SUFFOLK MULTI-AGENCY PUBLIC PROTECTION ARRANGEMENTS

ANNUAL REPORT 2003-4

INDEX Page

INTRODUCTION
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS Protection Through Partnership Appointment of a MAPPP Manager Assessing Risk Risk Levels Managing Information Professional Awareness Public Awareness HOW MAPPA OPERATES LOCALLY Disclosure of Information Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels Involving the Public – Lay Advisors MAPPA Offenders Who Takes Part in Protecting the Public? National Probation Service – Suffolk Probation Area Suffolk Constabulary Prison Service Suffolk Youth Offending Service Suffolk County Council – Social Care Services Local Health Partnerships – NHS Trust (LHPT) Helping Victims Victim Support The Witness Service Resources and New Services Suffolk Borough and District Councils Housing Managing the Risks Strategic Management of MAPPA MAPPA ANNUAL REPORTS STATISTICAL INFORMATION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CONTACTS

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INTRODUCTION
We are very pleased to introduce the Third Annual Report dealing with the work of MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) in Suffolk. The publication of this report symbolises the accountability and openness as to how violent and sexual offenders are managed. Understandably, this group of offenders causes the public concern and it is important that the report describes the arrangements and reassures the public as to how matters are handled. The accountability and openness will be further strengthened in the forthcoming year with the appointment of Lay Advisors – members of the public who will independently oversee the arrangements. Included in this report are contributions from our partners in Health, Housing, Social Care Services, Youth Offending Service, Prison, Probation and the Police Services, which show how all agencies work together to protect the public. The local arrangements will be improved further by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 which imposes a duty to co-operate on a number of relevant partners and agencies to assist in the process whenever possible. The work of local Public Protection Panels is vital to the assessment and management of offenders who live in the community. There are well-developed working arrangements to manage risk and this will be enhanced further as the Prison Service, along with Police and Probation Services, becomes a responsible authority to oversee the arrangements. The arrangements are now firmly established and there is already excellent co-operation being shown between the Police and Probation Services, and many other agencies. This has been further assisted by the appointment of a full-time manager to oversee the Panels and management of offenders. Of course, there can never be complacency about these arrangements and we must seek, at all times, to improve and develop the arrangements and learn from best practice. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (being introduced from May 2004) will also strengthen public protection issues by revising the law on rape, protecting children from sexual exploitation – “grooming”, and strengthening the sex offenders register. Later this year (2004), it is planned to introduce a new computer system, initially used by Police, and later used by the Probation Service and others to manage offenders. This system, known as “Visor” (Violent and Sex Offenders Register), forms part of a national computer system and will greatly assist local arrangements as to how offenders are managed. This is a good example of how Public Protection arrangements are being consistently developed and improved. The protection of the public remains of the highest priority and we hope you find that this report offers positive reassurance that much work has been done, and will continue to be done, to protect the public.

Alastair McWhirter Chief Constable Suffolk Constabulary

John Budd Chief Officer Suffolk Probation Area

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KEY ACHIEVEMENTS
Partnership working is key to reducing the risk to the public from violent or sexual offenders. The main way this is achieved is through Public Protection Panels (known as MAPPPs – MultiAgency Public Protection Panels) who sit regularly to consider offenders who are assessed as high risk. The Panels also review actions on those high risk offenders who have been previously considered and registered.

Protection Through Partnership
The Panels are attended by key agencies and information is shared to enable the right decisions to be made as to the management of the risk posed by the offender. The decisions are minuted and action agreed by all agencies. If an offender is registered as being of high risk to the public a specific management plan is drawn up and the agencies have to take action as a priority. The following key achievements have been made during the last year, and they have all led to improvements as to how the whole process is managed. They illustrate that the arrangements are being developed both locally and nationally to ensure improvements are constantly made:

Appointment of a MAPPP Manager
The MAPPP Manager’s post was established in September 2003, and exists to manage all arrangements linked to protecting the public with all other partners. The funding for the post is provided collectively by partners and is reviewable annually. The Manager’s prime responsibility is to manage the joint arrangements for the assessment of high risk offenders; to screen the referrals made against set criteria; to chair Public Protection Panel meetings held in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft ensuring that all effective action has been taken on agreed risk management plans. The role includes the responsibility to ensure all relevant information on offenders is shared and that any shortfalls in the provision of services to those offenders who are a risk is addressed. The Manager is responsible to the Strategic Management Board (see page 15) and reports to the Board on a regular basis. In addition, there are other policy areas including reviewing current practice against good practice and other guidance, collating information relating to violent and sexual offenders, and, also, the preparation of the Suffolk Annual Report with assistance from other agencies.

