MAPPA Annual Report 2002

1. Introduction
The Criminal Justice and Courts Service’s Act 2000 has sought to enhance public protection by building upon existing inter-agency arrangements. From April 1, 2001 it introduced a statutory duty on police and probation services in Hertfordshire to make joint arrangements for the assessment and management of the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders, and other offenders who may cause serious harm to the public. These measures build on earlier legislation and previous work undertaken in Hertfordshire by both services, working in conjunction with other statutory and voluntary agencies. Recognising the need to exchange information and collaborate closely, a working partnership between police and probation in Hertfordshire began in 1996 when monthly meetings were introduced to discuss high risk cases. The introduction of legislation relating to sex offenders in 1997 then led to further and closer co-operation between the services, and the involvement of other agencies. Under the terms of the recent Act, a three tier public protection framework has been established in Hertfordshire. This comprises of the: Strategic Management Panel: to administer the process at senior management and inter-agency level across the county. (The role and membership of the Strategic Management Panel are dealt with in Section 4: Strategic Management Arrangements.) Multi Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs): Hertfordshire, for the purposes of public protection, is divided into the three existing police Areas - Eastern, Western and Central Hertfordshire. A panel has been established in each Area to assess and oversee the management of offenders who pose a serious risk of harm on a multiagency basis. Area Review Panels: inter-agency review panels have been formed at local level within each area to monitor the progress of offenders who do not currently meet the criteria for referral to a MAPPP and/or registration on the Public Protection Register. The panels were launched at a conference on 1st March 2002 attended by representatives of all agencies involved. The event provided an opportunity for staff from every agency in each MAPPP area to meet and engage in discussion. The afternoon session was devoted to a question and answer forum to clarify any issues arising. Under the terms of the MAPPP arrangements, Hertfordshire Probation Area and Hertfordshire Constabulary are committed to meeting their statutory duty under the Act and, together with all other agencies involved, are committed to the effective management of those offenders who pose a risk of serious harm to the public. They will also seek to work with other organisations in the community which, from time to time, may have a role to play, and to engage public awareness and support for measures which might better achieve safer communities. Public protection is a responsibility for us all.

2. Summary of Roles and Responsibilities
In 2001-2002, the first year of operation of the Hertfordshire Multi Agency Public Protection Panels, the aim has been to build and consolidate the local arrangements, in line with guidance issued by the Secretary of State. A MAPPP has now been established in each Hertfordshire police area, which is chaired by a probation service Director of Operations or, in cases relating to sex offending, the Area Detective Chief Inspector. Membership of each panel is as follows, but any other agency with an interest in a specific case may also be invited to attend. Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel Membership: Probation Service Director of Operations - chair Detective Chief Inspector – chairs sex offending cases Mental Health and Learning Difficulties Manager Adult Care Services Managers District/Borough Housing Managers Prison Service Manager Youth Offending Team Manager Community Mental Health Team Manager Children, Schools & Families Manager Child Protection Unit Manager Remit To: share information on those offenders referred consider recommendations of the Area Review Panel and decide on registration agree actions proposed by Area Review Panels confirm actions taken are adequate to meet the requirements of public protection duties register cases on the Public Protection Register (Probation/Police) review cases previously registered and confirm or revoke registration ensure implementation of agreed action (at each meeting) consider need for community disclosure and the community issues complete record of decisionmaking and communicate this to Area Review Panel members submit information to the Strategic Management Panel as required Area Review Panels in each of the three police areas monitor all cases, including those placed on the Public Protection Register, and those that do not meet the criteria for registration, but where the offender has the potential to cause harm if there is a change of circumstances, eg. failure to take medication. The Area Review Panels also monitor offenders whose risk has declined, so that they no longer qualify for registration under the MAPPP criteria. Area Review Panel Membership – Senior Probation Officer - Chair Police Area Intelligence Officer Mental Health and Learning Difficulties representative Local Authority Housing representative . HM Prison The Mount representative Manager Youth Offending Team Probation Service Victim Contact Officers (when appropriate) Remit To: consider all cases assessed as posing a significant risk of harm to the public ensure comprehensive information exchange to inform actions/decisions agree level of risk posed agree necessary actions to manage risk including contingencies refer cases to the MAPPP which meet agreed criteria for registration on the Public Protection Register receive progress reports regarding actions taken on cases registered by MAPPP review cases previously referred to the Area Review Panel and consider if the risk posed has increased/decreased (at each meeting) ensure implementation of agreed action record all decisions/actions using agreed pro-forma ensuring that all agencies complete and sign their section complete monitoring information as required submit proforma to MAPPP

