Merseyside Area

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 area.

Paul Goggins

The National Picture
This section of the report draws attention to wider context of the operation and development of the MultiAgency 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 cooperate’ 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 MultiAgency 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 at 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. Area Summary
Prior to the mid 1990's, Criminal Justice agencies tended to work in isolation, with only pockets of cooperation/collaboration on specific areas of work. Since that time, the whole Criminal Justice agenda has been refocused with an emphasis on partnership working. This change of focus has encouraged agencies to break down the barriers which previously existed between them, whilst the introduction of a series of modernising Criminal Justice Acts and extensive media reporting of prominent criminal cases has increasingly had agencies reassess their working methods. In essence - the Criminal Justice agencies realised that their agendas were actually very similar and had evolved with a new and overdue direction towards Public Protection, with a far greater priority given to the victims of crime. Offending behaviour was challenged in a more vigorous way, with offenders forced to face up to their responsibilities - not least the consequences of their behaviour on victims and the wider community. This was a fundamental, landmark change of emphasis. The various criminal and social agencies realised that they often dealt with the same people, but there was little sharing of information/intelligence. Consequently, from the mid 1990s the Police and Probation Services led on establishing a closer working relationship, to manage in particular the small number of offenders who caused the most concern in terms of risk to the public. This led to an agreed protocol between the two Services, to share information/ intelligence on individuals who were seen as 'very high risk'.

This new approach to offending behaviour led to the establishment of Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs) throughout Merseyside. This arrangement reflected the development of inter-agency working between key criminal justice agencies, to establish a more proactive approach to crime, with an inclusive attitude towards victims of serious crime. The best way to explain the MAPPP arrangement is to envisage various agencies possessing 'a piece of the jigsaw' and it is not until all the pieces are shared that the full picture is seen. Over the last few years, well established inter-agency working arrangements have been developed, with all relevant agencies committed to preventing (or reducing) crime, to engaging positively with offending behaviour and to addressing the needs of victims. Offenders were confronted with their behaviour, and given every encouragement to lead law-abiding lives. All this was driven by an expectation that offenders would impose some internal controls on their own behaviour. In addition other vigorous external controls are imposed (often on a compulsory basis) by the relevant agencies. In the North West area, police, probation and prisons meet at a strategic level to share responsibilities towards public protection. Senior managers from all three agencies meet regularly to ensure consistent implementation of national policy and guidance across the region. This work has culminated in an annual seminar attended by representatives from a wide range of agencies, to emphasise responsibility for assessing and managing the risk presented by very high risk offenders. These seminars are an opportunity to update delegates on national issues and to share best practice at a regional level.

2. Roles and Responsibilities
Under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, the Police and Probation Services have overall responsibility for ensuring all serious sexual or violent offenders are managed in an effective way. Where cases are assessed as being low or medium risk, management is usually covered by a single in-house agency approach. High risk offenders are managed by a more vigorous risk assessment and risk management process. A range of agencies may be brought together under a MultiAgency Public Protection Panel arrangement, with each MAPPP usually Chaired by a senior representative from the Probation or Police Services, as these two organisations have a statutory responsibility to lead on such issues. It is now accepted that public protection can only be truly achieved through collaborative arrangements between all the relevant agencies concerned. Apart from the Police and Probation Services, the other main contributors to MAPPP arrangements are: i) Health ii) Social Services have committed either a violent or sexual crime and received a prison sentence. Victim issues are now an integral part of criminal justice work and no longer seen as a 'bolt-on' optional extra. This previously neglected area is now a central theme in all criminal work. The input of victim organisations into the work of the Strategic Management Group is seen as vitally important. vi) Prison Service

The five Social Services departments across Merseyside offer a range of facilities to vulnerable groups, both adults and children. Social Services lead on child protection issues and these arrangements are now becoming more closely integrated to MAPPPs. iii) Housing Departments/ Trusts and Voluntary Sector Housing Associations

Stable accommodation is regarded as a substantial factor in reducing offending, thereby reducing the risks to the public. Merseyside has well established accommodation providers offering a range of facilities, from intensive supervision to totally independent living. iv) Youth Offending Teams

Alongside the Police and Probation Services, the Prison Service plays a very prominent role in not only accommodating prisoners in a secure environment, but in addressing their offending behaviour. This is then pursued - usually on statutory Licence - once the offender returns to the community.

Offenders under the age of 18 are dealt with on a multi-agency basis via local Youth Offending Teams (YOTs), and these make a major contribution to interagency arrangements. v) Victim Organisations

It important to stress that criminal justice agencies deal with a large number of offenders across a wide age range. All are assessed in terms of the risk they pose to the public, and only a minority are regarded as 'very high risk'.