Assessing Risk
A risk assessment process has been introduced to reliably assess the likely risk of all offenders discussed at Panels. Persons who are high risk need to be identified in order that Public Protection Panels can properly allocate resources to manage that risk. The most common way that this is being done is by a system called OASys – Offender Assessment System. This is the nationally accredited assessment tool used by all the Probation Areas in England and Wales and in all prisons by HM Prison Service. It looks at the characteristics that might indicate that an offender was more or less likely to commit a serious offence. These characteristics would include such things as previous convictions, details of previous offending, present circumstances including housing and employment, and the professional judgement of the person making the assessment. This assessment is reviewed and discussed at the panel and together with other information, such as that provided by Police and others, helps the Panel decide the risk of the offender causing serious harm to others. Other agencies contribute to the risk assessment system by using slightly different methods: the Police use a matrix called the “Thornton Risk Assessment 2000” to assess risk from sex offenders, and the Youth Offending Service use a system called “Asset” to assess risk by

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young offenders. All these assessments are aimed at objectively assessing the likelihood of risk.

Risk Levels
All offenders have been assessed against guidelines for the likelihood of causing harm to the public and the level of risk is separated into three levels, with Level 1 being the lowest and where the risk posed can be managed by one agency for a low or medium risk; Level 2 where the active involvement of more than one agency is required; and Level 3 being the highest risk where the offender is assessed as being of high risk and requires management at a close level or where there is likely to be high media scrutiny or public interest. Level 3 is restricted to those known as “the critical few” who are likely to need significant resources to manage. Last year in Suffolk there were just 11 cases that were assessed at Level 3 and often the level was reduced to Level 2 quickly when action was taken – such as the arrest of the offender, or recall to prison for breach of licence conditions. The use of these new levels will become accepted practice and the majority of the offenders will be Level 1, which is the lowest risk. The implementation of new risk levels accounts for the reduction in MAPPP offenders in Suffolk from 54 in 2002/03 to 11 in 2003/04. The identification of the “critical few” offenders improves the ability of all the agencies involved in the MAPPP to carry out the risk management plan and provide the resources necessary to minimise the risk posed by the offender. The statistical information given on Page 16 of this report sets out the number of offenders managed through the MAPPA arrangements in Suffolk in a format that can be compared with the other 41 Areas of England and Wales.

Managing Information
Although a national computer system of managing offenders will be in place in the Suffolk Constabulary by next year (Violent and Sex Offenders Register known as VISOR), and is planned for the Probation Service at a later date, local interim arrangements have been made to gather statistical information. This not only provides an overview of the offenders, but also increases awareness of trends etc. This will be further developed next year, but is a useful ‘stop gap’ for the collection of data. Ahead of the national system, the information gathered allows for comparisons about the nature of persons referred to the Public Protection Panels and whether they have committed any offences whilst the subject of attention by the Panels.

Professional Awareness
It is recognised that it is important that professional staff involved in the management of offenders need to have a good awareness of Public Protection arrangements. As part of this process presentations have been made to Magistrates, Housing Officers Groups, Prisons and Trainee Probation Officers to improve understanding of the cases, the management of risk and the reasons for active co-operation on cases. In some of the presentations, Case A (opposite) was discussed, based on an actual case, to illustrate the issues that are dealt with by the Public Protection Panels and the need for a balance to be struck between enforcement (licence conditions on release from prison) and the supportive elements to reduce the risk of harm to the public both in the short and long-term. Further formal training is being planned for next year for those persons involved in public protection panels. CASE A A person with previous convictions for arson cannot readily cope with life and prefers prison. The person’s needs are quite basic but if unable to be supported could easily commit further offences MAPPP decision: Licence conditions and supervision plan properly devised and enforced to maximise public protection, and daily support given through Mental Health Community Teams. Supported accommodation is being considered once the risk assessment is reduced and the Public Protection Panel agrees.

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Public Awareness
It is understandable that high risk violent and sexual offenders can cause concern to the public, and as part of raising public awareness as to how risk is managed, lay advisers will be appointed during the course of 2004 (see page 7). There are national timetables on the recruitment, selection and training of the lay advisers to take on their role. This will further assist in the processes of public protection being open and accountable. The publication of this report is an essential part of awareness and accountability for public protection by all agencies involved in public protection.

