Sussex

MAPPA Annual Report 2003-4

1. Introduction Sexual and violent offences are dreadful crimes that affect the lives of victims and their families fear in local communities. Their impact can be profound and long-lasting, leaving victims feeling unsafe even in their own homes. The Government regards tacking sexual and violent crimes as one of its highest priorities. Having set up the MAPPA in 2001 – which provided for the first time a firm statutory basis for the work police and probation jointly undertake to protect the public from sexual and violent offenders – it has in the last year done a great deal to strengthen the MAPPA and the wider public protection framework. Strengthening the MAPPA The national development of the MAPPA has concentrated on preparing to implement the MAPPA provisions of the Criminal Justice Act (2003). These provisions came into force on 5th April 2004 and help strengthen the MAPPA by: (i) (ii) making the Prison Service part of the ‘Responsible Authority’ with police and probation; formalising the involvement of other agencies which can make an important contribution to helping offenders not to reoffend - the Act imposes a ‘Duty to Co-operate’ with the Responsible Authority MAPPA upon:
     

Local authority Housing, Education and Social services Health Service bodies Jobcentre Plus Youth Offending Teams Registered Social Landlords which accommodate MAPPA offenders, and Electronic Monitoring providers

(iii)

The appointment by the Home Secretary of two members of the public (‘Lay Advisers’) in each Area to assist in monitoring the effectiveness of the MAPPA.

Work on the duty to co-operate has been taken forward by two separate and complementary initiatives. First, in many areas the duty to cooperate formalises what has already begun to be established as good practice. The reform of the way in which child protection is organised,

following the public inquiry into the tragic death of Victoria Climbie, will reinforce the importance of effective joint working between different agencies which the MAPPA has itself promoted. The introduction of an element of public scrutiny of this often complex and sensitive area of public protection through the appointment of two Lay Advisers in each Area, has been carefully and successfully trialed and evaluated. As Home Office Minister Paul Goggins said: “Lay Advisers will play a vital role …..We are committed to giving them not only an insight into how this work is carried out but, more importantly, an opportunity to question what is being done and why.” Other legislative measures In addition to this work to strengthen the MAPPA, the Government has also begun to strengthen other statutory provisions, the most significant of which the Sexual Offences Act (2003) and the measures to introduce new sentences for ‘dangerous’ offenders which will keep them in custody until they no longer pose a serious risk to the public. The Sexual Offences Act overhauls the many antiquated sexual offences and plugs loopholes in the law. In updating sexual offences, it strengthens the law on rape and on sex offences against children. It introduces new offences of ‘sexual grooming’ and extends the protection from exploitation in prostitution or pornography to children up to the age of 18. For the first time, it will be an offence to buy sexual services from a child below this age, targeting those who abuse children in this way. The Sexual Offences Act also strengthens the sex offenders register, which has proved a valuable means by which the police can monitor convicted sex offenders within their area, and introduces new civil orders to help prevent further offences from being committed. The focus on Victims In addition to all this work to tackle offenders, the Government has rightly placed much greater emphasis upon meeting the needs of victims. The Victims of sexual offending are identified as a priority group within the National Victims and Witnesses Strategy. This strategy which was published in July 2003, aims to improve support and protection for victims and witnesses by:    reducing the adverse effects of crime on victims and witnesses, and preventing secondary victimisation; encouraging more victims and witnesses to come forward; and by offering more options to victims and witnesses, including alternatives to attendance at court.

These initiatives will help toward another key Government target, that of improving public confidence in the criminal justice system. The Government is underpinning this work in its Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill which is currently going through Parliament. It will create a new independent post of Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses to be a champion/ voice for all victims of crime and a new statutory Victims’ Code of Practice (to be implemented in April 2005) which will build on the existing Victims’ Charter and set out specific responsibilities that each criminal justice service agency and Victim Support must provide to victims. Local developments As chief officers we are committed to developing our local Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements, building on a solid history of interagency co-operation. This report details the way in which agencies working together in Sussex are already reducing the risk of re-offending and protecting the public. Brian Clark Chief Officer Ken Jones Chief Constable

2. Key Achievements Probation and Police have continued to work together with other agencies to manage dangerous people in the community. 2003-4 is the third year of MAPPA operations and those concerned are always looking to learn ways to improve the way we work together to protect the public. The key achievements of MAPPA this year have been:  None of those assessed as the 31 most dangerous people managed by MAPPA were convicted of a further serious sexual or violent offence. Whilst we will not be complacent and can never eliminate the risk of further offending, this does suggest that dangerous people are being safely managed in the community or returned to custody quickly if there are signs that their risk of re-offending is seen to increase.

Police officers and Probation staff have undertaken joint training to improve the way that we assess the risk posed by potentially dangerous people. Sussex has held a seminar for staff from a range of agencies involved in MAPPA which focussed on the growing issue of internet use by offenders both as a means of accessing child pornography and as a means of contacting and “grooming” potential victims. Managers from Probation, the Police, Housing and Health have worked together to review and improve the way in which the multi-agency arrangements operate. This should enable us to be more effective in monitoring whether actions agreed by multiagency meetings have been carried out within the agreed timescale.

