen and the Assistant Director, Children’s Services for Monmouthshire. Representatives of Unitary Authority Housing Departments attend MAPPP Groups and Multi Agency Risk Assessment (MARAG) meetings as required and Housing Advice Workers employed by NPS Gwent Area through a partnership with Tai Trothwy, a Welsh housing association, are regular contributors.

2. Outline of arrangements made
In addition to the day to day work of Police and Probation outlined in the central section of this report, Gwent has developed its own arrangements for the assessment and management of sexual, violent and other dangerous offenders. Gwent Police and the National Probation Service – Gwent Area published in March 2002 "Working in Partnership – Policy and Procedures for the Management of Potentially Dangerous Offenders and Registered Sex offenders." This was developed in consultation with staff in Gwent Police and NPS Gwent Area and colleagues from Social Services and Health. The document outlines the procedures for the calling of MAPPP and MARAG meetings, the policy on pre-disclosure, details of requirements under the Sex Offender Act and how to apply for a Sex Offender Order. The policy and procedures will be reviewed every twelve months to ensure the effectiveness of the measures in place and to revise and improve them where necessary. The first stage in the process is the calling of a Multi Agency Risk Assessment Group (MARAG). This is a divisional forum made up of key agencies including Police, Probation and Social Services which meets when required to discuss individual cases in order to share information, assess risk and devise action plans in respect of potentially dangerous and registered Sex Offenders. The meeting will be held within five working days of the request. The Group may also call for representation from any other agency able to contribute to the risk assessment process. If an offender discussed at a MARAG is considered to pose a potentially high risk of causing serious harm to the public in general or to specific individuals then a MAPPP meeting will be called. All High Risk or Very High Risk Sex Offenders and any other offender designated as Potentially Dangerous [P.D.Os] will be

reviewed quarterly at MAPPP Reviews. These reviews are routinely attended by Police, Probation, and Social Services and action plans drawn up to reduce risk to any potential victims whether children or adults. Very High Risk Sex Offenders will be visited monthly by the police, High Risk every three months, Medium Risk six-monthly and twelve-monthly. Low Risk will be visited once following registration with follow-ups only when intelligence is received which indicates a need for more scrutiny. Those sex offenders subject to statutory supervision by the NPS Gwent area whether on a Community Rehabilitation Order or a Licence following release from prison will be supervised according to National Standards and in the

case of High Risk Offenders contact especially early in an Order or Licence will be in excess of National Standards. Offenders will be seen twice weekly or even daily should risk be identified as Very High or High and this frequency of contact will be maintained throughout the period of supervision if necessary. Those offenders on lengthy treatment programmes are required to attend weekly and home visits and other appointments outside the programme requirements will also be made. All sex offenders and other offenders who are potentially dangerous will be referred to a MAPPP meeting prior to release from a prison sentence. Meetings are co-chaired by Gwent Police and NPS Gwent Area at Detective Chief Inspector or Detective

Inspector level and by the Divisional Manager, Public Protection Unit, for Probation. Where the prisoner is being released from a local prison and in particular from HMP Usk where sex offenders are housed and where programmes are run then prison staff will be invited to attend. NPS Gwent Area has worked for a number of years with the NSPCC to run the Pathways Sex Offender Programme. This has evolved to include Dyfed-Powys and South Wales Areas on a collaborative basis. We have just begun the roll out of C-SOP the accredited Community Sex Offender Programme across Wales and involving NSPCC Child Protection Officers as Programme Tutors together with Probation Officers.

3. Strategic Management Arrangements
Within the National Probation Service Gwent Area, strategic responsibility for both the MAPP and MARAGs will be through an Assistant Chief Officer who will ensure consultancy takes places at the appropriate level with the Police, the five Unitary Authorities, the Dangerous Offenders Unit, Welsh Assembly, Governor, with specific reference to the Crime Reduction Unit and other appropriate voluntary and independent agencies. Over the next period the joined up approach to public protection that incorporates developments with Crime and Disorder partnerships, including the proposed Best Value Review, national and regional initiatives and for example the added value of working closely with neighbouring Police and Probation Areas eg: South Wales, will be undertaken. Also greater involvement with the Prison Service in both MAPPs and MARAGs will be undertaken. To this end discussions have already taken place between Assistant Chief Officer and the Governor of HMP Usk. A strategic approach to MAPPs and MARAGs will be undertaken to ensure the process is dynamic and open to improvement through the incorporation of best practice and the review of protocols, processes and guidelines. Staff learning and development needs will be reviewed and positive inter-agency collaboration will be encouraged during the course of the coming year.