If you are interested in reading electronic copies of this report and that of other Areas, they will be published on the National Probation Service’s website www.probation.homeoffice.gov.uk (under the Public Protection Section) with all of them being available late 2004.

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HOW MAPPA OPERATES LOCALLY
There are several aspects to the work of MAPPA when it deals with high risk offenders. One of the aspects is how information is disclosed to relevant persons or the community about an offender who is living in the neighbourhood.

Disclosure of Information
Information about individuals is shared at Public Protection meetings and is confidential to those agencies who attend. Confidentiality statements are read out and all agencies have signed a confidentiality protocol. The balance is struck between having sufficient information to make an informed decision to manage and reduce the risk to the public but, at the same time, not breaching the confidential nature of the information that is shared. Sometimes it is necessary to reveal to a person the previous history of an offender in order to protect a potential victim or others. This is only done after careful consideration, often with a recommendation from the Public Protection Panel and when authorised by the Assistant Chief Constable. In disclosing information to a person this is done as sensitively as possible and sometimes the person is only told of the offender’s behaviour in general terms. However, where appropriate, specific details are given. In Suffolk last year, disclosures were made in 11 cases which indicates that the release of previous offending details is applied sparingly. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 places a “duty to co-operate” on many partners who can assist in the protection of the public. This will develop under protocols and guidance to allow a better exchange of information about relevant cases. CASE B A sex offender was identified by a local newspaper as living near a local school and the newspaper identified the person to the school. The question arose as to whether the school should have been informed of the person living nearby under Public Protection arrangements. The Police were able to say that the case had been closely examined and the risk assessment had not identified that person as high risk and taking other factors into account had decided not to disclose the offender’s previous convictions to the school. The newspaper backed this decision pointing out that the decision needed: “sound judgment based on the assessment of the risks involved” careful

The paper, very responsibly, also made the decision not to publish the address of the offender.

Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels
Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels cover the county and meet, in different parts of Suffolk, at least monthly. If an urgent case comes to attention, an emergency panel is set up to deal with a case, to plan the management of an offender who is high risk. The key role of the public protection panel is to: Exchange information Assess risk Agree a management plan in with specific actions are required Review previous cases.

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The persons who attend are Police, Probation, Social Care Services, Health, Housing and any relevant agency who holds up to date information on the offender. This enables the best decision and management plan to be put into action. The information is shared with all persons and a decision is made whether to register the offender as at risk of causing the public serious harm or not. The decision is based on reliable risk assessments and professional expertise. The risk is determined at three levels (Level 1,2 or 3). Level 3 is the highest level of risk and is used for those offenders considered to be at risk of causing the public serious harm with a degree of imminence, or where, because of the nature of the case, major interest would be likely. Level 3 cases normally require significant resources and should be for those cases known as the ”critical few”. (See also page 4). These cases are reviewed as a matter of highest priority by the appropriate representatives from the organisations involved at each key stage and are also reviewed at the regular monthly meetings when Level 2 cases are discussed. CASE C An offender with previous convictions for serious violence was released from prison on licence. There was concern that he might reoffend and assault a previous victim. The case was discussed at a Public Protection Panel and a management plan brought into being, including a specific licence condition, that he must not approach the victim. This is strongly reiterated to him by his Probation Officer when he was released. After a quiet few days, he is seen trying to make contact with the victim. His behaviour gives major cause for concern as he can behave in an intimidating way and easily threaten the victim. This action is a clear breach of his licence conditions and taking into account his previous history a decision is made to take action to recall him to prison.

Monthly in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds the Multi-Agency panel meets to assess and review the management of cases that are classified as Level 2. These are offenders where more than one agency is actively involved with them and they are assessed as high risk. In addition a number of cases initially reviewed at the Multi-Agency panel will be assessed as Level 1 as one agency is able to deal with the risk and are therefore not registered. By having such a system it allows the risks to be identified and managed appropriately. It targets finite resources as effectively as possible. Of course, the system is not infallible but is designed to ensure risks are managed in a logical and responsible way. The decisions that are taken have to be reasonable and defensible and are clearly documented as to how they were arrived at. The strength of the Public Protection Panels is that all decisions are made and collectively agreed at the meeting and there is accountability to ensure actions are carried out. Within the various agencies, managers and supervisors have responsibility to ensure that priority is given to cases where offenders are assessed as high risk.