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3. Outline of Arrangements Made
Area Review Panels: The Area Review Panel represents the first stage in the inter-agency risk management process, and meets on a monthly basis. Each Area Review Panel is chaired by the local Senior Probation Officer for high-risk cases, and by a Detective Inspector in cases involving sex offenders. Where deemed necessary, a panel meeting can be convened within 24 hours. The Area Review Panel can discuss cases brought by any of the partner agencies. The panel then develops a joint action plan for each specific case. In the most serious cases a decision will be taken to refer the case to the MAPPP to consider registration. Where the case is less serious, monitoring by the Area Review Panel will continue and the case will remain under review, with the option of a referral to the MAPPP at a later stage if required. In situations where an individual is not causing concern at present but has identified triggers e.g. mental health problems, the risk will be reviewed regularly. Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels: Each MAPPP in Hertfordshire meets every two months to discuss cases which pose the highest risk of harm to others. Emergency meetings can also be called at 24 hours notice if required. A Probation Director of Operations chairs each panel discussion on high-risk cases, and a Detective Chief Inspector chairs sex offender cases. At all area review and public protection panel meetings, emphasis is placed on a multi-agency approach, and it is recognised that good communication channels are essential. An agency may have additional information or can take action that assists in managing risk. Eg. An offender convicted of a domestic violence offence may be housed so that he no longer lives in close proximity to his victim. Assessment of Risk: Levels of risk are assessed using the Offender Assessment System (OASys), developed by the Home Office for use by the National Probation Service for England and Wales and the Prison Service. OASys identifies risk of harm to the public, groups of people who may be at risk, and risks posed to staff. OASys also identifies risk of harm to the offender, both self-harm and risk from others. Both the probation service and the prison service now use the OASys risk assessment procedures. Cases where the person concerned does not have a criminal conviction may also be considered. Discussions will be held by the agency concerned with the local Senior Probation Officer to decide whether the case meets the risk criteria. The Area Review Panel will then decide whether the case merits a referral to the MAPPP. All cases brought before area or public protection panels will result in an action plan agreed between all the agencies concerned. A comprehensive record is kept of all decisions, including those where no further action is deemed necessary. Management of the case: Where the criteria for registration is met, the MAPPP will place the offender on the Public Protection Register, which is held by the probation service. The action plan drawn up by the MAPPP will specify the way in which the offender is to be supervised and monitored. It will assign responsibility for implementation of the plan to a particular agency, which will also be responsible for reporting back to the panel at every meeting. The action plan will also define the roles and responsibilities of every other agency involved, The action plan may involve measures to monitor behaviour, and may include police contact. It may also involve provision of resources, Eg. Closer supervision of the offender within a probation hostel, and the provision of appropriate treatments, e.g. psychiatric assessment , or attendance on a sex offender programme, to reduce the level of risk. As part of the action plan, agencies involved in managing a specific case will decide on methods of maintaining close contact between meetings to review progress and react quickly to any changes that occur. This may result in the calling of an emergency area review or public protection panel meeting if deemed appropriate.

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4. Strategic Management Arrangements
A Probation Director of Operations and a Detective Chief Superintendent jointly lead the Strategic Management Panel, to oversee management and administration of the public protection framework in Hertfordshire. The panel meets on a quarterly basis and membership is designed to provide countywide involvement from all agencies at the highest level. Membership – Director of Operations (Probation) - Chair Detective Chief Superintendent, Hertfordshire Constabulary Director Adult Care Services Director Children, Schools & Families Director Mental Health and Learning Difficulties Director of Housing (representing borough/district councils) Prison Governor, HMP The Mount Director Youth Justice Service Chief Executive Hertfordshire Victim Support Police/Probation Information Liaison Development Officer Remit To: gather and monitor information to evaluate the effectiveness of the arrangements consider and manage necessary resources ensure training arrangements for staff contribute to policy development implement recommendations for action within own organisation ensure appropriate communication within own organisation develop a strategy to ensure appropriate inclusion of victims develop a strategy for communication with local communities about the work of MAPPP ensure that each agency has internal procedures for the effective operation of public protection work prepare and publish an annual report To facilitate these arrangements, a Police/Probation Liaison Officer has been appointed, as a joint post, funded by Hertfordshire Constabulary. The liaison officer assists with information exchange between agencies, provides a point of contact and is responsible for reporting to the Strategic Management Panel at each quarterly meeting on best practice, training needs and areas for improvement. Police and probation are jointly responsible for providing training to ensure staff within all agencies are aware of their roles and kept informed of developments. Members of the Strategic Management Panel take responsibility for dissemination of information within their organisations. The panel has agreed an action plan for 2002-2003, which includes training provision for staff from other agencies.