3. How the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements operate locally BACKGROUND Sussex has a history of good working relationships between the numerous agencies that are involved in working to protect the public. The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) were launched nationally 3 years ago. Probation and Police are the lead agencies in these arrangements working with a range of others including the Health Service, Social Services, Housing Authorities, Youth Offending Teams and the Prison Service. All these agencies are signatories to a local protocol to ensure co-operation about public protection. Next year, the Prison Service will join Probation and the Police as one of the lead agencies (Responsible Authority), and the other agencies listed above plus some

others - including Local Education Authorities – will have a statutory duty to co-operate. Who does MAPPA cover? MAPPA covers three categories of offenders: Category 1: Registered Sex Offenders These are people required to register with the Police under the terms of the 1997 Sex Offender Act. Because sex offender registration is for a minimum of five years and generally for much longer, this number is likely to rise year on year. This does not mean that the number of sex offenders is increasing, it means that the authorities are aware of - and able to monitor - more sex offenders. This year the figure for registered sex offenders in Sussex rose by 28 to 581,

a rise of just under 5%. (See Section 4: Statistical Information) Category 2: Violent Offenders and those sexual offenders not required to register Most people included under this category are either offenders who receive a sentence of imprisonment of 12 months or more for a violent offence, or for those who have committed sexual offences that either pre-date the requirement to register or are not offences that legally require registration. This category has been brought into line with categories 1 & 3 this year and now excludes those currently serving custodial sentences. This explains the reduction in this figure from 631 last year to 384 this year. (See Section 4: Statistical Information) Category 3: Other offenders who are considered to pose a risk of serious harm to the public This category is always likely to include a relatively small number of people. They may include people who have committed offences abroad and people with mental health problems associated with their offending. Numbers in this category have reduced from 13 to 7, but the numbers are too small to attribute particular significance to this reduction. How does it work? The vast majority of MAPPA cases are identified either by the Police or the Probation Service, though other agencies can identify cases and refer them into MAPPA. It is the responsibility of the “lead agency” to oversee the day-to- day supervision of the case. The functions of MAPPA are:

to ensure that those agencies have an agreed assessment of the level of risk of harm posed by the offender based on this shared information that the last possible plan is put in place to manage that risk.

In Sussex each MAPPA referral is sent to the MAPPA administrator who ensures that it is considered at a multiagency Risk Assessment Meeting (RAM). Cases are then assessed as falling within one of three levels within MAPPA. Level One Cases involve a single agency, often the Probation Service, managing the offender without the further active or significant involvement of other agencies. Level Two Cases are ones where there is active involvement of more than one agency. The plans to manage these cases are regularly reviewed at Risk Assessment meetings. RAMS are convened and chaired monthly by local Police Inspectors or Senior Probation Officers. There are five RAMS in Sussex covering the five Police Divisions: Senlac, East Downs, Brighton & Hove, North Downs and West Downs. Very few MAPPA cases pose very serious risks and the vast majority are safely managed at level one or two. Level Three Cases are those who pose the highest risk of causing serious harm and who pose the most significant management problems. The management of these cases is overseen by the Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs). These panels are chaired by a Police Superintendent or an Assistant Chief Probation Officer. They include senior managers from other relevant agencies so that the necessary resources can be committed to protect the public. MAPPPs also make

to ensure that relevant information about offenders is shared between all agencies involved

decisions about wider disclosure concerning offenders. Last year there were 31 of these “critical few” cases managed through Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel. This is a significant reduction from the 88 dealt with at MAPPPs the previous year. This reflects the growing confidence of those operating the system in assessing which cases really present a serious risk of harm and need the very close attention that Level 3 management demands. Public Protection in action The plans agreed and remained by MAPPPs include the risk posed by offenders. These include:

Multi-agency working to reintroduce an offender into the community

CASE EXAMPLE – Mr R Mr R had killed his mother at a time when he was experiencing drugrelated mental health problems. Family members were willing to offer some support but understandably did not want him living back with them. The MAPPP approved a plan to place him initially in a hostel where his mental health and drug use could be closely monitored. He maintained regular contact with a Community Psychiatric Nurse, and the Probation Service liased closely with the family. He quickly stabilised, started work in the family business and was resettled in independent accommodation after liaison with the local Housing Authority.  Working with victims

Detailed monitoring of behaviour by Police or Probation to identify risky behaviour

CASE EXAMPLE – Mr S Mr S had a very long history of offending against early teenage children. He was considered to be very high risk by the MAPPP. When he was observed talking to teenage children in their parents’ presence, there was concern that he was beginning to return to his pattern of “grooming” potential victims. Following discussion at the MAPPP a condition was inserted into his licence that he should have no contact with children without the prior permission of his supervising Probation Officer. 2 days afterwards he was once again seen talking to children. He was arrested and made subject to a Sex Offender Order. Early action based on clear assessment and monitoring was successful in preventing further offences taking place.