Involving the Public – Lay Advisors
MAPPA developments in the next 12 months will also include the appointment by the Home Secretary of two ‘Lay Advisors’ to the Suffolk Area. This follows eight Areas of England and Wales which have been piloting these arrangements who report that they add value to the arrangements. Lay Advisors 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. (See page 15). The two Lay Advisors will be recruited as part of a national programme in late 2004, and with training should be in post by March 2005. The purpose of appointing ‘Lay Advisors’ 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 Advisors will not ‘represent’ the community in the way, for example, that local councillors do, nor will they be involved in operational decision-making. Given the sensitivity of much of what the MAPPA does, especially with the few offenders who 7

pose a very high risk of serious harm to the public, it is not practicable for the general public to be involved. Lay Advisors 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 five years (and generally for much longer) the figures are cumulative. Only a very small proportion are considered to pose such a high risk or management difficulty that they are referred to the highest level of the MAPPA – the Public Protection Panels (the MAPPP). Figures alone do not tell the whole story. The case studies illustrate the practical work of the MAPPA, and demonstrate the preventive action which can be taken. The multi-agency approach of the MAPPA helps to ensure that if an offender does breach the conditions of the licence under which they were released from prison, or a court order prohibiting certain activities, then action to enforce the conditions or order and protect the public can be taken more swiftly.

Who Takes Part in Protecting the Public?

The Probation and Prison Services working together

There are different agencies who take part in the arrangements, but there are three main agencies who are the “Responsible Authority” under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000: Suffolk Constabulary Suffolk Probation HMP Prisons – who are now included as a Responsible Authority since April, 2004 under the Criminal Justice Act, 2003. Other agencies have a “duty to co-operate” also under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 which is a significant arrangement to improve public protection and manage risk. This will mean that the Responsible Authority and various agencies have a duty to co-operate in the management of offenders who are subject of Public Protection Panels but also offenders with convictions for sexual or violent offences who receive 12 months’ or more imprisonment.

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The duty to co-operate also includes the exchange of information. A memorandum has to be drawn up to set out the ways that agencies have to co-operate. Agencies which will have a duty to cooperate are: Youth Offending Teams Social Security, Child Support, War Pensions, Employment and Training Education Local Housing Authorities and Registered Social landlords Social Care Services with particular emphasis on Child Protection but also other factors Local Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts Providers of electronic services (tagging) monitoring

CASE D A young offender with serious previous convictions has a long-term history of being mentally disturbed. The Manager of the Mental High Risk Group convenes a meeting to oversee his wellbeing and co-ordinate his treatment. This complements the work required by Public Protection Panels to reduce likelihood of re-offending and some of members attend the meeting to plan for treatment. the his the his

The meeting is attended by Health professionals and others to plan his rehabilitation. This should enable him to receive proper treatment and care, and at the same time reduce risk of him committing a serious offence.

Many of the above were already involved in public protection arrangements, but there are additions such as Social Security and others which will help in the management of risk.

National Probation Service – Suffolk Probation Area
Suffolk Probation Area is responsible for the preparation of pre-sentence reports to magistrates and judges, upon which sentencing decisions are made, and the supervision of offenders subject to community penalties and post custodial licence. As part of the National Probation Service, Suffolk contributes to the achievement of five statutory aims that support the Public Protection arrangements. These aims are: The protection of the public The reduction of re-offending The proper punishment of offenders Ensuring offenders’ awareness of the effects of crime on the victims of crime and the public The rehabilitation of offenders. In sharing the statutory responsibility for MAPPA with the Police (and from April 2004 the Prison Service) Suffolk Probation Area has drawn upon established public protection procedures and partnerships with other agencies to implement the multi-agency public protection arrangements. This has included the appointment of a full-time manager to develop and co-ordinate the MAPPPs, the introduction of a new assessment framework, the Offender Assessment System, training for all staff and the revision of public protection policy to reflect the legislative framework of MAPPA and its role as a responsible authority.

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All offenders who are having court reports prepared or who are under the supervision of Suffolk Probation Area will have a thorough risk assessment completed, upon which all subsequent work with the offender is based. These assessments are regularly reviewed and updated and form an integral part of the public protection arrangements. Where an offender is considered to be high risk the Probation Officer always attends the Public Protection meetings to discuss the case.

Suffolk Constabulary
The Suffolk Constabulary maintains a lead role within the MAPPA arrangements to ensure that an effective response to public safety is at the forefront of its activities. In conjunction with other statutory responsibilities under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and the Criminal Justice Act 2003 the Constabulary seeks to build upon already close working relationships with partners.