Merseyside is well served with a wide range of specialist medical and psychiatric services to engage with offenders, e.g. those with a mental health history.

There are a range of services to victims, both pre-sentence via the prosecution/court processes, and post-sentence, where victims are advised on the progress of offenders who

3. The Operation of MAPPA
This is now the second year of the Multi Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP) structure, and as one of the key agencies in these arrangements, Merseyside Police have welcomed this more formal approach to public protection from offenders who pose a serious risk. Once a MAPPP is convened, a senior member of the probation service or police will chair the meeting in order to assess the risk posed and thereafter agree a course of action to reduce and manage that risk. From a police perspective this may entail surveillance in order to monitor the behaviour of an individual, and the use of intelligence to determine compliance with prison licences, court orders or probation orders, or to ascertain whether an offender's behaviour is contravening any legislation. This can be very staff intensive, however, the full resources of Merseyside Police are available to the MAPPP to be developed appropriately and proportionately in order to minimise any risk posed. For the future, Merseyside Police is seeking to establish a dedicated Public Protection Unit, and work is currently ongoing to determine the exact terms of reference and staffing requirements of such a unit. It should be pointed out that in respect of sex offenders, the compliance rate on registration in Merseyside is extremely high, and reoffending extremely low. When addressing public protection issues and challenging offending behaviour - an in-depth risk assessment and risk management process leads all such action. For the first time the Prison and Probation Services are introducing a single national risk assessment tool, which is an indepth mechanism to analyse all offence factors. From the moment an offender is sentenced at court, his or her circumstances are assessed, and an action plan put into place to tackle the offender’s criminal lifestyle. For example, every offender who is released from prison on Licence to the Probation Service, is notified to Merseyside Police colleagues in terms of their supervision arrangements, the risk they pose to the community, and the Licence conditions which have been tailor-made to minimise that risk.

4. A Case Study
The following is a real example of an offender whose circumstances activated local MAPPP arrangements:i) Offender (JJ) - committed a very serious physical/sexual assault against his ex-partner and received five years imprisonment; the couple have a ten year old child. ii) Background Investigation - the offence was seen as part of an established history of domestic violence by the offender against his ex-partner. This then escalated up to the offence in question as the female attempted to terminate the relationship. iii) Prison Service - during the prison sentence information/ intelligence came to light that the offender still harboured aggressive feelings towards his ex-partner and intended to cause her further harm. There were also veiled threats that he might snatch his child, as access had been denied to him. iv) Education - the Head Teacher indicated that the child concerned was of above average intelligence and had been performing well at school. However deterioration in his performance had been noted during the lead up to the court hearing, which had caused the child to become anxious and temperamental. v) Social Services Department - had automatically become involved as the child had witnessed the aftermath of the serious assault against the victim. vi) Medical/Psychiatric Services - an assessment for court had shown some 'personality disorder' traits and that the offender was somewhat paranoid and felt justified in his previous aggressive actions. He was seen to have a marked lack of empathy for the victim. vii) Victim Support Organisations - reported that the victim had been severely traumatised by the experience and feared for her life. viii) Police - took the ongoing threat towards the victim seriously, and arranged with other relevant agencies to relocate her and her child and ensure appropriate security devices were installed within the home. ix) Probation Service arranged for stringent conditions to be included in the offender’s prison Licence. He was ordered:◆ not to frequent a certain neighbourhood ◆ not to have contact with the victim or child without prior permission ◆ to reside at a Probation hostel (in a different area from the offence) ◆ to be subject to an early curfew at the hostel and to abide by strict hostel conditions ◆ to receive drug testing arrangements, as drug/alcohol abuse had been part of the Index offence ◆ to attend a six month programme in relation to domestic violence. The above case had been reviewed on a number of occasions via MAPPP arrangements. This initially enquired into the total history of the case in great depth, assessed the past and current risks, and identified appropriate action plans for all agency representatives attending the MAPPP. The offender was eventually released under the specified conditions, and was closely monitored by all the relevant agencies who met regularly to review his progress. Outcome - to date the offender has complied with all the conditions in his prison Licence, and has co-operated with criminal justice professionals and with hostel staff. Police report no attempt to make contact with the family, directly or indirectly, and the school reported that the child concerned had settled down and was once again making good progress. The above case is ongoing, and will remain subject to the above arrangements, which will continue to incorporate intensive supervision and input from the various agencies to ensure that the public is protected. Note: While on prison Licence, an offender can be recalled to prison at a moment’s notice - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any recall does not need to go through the court process - it is dealt with directly by the Home Office on the authority of an Assistant Chief Probation Officer. Such recalls can be activated within a few hours.

