MAPPA Annual Report 2002

1. Introduction
Local arrangements in Wiltshire began in response to the Sex Offenders Act 1997 when the police and probation services set up joint arrangements for the assessment and management of registered sex offenders and other offenders and persons assessed as potentially posing significant harm to the public. These procedures have now been in operation for nearly five years and, in recognition that better public protection can only be achieved through collaborative arrangements, the Police and Probation Service have secured the commitment and active involvement of all relevant statutory agencies and a number of voluntary organisations whose responsibilities can contribute substantially towards effective public protection.

2. Summary of Roles and Responsibilities
Over the past year there has been considerable activity by signatory agencies both to consolidate and extend the local arrangements made for public protection, in line with guidance issued by the Secretary of State. This included a conference aimed at addressing the various issues involved in inter-agency assessment and management of sex and violent offenders and other individuals who pose a significant risk of harm. The conference was attended by over 130 delegates representing a wide spectrum of statutory and voluntary organisations and bodies, including delegates from the Local Area Child Protection Committee, Vulnerable Persons Committee and Safer Communities Strategic Board. The new arrangements are due to come into operation on the 3 June 2002. Those involved so far are: Wiltshire Constabulary Swindon Social Services The Constabulary has worked with partner agencies on a formal basis for a number of years with the primary objective of “Keeping Wiltshire Safe”. The responsibility of the Constabulary includes working with partner agencies and voluntary groups to produce sound working practices which aim to minimise the risk posed to the public from Sex and Dangerous Offenders. In conjunction with other departments around the Force area the Constabulary conducts and manages the registration of offenders, risk assessments, and the administrative processes which suround the information sharing procedures between organisations. In the course of this work we explore opportunities to link in with other procedures which deal in areas such as Child Protection and Vulnerability to minimise the risk of harm. Finally, the overriding responsibility is to Swindon Social Services has a wide range of statutory responsibilities, including the provision of services, which sustains and contributes to the quality of life for individuals and the communities across the Borough. The duties and responsibilities of Social Services include providing services to vulnerable people whether they be children in need, older people, disabled people or those with mental health needs. All services promote safety and welfare, which balances the needs and wishes of individuals with the safety of the wider community. Swindon now has a Vulnerable Persons Committee (VPC), which has replaced the ACPC (Area Child Protection Committee) and involves all agencies working together to protect children and vulnerable enforce the legislation and to prevent crime throughout the Force area. Wiltshire Probation Area Wiltshire Probation Area is one of 42 which make up the National Probation Service. It is a law enforcement agency delivering and enforcing community punishments, supervising and working with offenders within the terms set by the Court or Parole Board in ways that help offenders to reduce their offending and better protect the public and working with victims. In recognition that better protection can only be achieved through collaborative arrangements the Probation Service is committed to working closely with colleagues from other criminal justice agencies and statutory agencies and a wide range of independent and voluntary sector partners. adults from significant harm and abuse and to prevent such incidences of abuse occurring. All relevant member agencies have signed up to supporting the aims and objectives of the VPC and have given the commitment to working together to tackle the incidence of domestic violence and the management of risk and the protection of the public. Wiltshire County Council – Social Services Department The duties and responsibilities of the Social Services include services to vulnerable groups, both adults and children. This includes services to children in need including those who are in need of protection and their families, older people, disabled people, and those with mental health needs and wishes of individuals with the safety of the wider community. In conjunction with the Department’s role in working with other agencies through the Area Child Protection Committee there is a commitment to work toegether with other agencies in the management of risk and for the protection of the public. North Wiltshire District Council North Wiltshire District Council is committed to an inter agency approach in all aspects of its work. Within the area of housing, officers work in close contact with Social Services, Probation and Housing Providers to ensure a holistic approach is taken in respect of meeting the housing and support needs of high-risk offenders and other vulnerable persons. Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership N.H.S. Trust (Wiltshire Part) The Wiltshire part of the Partnership Trust is an integrated mental health and social care provider which was

established in April 2001, bringing together three health trusts and two social services departments. The Trust provides a full range of mental health services, with risk assessment and management being an integral part of work with service users. Both Social Services and Mental Health workers have been working closely with criminal justice agencies over recent years and have been fully involved in the development of the MAPPP processes. Wiltshire Youth Offending Team Established in May 1999, Wiltshire Youth Offending Team is a multiagency partnership that provides and co-ordinates services to victims and to young offenders and their families, with the overall aim of preventing offending and reoffending by children and young

people. Through comprehensive assessment and intervention they seek to enhance protective factors and tackle those factors associated with increased risk. The YOT is founded on the principle of multiagency co-operation as the best way to achieve outcomes for young people and communities. Swindon Youth Offending Team Swindon Youth Offending Team was formed, in partnership with the Police, National Probation Service, Social Services, Health and Education Departments, in 1999 to prevent offending and re-offending by young people. The assessment of each young person using the Asset structured assessment tool, includes an assessment of risk. Young people who are assessed as ‘high risk’ are