Partnership working is an established practice within the Suffolk Constabulary and has proven on many occasions, with diverse partners, to be an extremely effective method of ensuring public safety and raising public confidence in performance delivery. The fear of crime is a disabling factor in maintaining and building safer communities within our county. It is with this in mind, coupled with the Constabulary’s intention to reduce crime and increase detection with local crime reduction initiatives, that we seek to maintain and improve public reassurance. In addition to these activities, specific areas of public concern, especially in relation to the effective management of sex offenders, is required. The Constabulary has dedicated Police Protection Officers who are specially trained to oversee public protection issues throughout Suffolk. These officers attend Public Protection Panels and are able to help manage risk of harm to the public. Suffolk Constabulary is a responsible authority within the framework of managing both dangerous offenders and registered sex offenders. Responsibility for attending MAPPP meetings is delegated to local Detective Inspectors who can action dedicated and specially trained staff to ensure the appropriate level of threat posed by these individuals is accurately assessed. These assessments are subject to scrutiny and debate by the panel in order to ensure action and ownership is agreed. Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) – How are they managed? • • A RSO has to register their details at a police station within tight timescales A specially trained Police Public Protection Officer assesses the risks posed by the RSO by use of an assessment document If that person is high risk he or she is referred to a Public Protection Panel The Police visit all RSOs on a regular basis, the frequency depends on the risk levels.

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The application for Sex Offender Orders and disclosure of information are two areas that have been utilised in the past year to underpin this process. The effective use of appropriate legislation on these occasions sends a clear message to both communities and registered sex offenders that public safety, by effective management of these individuals, remains the overriding aim of this partnership.

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Prison Service (HMP Highpoint, HMP Hollesley Bay, HMP Blundeston, HMP Edmunds Hill, HMYOI Warren Hill)
The Prison Service becomes a Responsible Authority with effect from April 2004. There is already representation on the Strategic Management Board, and close links have been established with prisons in Suffolk to enhance the identification and management of offenders who may pose a risk of serious harm upon release. The Prison Service is introducing the Offender Assessment System (OASys) in common with the Probation Service, which will achieve a consistency of assessment and involvement in the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements. In addition to assessing the risk each prisoner poses, prisons run accredited groupwork programmes designed to help reduce risks before the prisoner is released. Prisons are involved in the planning of the controlled release of offenders into the community, sharing information with Police, Probation and other relevant agencies who will be involved in managing any risk posed.

Suffolk Youth Offending Service
Suffolk Youth Offending Service provides a range of services to young people including those involved in offending behaviour and those at risk of offending. This takes place as part of sentences. The Youth Offending Service also engages with victims of crime, facilitating their involvement in restorative justice processes. The service is committed to the delivery of effective partnership working, and to adopting a holistic approach that promotes accountability, responsibility and social inclusion. Suffolk Youth Offending Service holds a key position in the assessment and management of risk posed by young people in the community, preventative services delivered through multi-agency panels, offence focused interventions for young people being supervised in the community, and the monitoring and reviewing of young people serving custodial sentences.

Suffolk County Council – Social Care Services
The duties and responsibilities of Social Care Services include the provision of services to vulnerable groups, both adults and children. This includes children in need and their families, older people, disabled people and those with mental health needs. The services promote safety and wellbeing, which balances the needs of the individual with the safety of the wider community. The Children Bill currently before Parliament will result in significant changes in the way services to children and their families are provided and organised over the coming year. Social Care Services will work in collaboration with other agencies through the new Safeguarding Board and Vulnerable Adults Partnership and Public Protection Arrangements in order to ensure appropriate assessments are undertaken and the public is protected.

Local Health Partnerships – NHS Trust (LHPT)
The assessment by health professionals is required to define the kind of health intervention an individual may need. They can also contribute to the assessment and management of risk. The Department of Health will be issuing guidance to ensure that all Mental Health Trusts are appropriately represented in the arrangements. 11

Roles and Responsibilities of Mental Health Representative (Suffolk): Prior to each monthly meeting check Mental Health Services involvement with the individuals to be discussed. If an individual is involved with Mental Health Services, to discuss the issues with the relevant professionals, reason for involvement, treatment and relationship between mental health and offending, this also informs them of the MAPPP process and the reason for referral. Making recommendations regarding Professionals to the meeting etc. appropriate invitation of Mental Health

Attendance at monthly meetings offering advice, information and education on areas of Mental Health specifically in relation to Care Programme Approach services available locally, referral procedures, the Mental Health Act and Mental Health systems. Sharing of relevant clinical information. Feeding back to health professionals relevant information from the meeting. Acting as a ‘two-way’ bridge between Mental Health and the other agencies regarding high-risk offenders. Ensuring Local Health Partnerships NHS Trust have a referral process into MAPPP via risk assessment and/or the Suffolk Mental Health High Risk Scheme. Educating Mental Health staff about MAPPPs and the referral process. Co-ordinating reviews under the Suffolk Mental Health High Risk Scheme which include discussions regarding referral to MAPPP.

