Probation Circular

RECORDING INFORMATION ON INDIVIDUALS WHO PRESENT A RISK TO CHILDREN
PURPOSE
This Circular provides guidance on how to record information about whether an individual offender presents a ‘Risk to Children’. It should be read in conjunction with PC 32/2005 which advised staff that the term ‘Risk to Children’ should be used to denote offenders who are assessed in this way, rather than the label ‘Schedule 1’.

REFERENCE NO: 87/2005 ISSUE DATE: 23 November 2005 IMPLEMENTATION DATE: Immediate EXPIRY DATE: November 2010 TO: Chairs of Probation Boards Chief Officers of Probation Secretaries of Probation Boards CC: Board Treasurers Regional Managers AUTHORISED BY: John Scott, Head of Public Protection and Licensed Release Unit ATTACHED: N/A

ACTION
Chief Officers are asked to ensure this Circular is drawn to the attention of all relevant staff, including those with current responsibility for maintaining written and electronic registers of Schedule 1 Offenders, who should note its contents and implement the action points.

SUMMARY
Since PC 32/2005 was issued, social services departments have been advised of the changes in procedures for using the term ‘Risk to Children’, rather than ‘Schedule 1’, to denote offenders who are assessed as posing a risk to children. To support this change, Areas should no longer retain electronic or written registers of Schedule 1 Offenders. Cases currently on such lists should be assessed to whether the offender presents a risk to children and flagged accordingly.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS PROBATION CIRCULARS
PC32/2005 PC10/2005 PC54/2004 Identification of Individuals Who Present a Risk to Children – Interim Guidance Public Protection Framework, Risk of Harm an MAPPA Thresholds The MAPPA Guidance

CONTACT FOR ENQUIRIES
Laura McCaughan 020 7217 0639 laura.mccaughan@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk Hilary Collyer 020 7217 8565 hilary.collyer@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

National Probation Directorate
Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW

Background 1. Following review at a national multi-agency working group, staff were advised in PC 32/2005 that the term Schedule 1 offender should be replaced with the term Risk to Children. This term should be applied following an assessment of the risk presented by an individual offender. The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) have advised social services departments of the changes in terminology. Prison and probation staff will continue to notify social services in the usual way about individuals who present a Risk to Children. However, this will follow an assessment of the risks presented by the individual, including information about previous offences against children, rather than the automatic trigger due to convictions for offences in Schedule 1.

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Action points on recording in cases where offender assessed as Risk to Children 3. This Circular is to advise staff of the following action points in relation to recording information about offenders who present a Risk to Children. a) Current cases labelled Schedule 1 should be assessed as to whether the offender presents a Risk to Children. Any such cases should be flagged Risk to Children. b) Areas should no longer keep an electronic or written register of ‘Schedule 1’ offenders who are either current or closed cases. They should take steps to remove offenders’ names from any such registers (paper or electronic) and make the registers inactive. In the case of nationally supported case management systems, processes have been put in place to enable areas to undertake this task. For further information in relation to CRAMS, areas should contact Annette McGranaghan (020 7217 8070 annette.mcgranaghan2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk), for Delius and ICMS, they should contact Ken Ades (020 7217 8193 ken.ades2@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk). c) Areas are reminded of the requirement to keep records up to date in line with the NPS Data Protection Policy. Therefore, closed cases that were previously only retained because of their Schedule 1 status may now be removed. d) Records on offenders assessed as Risk to Children should be retained for the same period as records on all other cases. It follows from this that Areas should retain Risk to Children cases in accordance with their retention of high risk of harm cases where children in the offender’s care are on the child protection register at the point of case closure. Lifers are also an exception, as records are kept for 99 years. Areas are advised to refer to Chapter 5, Paragraph 5.5 of the national NPS Data Protection Policy which outlines suggested retention periods. For local guidance, they should contact their local data protection officer or equivalent person. 4. Areas may wish to be aware that NOMIS will routinely retain data on standard cases for 10 years. Life-sentence and high risk of harm cases will be retained for 99 years. Guidance on NOMIS data retention will follow in due course with roll out of the project.

Assessing Risk to Children - OASys 5. Changes will be made to e-OASys in 2006 to allow for changes in terminology and recording information about Risk to Children. However, the assessment of whether an offender presents a Risk to Children should be conducted in the usual way using the current version of OASys.

PC87/2005 – Recording Information on Individuals who present a Risk to Children

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