managed in accordance with the RAMP/MAPPP protocol. HMP Erlestoke HMP Erlestoke is a category ‘C’ adult male prison with a current prisoner population of 330. However, due to the increase nationally of the prison population, Erlestoke is likely to expand to accommodate approximately 100 further prisoners. We work closely with other agencies in order to reduce the risk of further offending, both whilst the prisoner is in custody and also on release. We work with other agencies on MAPPP, and are fully committed to the ethos of multi-agency working and intend to participate with our partners in protecting the public, both adults and children.

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3. Outline of Arrangements Made
There is an integrated system of mechanisms and structures within Swindon and Wiltshire aimed at assessing the risks posed by potentially dangerous offenders, which involves all relevant agencies sharing information and working closely together in order to protect the public whenever this appears to be necessary. This is facilitated via a joint protocol which sets out the agreed arrangements that agencies are required to sign and adhere to. All registered sex offenders are initially assessed by the Police Force Intelligence Bureau using the Matrix 2000 assessment tool. This process involves visiting offenders at their homes and liaison with other professionals, such as Probation Officers and Social Workers. Following this process, those offenders who are assessed as posing the highest and most imminent risk of harm to others are referred to a Multi Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP), which are organised on a case by case basis. At the MAPPP cases are considered by representatives from signatory agencies and any other statutory or voluntary agency who has a contribution to make towards the risk of harm assessment and management of the offender. As well as their respective experience and expertise, each Panel Member has the authority to make an initial commitment of resources to a risk management plan aimed at reducing, containing or managing the risks posed by subjects considered by the Panel. In respect of other offenders (in particular violent offenders) and any other person deemed by a signatory agency to pose a significant risk of harm (including individuals with mental health issues) the protocol allows for the referral to a MAPPP. In order to ensure consistency and objectivity, all MAPPP meetings adopt a standard agenda. MAPPP meetings usually take between an

hour and an hour and-a-half to consider each case. MAPPP meetings consider the assessments and information provided by the practitioners who are involved in the case as well as any background information which may be held by other agencies who do not have a current involvement, insofar, as this may be relevant. The Panel agrees a risk assessment which clearly sets out the risk profile and factors involved in the case, including the particular circumstances where the individual poses the greatest risk. A formal risk management plan is then agreed designed to manage and reduce the risk factors. A typical risk

management plan might some or all of the following:

include

- Disclosure to specific individuals or groups. MAPPP meetings are minuted in order to record exactly what information was considered and therefore, on what basis decisions were made. MAPPP minutes are considered highly confidential documents and are only shared with parties not attending MAPPP meetings where this is necessary in order to protect the public. MAPPP cases are regularly reviewed in order to assess progress in implementing the agreed risk management plan and to take account of changed circumstances.

- Various degress of police surveillance. - Reporting schedules. - Specific licence or Community Rehabilitation Order conditions for instance: stipulating where and offender must live; exclusion from specific geographical ares or premises; electronic tagging; imposition of a curfew; not to approach or have contact with named individuals or groups. - Requirements to undergo various forms of treatment including offending behaviour programmes and psychiatric treatment. - Measures to secure appropriate housing.

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4. Strategic Management Arrangements
A committee comprising of senior managers from the signatory agencies has responsibility for developing and overseeing the workings of the protocol. Over the past year the membership of the committee has expanded to include representatives from the local Youth Offending Teams and Erlestoke prison. Further expansion of the committee is being considered. Over the past year the primary focus of the Strategic group has been to extend the current arrangements for public protection, in line with guidance issued by the Secretary of State. The new procedures are due to come into operation on the 3 June 2002. The new arrangements provide for the registration, risk of harm assessment and review of all sex offenders, and any violent offenders who serve sentences of 12 months or more. All such offenders are released under the supervision of the Probation Service and the risks posed by such offenders are assessed using the new National Probation Service Offender Assessment System (OASys). Persons subject to hospital or guardianship orders under the Mental Health Act 1983 are also covered by the arrangements. A joint risk assessment will be undertaken by a panel meeting fortnightly at police HQ, with representatives from the police and probation service and any other agency deemed appropriate in a particular case. The Risk Assessment and Management Panel (RAMP) is responsible for agreeing the level and nature of risk posed in each case and based on this assessment deciding on one of the following options: - No action – revew date set. - Single agency action – review date set. - Further assessment required (i.e. home visit) – new date set. - Referral to Multi –Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP). - De-registration. MAPPP meetings will be scheduled to operate in three locations in the county, each meeting once a fortnight, in either police or probation service premises. In addition to the police and probation service, the standing membership will include Health purchasers and providers, Social Services and Local Authority Housing. Other interested parties will be invited on a case by case basis. Chairing will always be the

responsibility of a middle to senior manager from either the police or probation service. As is currently the case, conduct of the meetings will be guided by a formal agenda and written minutes produced which clearly outline the risk management

plan, responsibilities, timescales and the review process. Cases which pose an immediate and serious threat can be fast tracked directly from the registration stage to the MAPPP.