Helping Victims
In addition to the work of managing offenders, there is a much great emphasis upon meeting the needs of victims. Victims of sexual offending, are a priority group within the Government’s National Victims and Witness Strategy , which was published in July, 2003 and aims to improve the support given to victims and witnesses by: Reducing the adverse effects of crime on victims and witnesses, and preventing further victimisation Encouraging victims and witnesses to come forward Offering more options to victims and witnesses, including alternatives to attendance at court. All these initiatives will help towards the Government’s key objective: to improve public confidence in the criminal justice system. There is further legislation being planned under the Domestic Violence and Victims Bill, which will create a new independent Commissioner for

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Victims and Witnesses to act as a champion for victims in the future. In 2005 there will be a new Statutory Victims code of Practice that will specify the responsibility of each Criminal Justice Agency and Victim Support must provide to victims. Currently, the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 requires the Probation Service to make contact with victims of violent and sexual offences The main requirements for the Probation Service are: To make contact with victims of violent and sexual offences where the offender was sentenced to 12 months or more in prison. To consult the victim about the release plan for the offender and make the victim’s views known to the Public Protection Panel. To make recommendations about the licence conditions or other details of the offender’s resettlement plan. To keep victims informed about any significant developments during the sentence or after release and advise on any action to increase safety.

CASE F A Registered Sex Offender has serious convictions for assaulting young boys and received a significant sentence. Prior to his release, contact is made with the family and the victims and their views are that he should not reside in the same town as them. As a result, and as part of his licence conditions, the offender is placed in a hostel in another county and action taken to re-settle him completely away from the town. The Public Protection Panel for the new Area oversees these arrangements and is fully briefed about the background.

Victim Support
Victim Support Suffolk is an independent registered charity, which offers a free and confidential service, whether or not a crime has been reported. Trained staff and volunteers at local branches offer advice, support and information to victims, witnesses, their families and friends. (See Pages 18 and 19 for local and national contacts). Victim Support Suffolk is committed to: giving advice, support and information to those who suffer from the effects of crime providing advice and support to witnesses in court proceedings working in partnership with others to raise public awareness and give recognition to the effects of crime, and to promote the rights of victims and witnesses. The organisation has operated throughout Suffolk for well over 20 years and in April 2002 it became an integrated countywide service. Victim Support offers a service to all sections of the community and is committed to ensuring that minority and disadvantaged groups are welcomed and involved throughout the organisation. In addition to offering emotional support to help victims cope with the experience, Victim Support Suffolk also gives practical assistance, such as help with claims for insurance or criminal injuries compensation and information about other organisations which may be able to help with specific problems.

The Witness Service
Attending court can be a worrying experience, particularly if it is for the first time. Victim Support Suffolk provides a Witness Service in every Crown and Magistrates’ Court in Suffolk, to both prosecution and defence witnesses. The Witness Service helps witnesses and victims before, during and after the hearing and in particular can offer:

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someone to talk to in confidence a visit to the court centre and, where possible, a look around the court room before someone is called as a witness a quiet place to wait before and during the hearing practical help, for example with expense forms information on court procedures someone to accompany witnesses into the court room if they have to give evidence to put witnesses in touch with people who can answer questions about the case (the Witness Service cannot discuss evidence or offer legal advice) a chance to talk over the case when it has ended and to identify sources of more help and information.

Resources and New Services
The annual budget of Victim Support Suffolk is approximately £300,000. A grant from the Home Office covers 80% of the costs but each year £50,000 of the funding has to be raised locally. In seeking to develop closer partnership with local and statutory bodies, Victim Support Suffolk aims to provide an even greater range of services. In 2003 it commenced a new service for young Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses and it is anticipated that this will extend to adults in the near future, given the provision of adequate resources.

