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National Probation Service

Briefing
Issue 37 36 Issue January 2007 August 2007

NPS STAFF RECEIVE TOP AWARDS THE VIOLENT AND SEX OFFENDER FROM THE BUTLER TRUST REGISTER (ViSOR)
INTRODUCTION
What does ViSOR mean for Offender Management and the community? ViSOR will provide a secure database that can be accessed by the police, probation and prison services, enabling the sharing of risk assessment and risk management information on individual violent and sex offenders in a timely way. The combined use of ViSOR will increase the ability to share intelligence across organisations and enable the safe transfer of key information when these high risk offenders move, enhancing public protection measures and the multiagency public protection arrangements (MAPPA). ViSOR will underpin strategic objectives by providing a national database supporting the whole MAPPA caseload.

LEGAL AUTHORITY
The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act of 2000, consolidated by the Criminal Justice Act of 2003, imposed duties on the Responsible Authority (police, probation and prisons) to make arrangements for the identification, risk assessment and management of violent offenders and sexual offenders in the community, known as MAPPA (MultiAgency Public Protection Arrangements). ViSOR has been developed to support this.

DEVELOPMENT AND DEPLOYMENT
ViSOR is already implemented throughout police forces in the United Kingdom, and is being implemented by the Scottish Prison Service. A proven technical solution for both prisons and probation is in place. Business models and processes for the use of ViSOR in probation areas and prisons in England and Wales have been agreed. Service management and inter-provider operation have also been determined.

ViSOR IN PRISONS AND PROBATION
The NOMS OIS ViSOR project team will oversee its introduction into the National Probation Service and prisons. ViSOR will be delivered to HMPS and Probation Service staff over existing terminals but in a manner that keeps it separate from other systems. ViSOR is not dependent on any changes being made to any other IT system. The ViSOR equipment is either already installed or can be installed without interruption to other services. ViSOR is thus

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UNCLASSIFIED independent of other projects. ViSOR can only be deployed to locations which satisfy strict requirements on physical security. Security and the sharing of data across government agencies require that staff have to be fully trained before they have access to the database. A narrow operational model for probation has been agreed where the management of ViSOR will be the responsibility of the Area MAPPA Coordinator/Public Protection Manager. A new post of ViSOR Administrator has been created to assist Areas with the day to day management of ViSOR. Funding has been secured to support this new role. Approximately 750 Senior Probation Officers will have direct access to ViSOR while Offender Managers will have indirect access via the Senior Probation Officer and the ViSOR Administrator. The operational model for prisons has ViSOR used by a small number of staff in the security and intelligence functions in each establishment.

EARLY ADOPTER/PILOT PHASE
The Early Adopter phase has been launched with ViSOR currently live at a number of pilot locations: • • • • • • • HMP Wakefield HMP Acklington HMP Wormwood Scrubs HMP Whatton South Yorkshire Probation Durham Probation West Midlands

Subject to evaluation and Gateway 4 approval, national roll-out to both the National Probation Service and HMPS is due to commence in October 2007. It is anticipated that the benefits arising from introduction of ViSOR in NOMS will contribute to the meeting of Ministry of Justice targets. For example, the better documenting and sharing of case information relating to violent and sexual offenders will lead to an improved risk management of offenders, a reduction in re-offending rates, prevention of some crime and better detection. This expectation has been endorsed by the NOMS Public Protection Unit.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For further detailed information please see the FAQs on Epic or contact: Bettina Crossick ViSOR Probation Lead Room 604 Abell House John Islip Street London SW1P 4LH Email: Bettina.crossick@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Tel: 0207 217 1032

FURTHER INFORMATION:
Further Briefings like this one will be produced as necessary and posted on the Epic Intranet http://npsintranet.probation.gsi.gov.uk/index.htm (navigate from Home>News & Comms>Newsletters>Briefings) and the National Probation Service website at: www.probation.justice.gov.uk (navigate from Home>News and Updates>Briefings) Issued by NOMS Communications

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