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5. Disclosure
As part of the wider risk management process, one of the strategies that may be adopted to reduce risk is to make notifications to individuals, groups, or sections of the community, if it is felt this is justifiable. Community notifications are only made where there is a pressing need, and each decision on whether or not to disclose has to be justified on the basis of the likelihood of the harm which non-disclosure might otherwise cause. Each case will be decided on its merits and will have been discussed as an agenda item at the MAPPP. It is the responsibility of the panel to make a decision on community notification based on careful and rigorous examination of all available information. In cases involving sex offences, the ultimate decision on disclosure rests with the Chief Constable. To date disclosure has been undertaken on a limited basis. The following gives an example of a case where disclosure has been used in Hertfordshire: A registered sex offender is living in a house where the garden backs on to a primary school. After discussion at the Area Review Panel, the Chief Constable agrees there should be a limited disclosure to the school’s headteacher, so that the school can monitor the situation and report any concerns immediately to police. In addition, the local housing authority which owns the property, replaces a low level fence at the end of the garden with a higher

wooden barrier to prevent accidental contact. Police also warn the offender to avoid any contact with children in the vicinity. Hertfordshire has been in the vanguard in terms of recognising

that the local media may, in certain circumstances, have a valuable role to play in the protection of the public. A protocol between local media and Hertfordshire Constabulary has led to close co-operation on a number of occasions relating to sex offenders.

Responsibility for dissemination of information as background briefings or involving disclosure to the media rests with police Corporate Communications, who liaise with other agencies as appropriate.

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6. Victims Work
Under the terms of Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 the probation service is under a statutory duty to contact victims to ask if they wish to be consulted about prison release arrangements where these involve violent or sexual offenders sentenced to 12 months custody or more. The probation service in Hertfordshire has a Victim Contact Unit, which notifies victims within eight weeks of the sentence being imposed that they can decide to receive details of the release plan. Specialist Victim Contact Officers will then arrange a visit, to explain the victim’s right to be given information about the offender’s release. Victim concerns may then be considered when a report on parole is prepared. Victims may also contact Victim Support in Hertfordshire for help and support. At strategic level, the Chief Executive of Victim Support is a member of the Strategic Management Panel. 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. Information and support is also available on the Victim Supportline 0845 30 30 900. The Child Protection Unit is responsible for support to children in Hertfordshire, and may activate a case to the MAPPP through an allegation of abuse, as well as taking forward cases after conviction. The Womens Refuge service also provides support to victims of domestic violence, including children. It may also bring a case before a panel prior to conviction.

7. Statistical Information
i. The number of Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) in the community on 31 March 2002 (s68(2) CJ & CS Act 2000

Number of Offenders

200

The number of RSOs per 100,000 population

19

ii.

The number of Sex Offenders cautioned/convicted for breaches of registration requirements 1 April 2001 – 31 March 2002

9

iii. The number of Sex Offender Orders 1 April and 31 March

(a) The total number applied for

1

(b) The number granted

1

(c) The number not granted

0

(d) Applications still in progress

0

iv. The number of violent offenders and other sex offenders 1 April 2001 – 31 March 2002 (s68(3)(4)&(5) CJ&CS Act 2000)

199

The number of other offenders 1 April 2001 – 31 March 2002 (s67(2)(b) CJ&CS Act 2000)

46

v.

The cost of the local arrangements to include initial set-up costs and staff hours

National Probation Service - Hertfordshire Staff costs Other costs

COST £450 £700

Hertfordshire Constabulary Staff costs Other costs

COST £17,680 £5,200

Contacts
Hertfordshire Probation Area Director of Operations (MAPPPs) Address Hertfordshire Probation Area Headquarters Graham House Yeomans Court Ware Road Hertford Herts SG13 7HJ Phone 01992 504444

Hertfordshire Constabulary Head of Crime Management

Address Hertfordshire Constabulary Headquarters Stanborough Road Welwyn Garden City Herts AL8 6XF

Phone 01707 354602

Hertfordshire Victim Support Chief Executive

Address Hertfordshire Victim Support C/o Police Headquarters Stanborough Road Welwyn Garden City Herts AL8 6XF

Phone 01707 354626