Suffolk Borough and District Councils Housing (Suffolk Housing Officers Group)
Offenders may be owner-occupiers, may rent privately or may be in lodgings, but a number will often rent from a local authority or Housing Association. Wherever they live, it is vital that the Police and the Probation Service know exactly where they are, in order to monitor and support them. This can be impossible if the offender is homeless. Making sure offenders have somewhere to live is an essential element of public CASE G protection and the District and Borough Council The victim of a serious domestic authorities in Suffolk must work together with the key violence incident caused by an agencies involved in ensuring that the service offender subject of Public provided is effective and seamless. The duty to coProtection Panel assessment as operate and work together is a key element of the “high risk” asks to be housed in an Criminal Justice Act 2003, which extends and area outside Suffolk. develops these existing working relationships. The Strategic Forum, which oversees how the new structure works, has a representative on it from the Suffolk Housing Officers Group which represents all District and Borough Housing Authorities, as well as Housing Associations operating in the County. In this way, any housing issues that may arise can be considered by all key housing agencies in the county. The local housing authorities in Suffolk have also helped by paying towards the staffing that the Strategic Forum needs to ensure that public protection panels are run effectively. It is clear that Housing will often be an essential part of the solution to the problems of monitoring and supporting offenders. The decision is strongly endorsed by the Panel, as it sees the safety of the victim as key to the management of the offender. As can be expected, this is not straightforward as different areas are involved and the demand for housing is high. However, the Panel’s endorsement of the needs of the victim, and the “Duty to Co-operate” leads to the victim being rehoused appropriately.

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Managing the Risks
All offenders are assessed to see what risk they pose of causing harm to the public. There are a number of assessment tools but normally the following assessments are used: OASys risk assessment that identifies the likelihood of causing serious harm Thornton Risk Matrix 2000, mainly used by Police officers to assess registered sex offenders Asset risk assessment used for young persons. This is not the end of the process. There is always professional judgement and expertise to be added and the risk assessment should be regularly updated so Public Protection Panels have an accurate and reliable risk assessment. If the offender is defined as high risk he or she is referred by a supervisor to the MAPPP Coordinator to put the offender on the agenda. If it is decided that the offender poses a risk to the public an action plan is agreed. This is likely to include supervision plans with the Probation Service if on a relevant order, monitoring by Police, and other action as thought suitable. The action plans are specific and there is a need to update on progress at the next meeting when the case is reviewed.

Strategic Management of MAPPA
There is a requirement under the Criminal Justice 2003 to keep the Public Protection arrangements under review and to monitor effectiveness and make changes as necessary. The Strategic Management Board is represented by persons from the Responsible Authority and other agencies to have an oversight of how things are developing locally. The Board will develop its role in the next year when two Lay Advisors are appointed to represent the community in relation to Public Protection issues. (See page 6). The Board keeps an eye on how the Public Protection Panels are operating and legislation matters. The representatives who attend are: Police, Probation, Prisons, Social Care Services, Youth Offending Service, Local Health Partnerships, Suffolk Housing Officers Group, Victim Support and Premier Monitoring (a company that has responsibility for monitoring “tagged” offenders). Strategic Management Boards: What is discussed? The number of cases and their levels of risk Child Protection issues Training and seminars Funding New legislation Annual Report Changes to the arrangements and good practice.

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MAPPA ANNUAL REPORTS STATISTICAL INFORMATION
For the reporting period 1st APRIL 2003 - 31st MARCH 2004

SUFFOLK
number of offenders

1.

Category 1 MAPPA offenders: Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs)
i) ia) The number of RSOs living in your Area on 31st March 2004. The number of RSOs per 100'000 head of population. (This figure will be calculated centrally by NPD) The number of sex offenders having a registration requirement who were either cautioned or convicted for breaches of the requirement, between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004 The number of full Sex Offender Orders (a) applied for and (b) imposed by the courts in your Area between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004. a) b) iv) The number of interim Sex Offender Orders (a) applied for and (b) imposed by the courts in your Area between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004. a) b) 309 45

ii)

10

iii)

3 2 -

2.

Category 2: violent offenders and other sexual offenders
v) The number of violent and other sexual offenders (as defined by Section 68 (3), (4) and (5) of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)) living in your Area between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004 125

3.

Category 3: Other offenders
vi) The number of ‘other offenders’ (as defined by Section 67 (2)(b) of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000)) between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004. The number of Restraining Orders imposed on any MAPPA offenders by the courts in your Area between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004. 5

vii)

-

4.