5. Disclosure
The power to decide whether to disclose information about an offender rests with the police. Each MAPPP has disclosure as an option. For example, when an offender has a history of sex offences, agencies should ensure that there is disclosure to a new partner if there are concerns about the partner or any children of the family becoming a potential victim. Similarly, if a man with a history of extreme violence against previous partners is found to have begun a new relationship, police may disclose details of the man's offences to his new partner. In very rare cases of predatory sex offenders, there may be disclosure to schools in a particular neighbourhood. Disclosure to the media may happen where they may be able to assist public protection by wide coverage of an individual case. The media can play a major role in helping to alert the public. For example, if an offender deliberately fails to comply with supervision and his whereabouts become unknown, an appeal for information may be made through the media. This may allow them - and the public - to help track down the offender and thereby protect the public. Plans for such a scenario are always in place, but rarely needed. There have been no occasions so far where disclosure has been required in Merseyside in 2002/3. A new initiative in 2001/2 agreed a media protocol between police, probation and the local and regional media. This helped ensure that the media are better aware of how agencies co-operate to manage offenders in the community, and how media coverage can both help and hinder their supervision. The protocol also sets out what assistance police and probation will offer to the media in their coverage.

6. The Strategic Management of MAPPA
The Strategic Management Board (the inter-agency representatives who oversee local MAPPP arrangements) was formed in early 2002. It has spent the first year of activity in setting up secure operational practices and agreeing the content of the first Annual Report. The Strategic Management Board has now received a further, detailed Home Office Guidance manual, which will for the first time - offer national standards and further develop the role of the Strategic Management Board – to concentrate on the quality of MAPPP arrangements on Merseyside. During the year the Strategic Management Board has looked at the new national risk assessment mechanism (known as OASys) and received detailed presentations on the content of some public enquiry reports concerning offenders from other areas who had reoffended in a serious way. It is important for all areas to learn from cases that go wrong, so that local arrangements can be improved. The Strategic Management Board meet every two to three months, jointly Chaired by an Assistant Chief Constable and an Assistant Chief Officer for Probation. This group is briefed on the extent of MAPPP cases on Merseyside, and the interagency arrangements put in place to protect the public. The Strategic Management Board role is expected to widen, and have lay membership added to the group by late 2004.

7. Victim Work
There is now far greater awareness and sensitivity towards the needs of victims, particularly those who have suffered from a serious violent or sexual offence. An improved service is evident throughout the court process - supporting victims in giving evidence etc, right through to post-sentence issues. The Probation Service now has a statutory duty to contact victims of serious violent or sexual offences (where a prison sentence of one year or more has been passed), to ensure that they are kept up to date about the progress of the offender, and more importantly, the future arrangements for release. The Probation Service in Merseyside has specialist teams dealing with prisoners and victim issues, which includes contacting the families of murder/manslaughter victims within two months of sentence, to see if they wish to take up the 'Victim Information Service'. This is now a statutory right for victims and can keep the victim, or the family of a homicide victim, up-to-date about the prison sentence, check out any rumours, and act as a filter for anxieties over release arrangements. In the Merseyside area about 600 victims qualify for this service every year. For homicide cases, the Probation Service in Merseyside has a formal working partnership with the Merseyside branch of Support After Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM) - a national charity, set up by families of homicide victims. This collaborative approach in addressing the needs of families has proved to be a very positive and effective working relationship. In addition there is further support available from Victim Support Schemes - a national charity for victims of all crime. Victim Support is an independent organisation, offering a free and confidential service whether a crime has been reported or not. Trained staff and volunteers at local branches offer information and support to victims, witnesses, families and friends. Victim Support provides the Witness Support Service based in every criminal court in the country, to offer assistance before, during and after a trial. Victims can also contact the National Helpline direct on 0845 3030900 for information, support and details on local services and other relevant organisations.

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

No. of Offenders
657

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

51

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

8

(b) The total number granted

8

(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

1

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])

1081

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])

12

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

27

b) MAPPP - violent and other sex offenders

28

c) MAPPP - other offenders

12

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

7

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

2

c) charged with a serious sexual or violent offence

1*

Note: Of the 67 individuals subject to a MAPPP report in 2002/03, only one was charged/convicted of a new serious offence (child cruelty); he received a new prison sentence of 15 months.

Contact Details:
Merseyside Probation Area Assistant Chief Officer Pre & Post Release Division Address National Probation Service 4th Floor Burlington House Crosby Road North Waterloo Liverpool L22 OPJ Phone 0151-920 9201

Should you require further information about this annual report, or wish to contact one of the named agencies/ organisations, please forward your query to the above address where your enquiry will be dealt with accordingly.

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