An additional adminstrative post has been created to assist in the registration process, jointly funded by the police and probation service and paid for out of existing budgets.

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5. Disclosure
Disclosure to third parties of personal information about individual offenders in Wiltshire are seen as exceptions to the general policy of confidentiality and each decision on whether or not to disclose has to be justified on the basis of the likelihood of harm. Disclosure is seen as part of an overall plan for managing the risk posed by a potential offender and their need to protect an individual, group or other vulnerable person. Within Wiltshire Constabulary the authority for disclosure lies with the Assistant Chief Contable, who has to consider whether disclosure is necessary, justified, proportionate and in accordance with the law to protect individual members or a section of the public. Disclosure is a key issue in MAPPP meetings. The following are examples of instances of disclosure which occurred over the past year to: - the rector of a church being attended by a child sex offender. - the partner of a serious violent offender whose offences were committed within a domestic violent context. - family members and acquaintances of a volatile and unpredictable violent offender against whom he had made credible threats. - the headmaster of a local school which it was judged might be targetted by a child sex offender.

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6. Victims Work
Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 places a statutory duty upon the National Probation Service, Wiltshire to contact victims and ask if they wish to be consulted about the release arrangements for violent and sexual offenders sentenced to 12 months custody or more. Trained specialist Victim Liaison Officers undertake victim contact work within the Wiltshire Area. Victim’s addresses are provided by the police. Within the requirements of the Act, a central principle in Wiltshire Probation Area’s work with victims is to be sensitive, responsive and flexible to a victim’s desire to have contact (or not) and the nature and means of facilitating that contact. As a first step, Victim Support is contracted to establish whether or not they have had any previous, or ongoing contact with the victim. If this is the case, a Standard Initial Contact Letter (offering a specific appointment) is forwarded on to the victim by Victim Support. The preferred model for contact with victims is joint working between Probation Service and Victim Support staff. This model is supported by a Partnership contract between Victim Support Wiltshire and Wiltshire Probation Area. Contact may be by way of a home visit, office visit or other agreed venue and will be largely informed by any knowledge or insights gained from other agencies contact with the victim and through telephone contact confirming the appointment.

Victims are entitled to be kept informed of the offender’s release arrangements, the month and general location, and details of any licence conditions that restrict the offenders movements in ways which could impact on them. Where a victim is assessed as being at risk of harm from the offender, their needs are addressed through the jointly agreed risk management plan .

Victim Support is the national charity for people affected by crime. It is an independent organisation, offering a free and confidential service, whether or not a crime has been reported. Trained staff and volunteers at local branches offer information and support to victims, witnesses, their families and friends. Victim Support provides the Witness Service, based in every criminal

court in England and Wales, to offer assistance before, during and after a trial. You can also call the Victim Support line – 0845 30 30 900 – for information and support and details of local services and other relevant organisations. The contact number for the local victim support services is provided in the contact section at the conclusion of this report.

7. Statistical Information
i. The number of Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) in the community on 31 March 2002 (s68 (2) CJ & CS Act 2000) The number of RSOs per 100,000 population

Number of Offenders
185 30

ii. The number of SOs cautioned/convicted for breaches of registration requirement 1 April 2001-31 March 2002

5

iii. The number of Sex Offenders Orders 1 April 2001-31 March 2002

(a) total applied for

1

(b) granted

1

(c) not granted

0

(d) applications still in progress

0

iv. The number of violent offenders and other sex offenders 1 April 200131 March 2002 (s68 (3)(4)&(5) CJ & CS Act 2000) The number of other offenders 1 April 2001-31 March 2002 (s67 (2)(b) CJ & CS Act 2000)

200 5

v. Set up costs of the new arrangements

Set up costs Conference Staff time Ongoing costs Staff Admin

COST £1,000 £7,000

£13,000 £36,000

Total

£57,000

Contacts
Wiltshire Probation Area Assistant Chief Officer Address Rothermere Bythesea Road TROWBRIDGE Wiltshire BA14 8JQ Phone 01225 781950

Wiltshire Police Detective Inspector: Force Intelligence Bureau

Address Wiltshire Constabulary London Road DEVIZES Wiltshire SN10 2DN

Phone 01380 722341

Victim Support Area Manager

Address Victim Support Wiltshire 31a The Brittox DEVIZES Wiltshire SN10 1AJ

Phone 01380 729476