MAPPP cases
(viii) Identify how many MAPPA offenders in each of the three Categories (i.e. (i)- RSOs, (v)V&O and (vi)- OO above) have been managed through the MAPPP (level 3) between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004. RSO V&O OO ix) Of the cases managed by the MAPPP (i.e. (viii)) between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004 how many, whilst still in the MAPPP: Were returned to custody for a breach of licence? Were returned to custody for a breach of a restraining order or sex offender order? Were charged with a serious sexual or violent offence? a) b) c) 3 1 10 -

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What is a Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP)? It consists of a team of professionals such as Police, Probation and the Prison Service and includes other agencies from Social Care Services, Health and Housing. Other agencies attend when necessary. It considers cases that are referred and makes assessments of risk. If the risk is high the offender is registered and a management plan devised to reduce the risk to the public. Why does the number of Registered Sex Offenders increase each year? When a person is convicted of certain sex offences he or she is required to register with the Police. This means that person has to notify any changes as to where they live. The registration is always for a number of years (normally a minimum of five years) and as a result the numbers can be expected to grow each year. What is a Sex Offender Order? This is an order to stop a sex offender behaving in a certain way. For example, if a sex offender was felt to be trying to start an inappropriate relationship with a younger person, an application could be made to stop this happening. If the order is given the offender must comply, otherwise he or she commits an offence and could go to prison. The number of violent offenders looks high – Are these all cases that come under Public Protection Panels? No, all cases are assessed as to the level of risk that an individual poses. A person convicted of a serious offence would not necessarily come under these arrangements if they showed clear evidence of reforming, and equally a person convicted of a lesser offence, who receives a comparatively lighter sentence, might come into the system if their risk to the public is assessed as high. What about victims? The needs of the victims are taken into account in the discussions on Public Protection. Where an offender receives 12 months or more for sexual or violent offences the victim must be contacted and consulted about the offender’s release plan. The consultation could impact on the licence conditions and other aspects of the offender’s resettlement. Any significant dates, such as release dates, are notified to victims. Why can’t we be told about Registered Sex Offenders who live in our neighbourhood? In certain circumstances, the community or individuals could be told, if the risk was very high and it was appropriate to do so. However, the preferred way is to manage the offender in the community with agencies such as Police and Probation Services. There is a risk that disclosing details and addresses could cause problems with the management of the offender who might go “underground” for fear of their safety. Does the system of Public Protection work? We believe it does, but it is not infallible (and can never be). It is a system of identifying and managing risk through regular meetings attended by key professionals who make decisions based on valid and reliable risk assessments and their knowledge and expertise. If a person, who is being managed by the Public Protection Panels, commits a serious offence there is always a review to look at what happened and whether any lessons can be learned for the future. There is no room for complacency, but last year in Suffolk, not one offender registered by a Public Protection Panel (MAPPP) committed a serious offence.

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CONTACTS
Suffolk Constabulary Detective Chief Inspector (Operations) Crime Management Department Suffolk Probation Area Assistant Chief Officer (Public Protection) Address Force Headquarters Martlesham Heath Ipswich IP5 3QS Address Foundation House 34 Foundation Street Ipswich IP4 1SP Address HMP Edmunds Hill Stradishall Newmarket CB8 9YN Address Endeavour House 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX Address Mid-Suffolk District Council Council Offices 131 High Street Needham Market Ipswich IP6 8DL Address 87 Ipswich St Stowmarket IP14 1BB Address Tel No (01473) 613806

Tel No (01473) 408130

HM Prison Service Governor

Tel No (01440) 823105

Suffolk Social Care Services Head of Safeguarding Children Children and Families Suffolk Housing Officers Group SHOG c/o Head of Housing Mid-Suffolk District Council

Tel No (01473) 583000

Tel No (01449) 720711

Local Health Partnerships/NHS Trust Locality Director Central and Coastal

Tel No (01449) 774977

Suffolk Youth Offending Service Locality Manager

Tel No

W Suffolk Youth Offending Service (01284) 352378 St Margarets 7 The Churchyard Bury St Edmunds IP33 1RZ Tel No 29 Elm Street, Ipswich IP1 2AB (01473) 231964

Suffolk Victim Support Area Manager

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Further Information
Further information is available on the National Association of Victim Support website: www.victimsupport.com

National Helpline
The national helpline for victims provides a service at local call rates on: This is available: Mondays to Fridays Weekends Bank Holidays

Tel No 0845 30 30 900 9.00am to 9.00pm 9.00am to 7.00pm 9.00am to 5.00pm

For further information contact: Police and Probation – Telephone numbers can be found in the Contact section of this report and in local telephone directories Home Office Customer Services 0870 000 1585

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