CASE EXAMPLE – Mr H Mr H was serving a prison sentence for a serious assault on his ex-wife. His ex-wife had taken up the offer of meeting with the Probation Service’s victim contact scheme. Through this, a non-contact condition was included in Mr H’s licence, which would involve him being returned immediately to prison if he contacted her. She was also able to provide information, which resulted in a much fuller risk assessment, with the Victim Liaison Officer playing a key role in all the planning meetings. Further linkage was then made with other family members who were also in fear of Mr H, and non-contact conditions were added in their cases too. As a result of this information Mr H’s release plan has been completely revised in a different area and psychiatric assessment both arranged on his release.

Work with housing partners

CASE EXAMPLE – Mr W Mr W was an elderly man who had committed serious sexual offences against children. The victims and their families lived very close to Mr W’s home. As a result of their concerns, and concerns about vigilante action against Mr W, an exclusion zone was included in his licence when he was released from prison. The MAPPP supported this course of action despite its preventing Mr W returning to his own home. Careful negotiation with a local housing association resulted in Mr W, whose health was fragile, being housed in sheltered accommodation. His behaviour has been closely monitored, there have been no signs of risky behaviour and he is selling his house.  Wider disclosure

Reflecting what may become a growing trend the Multi Agency Public Protection Panels authorised wider disclosure, in each case to employees, in three cases of men convicted of downloading child pornography. In each case the working environments were ones where the offenders were likely to have regular contact with children.  Recall to custody

CASE EXAMPLE – Ms T Ms T was released after serving five years for the manslaughter of her infant son. She had two other children in foster care and there was concern that she may attempt to snatch these children. The MAPPP agreed that details should be disclosed to the school and to the foster parents in order for the children to be most effectively protected. Ms T was returned to prison when she failed to comply with the hostel regime where she had been placed on release.

Whilst recall does not resolve the longer-term issues of public protection since the offender will be released again at some point, swift recall to prison of those on licence is a crucial part of the MAPPA toolkit when offenders are failing to adhere to their licence conditions, and can be particularly important in supporting victims. Such action was taken in 16 out of 31 MAPPP cases, demonstrating the firm line taken by agencies in Sussex in prioritising public protection. CASE EXAMPLE – Mr B Mr B served a prison sentence for Sexual Offences against children. His licence on release included conditions not to contact the victims and their families. Close co-operation between the supervising Probation Officer, the Victim Liaison Officer and the Police confirmed that he had breached these conditions and he was swiftly recalled to prison.

4. Statistical Information 1. Category 1 MAPPA offenders: Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) i) The number of RSOs living in your Area on 31st March 2004. ia) The number of RSOs per 100'000 head of population. ii) 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 iii) 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. 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. 2. Category 2: violent offenders and other sexual offenders. v) The number of violent and other sexual offenders living in your Area between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004 3. Category 3: Other offenders vi) The number of ‘other offenders’ between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004. vii) The number of Restraining Orders imposed on any MAPPA offenders by the courts in your Area between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004. 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. 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?

Number of offenders

581 (Calculated by NPD) 10

a) 11 b) 11

a) 0 b) 0

384

7 0

RSO 11 V&O 18 OO 2

a) 16 b) 0 c) 0

Illustration of categories of offenders living in your area between March 31st 2004 (please note the RSOs amount represents the number living on 31/03/04 not between).

Offenders in area March 04

RSOs V&O OO

How many MAPPA offenders in each of the three categories have been managed through the MAPPP between 1st April 2003 and 31st March 2004.

MAPPP Cases managed April 03March 04

RSO V&O OO

5. The Strategic Management Board of MAPPA The MAPPA Strategic Management Board oversees the operation of all MAPPA arrangements in Sussex. It is chaired by Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo and includes senior managers from Police, Probation, Health, Housing, Social Services and the Prison Service. The Strategic Management Board has a case review function. Though no further serious sexual or violent offences were committed this year by offenders managed under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels, reviews were conducted on two “near misses” which may have resulted in serious offences recurring. It is important to learn lessons from such incidents. The Board is keen to conduct more routine case sampling and auditing next year to identify and spread good practice. The Board also agreed a set of Performance Indicators against which to measure the performance of Sussex MAPPA in future. The Board has established a protocol with the three local Area Child Protection Committees to ensure good linkage between these areas of work, and both Police and Probation have common representation on these groups. The Board is currently reviewing its own functioning and structure in the light of the recent legislative changes. We are very keen to proceed with the recruitment of lay advisors to assist us with the review and monitoring functions, and to bring a valuable community perspective to our work. We have also welcomed the Prison Service as a new member of the “Responsible Authority”.

6. CONTACTS NATIONAL PROBATION SERVICE SUSSEX POLICE

Nick Smart Assistant Chief Probation Officer 185 Dyke Road Hove BN3 1TL Tel: 01273 227979 E-mail:

nick.smart@sussex.probation.gsx.gov.uk

Andrew Buchan Detective Superintendent Sussex House Crowhurst Road Brighton BN1 8AF Tel: 0845 6070999 E-mail:
Andrew.Buchan@sussex.pnn.police.uk