4. Disclosure
One of the strategies that can be adopted to reduce risk is to notify individuals, groups or sections of the community about the presence of a sex offender in a particular area. The purpose of a predisclosure meeting is to decide whether information about sex offenders or potentially dangerous offenders can be shared with a specific person or persons. Referrals for a pre-disclosure meeting may be made by any professional including, in particular, the Probation Service, Police and Social Services. Pre-disclosure meetings are jointly chaired by the Detective Chief Inspector, FSU and the Divisional Manager, PPU. Community notifications are only made if there is a pressing need and the decision whether of not to disclose has to be justified on the basis of the likelihood of the harm which non-disclosure might otherwise cause. Whilst it is the role of the Pre-Disclosure meeting to make recommendations about disclosure the ultimate decision to disclose rests with the Chief Constable, Gwent Police. The subject of the pre-disclosure meeting will be invited to attend or make his/her views known to the meetings. Once the disclosure has been authorised the local Detective Constable, responsible for Sex Offender Liaison will visit those individuals who are going to be given the information together with a Probation Officer or Social Worker as deemed appropriate given the particular circumstances of the case. Example Disclosure to key neighbours in a street in relation to a sex offender who had moved to our area after his statutory supervision to Probation had expired enabled positive work to take place. Potential child victims were protected, neighbours acted sensibly and both provided support for the offender and acted as extra "eyes and ears" for the police. Probation offered focused work with the offender on a voluntary basis, which is still ongoing over twelve months later. The offender feels supported and his risk is continually monitored.

5. Victim Work
Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 places a statutory duty upon the NPS Gwent Area 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. NPS Gwent Area works to National Standards and will contact victims within 40 working days of the offender being sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Where the victim so wishes contact will be maintained throughout the prison sentence of the perpetrator. On release, in conjunction with the Police and Victim Support, appropriate support will be offered. The protection of victims and the provision of alarms and mobile 999 phones will be written in to the action plan at MAPPP meetings where necessary and appropriate in order to safeguard victims. Conditions are written in to licence requirements to prevent the offender contacting the victim and whenever possible steps will be taken to prevent the offender being released to an address close to the victim. 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 the Witness Service, based in every criminal court in England and Wales, to offer assistance before, during and after a trial. You can also call the Victim Supportline (0845 30 30 900) for information and support and details of local services and other relevant organisations.

Victim Support Gwent can be contacted at the following addresses: Police Station, Rockleigh Avenue, Aberbargoed CF81 9BQ Tel: 01443 836002 Fax: 01443 834699

Police Station, Blackwood Road, Blackwood NP2 2XA Tel/Fax: 01495 229659 Police Station, Church Street, Bedwas, Caerphilly CF83 8EB Tel: 029 2085 7310 Fax: 029 2085 7337

Div. Police HQ, Cardiff Road, Newport NP9 2EH Tel/Fax: 01633 254091 Div. Police HQ, Glantorfaen Road, Pontypool NP4 6YN Tel/Fax: 01495 763798

6. Statistical Information
i The number of Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) in the community on 31/03/02 (s68 (2) CJ & CS Act 2000)

Number of Offenders

234

ii

The number of RSOs per 100,000 population

42

iii

The number of Sex Offenders cautioned/convicted for breaches of registration requirement 01/04/01 – 31/03/02

14

iv The number of Sex Offender Orders 01/04/01 – 31/03/02

(a) total applied for

2

(b) granted

2

(c) not granted

0

(d) applications still in progress

0

v

The number of violent offenders and other sex offenders 01/04/01 – 31/03/02 (s68(3)(4)&(5) CJ&CS Act 2000)

309

vi The number of other offenders 01/04/01 - 31/03/02 (s67 (2)(b) CJ&CS Act 2000)

5

Cost of Local Arrangements

Probation Board £’000

Police £’000

Other Agencies £’000

Total £’000

Staff costs

£160*

£56 284*

Other costs

Total Expenditure

Income

Net Expenditure

* Preparation of Annual Report * Appointment of two extra police officers

On 1st April 1999 NPS Gwent Area set up a Public Protection Unit to work closely with Gwent Police to manage the Sex Offender Register and to supervise all Sex Offenders and Dangerous Offenders and with Gwent Police nominating a specific Sex Offender Liaison Officer for each Police Division. The additional expenditure is for the time spent in preparation of the Annual Report and for two extra police officers recruited for the financial year 2001 – 2002 to manage the increasing workload monitoring the risk of Sex Offenders and Potentially Dangerous Offenders.

Contact
Gwent Probation Area Assistant Chief Officer Jim.A’Herne@gwent.probation.gsx.gov.uk Address Probation Head Office Cwmbran House Mamhilad Park Estate Pontypool NP4 0XD Tel: 01495 762462

Divisional Manager Mike.Bradley@gwent.probation.gsx.gov.uk

Public Protection Unit East Gwent Probation Office Torfaen House Station Road Sebastapol Pontypool NP4 5ES

01495 755221

Gwent Area Police Detective Chief Inspector

Address Family Support Unit Heolddu Gwent Police Gwent Police Headquarters Croesyceiliog Cwmbran NP44 2XJ

Tel: 01633 838111