CONTENTS Item Page

Foreword Introduction Summary of roles and responsibilities Outline of the arrangements made Strategic Management Arrangements Disclosure Victims Work Statistical information Appendix A

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POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS OFFENDERS AND MENTALLY DISORDERED OFFENDERS STEERING GROUP - ANNUAL REPORT 2001/2002 FOREWORD The introduction of the Criminal Justice & Courts Services Act 2000 places a requirement upon the Police and Probation Services to provide an Annual Report expressing existing arrangements that manage Potentially Dangerous Offenders, which include Registered Sex Offenders. Responsibility for the management of Potentially Dangerous Offenders in the community provides real challenges for all agencies concerned and improvements in outcomes can only be achieved by close collaboration between professionals and agencies exchanging information. Contributions from Health, Prison, Social and Youth Offending Services are paramount to successful management, together with the development process to include representation from Mental Health, Housing and Education Departments. Through joint inter-agency working it is intended to provide a valuable foundation of policy for those that have this responsibility. This is the first Annual Report provided by West Mercia, during which all agencies involved have displayed a commitment to working together to the benefit of the community we serve.

Chair of PDO and MDO Steering Group

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1.

INTRODUCTION ‘The annual report should be a clear and accessible document that informs and reassures the public about the work taking place for their protection’

1.1

This is the first Annual Report provided by the West Mercia Potentially Dangerous Offenders and Mentally Disordered Offenders Steering Group. This is in response to the requirement placed on the Police and Probation Service by the Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000, to report upon the arrangements that exist to manage Potentially Dangerous Offenders, which include Registered Sex Offenders. Local arrangements for joint assessment of high risk offenders were first developed within West Mercia during 1998. We have built on those arrangements in the past years in response to the introduction of Criminal Justice & Court Services Act 2000 and now have multi-agency protocols established, including Police, Probation, Social Services, Prisons and Youth Offending Teams. These arrangements are overseen by a joint executive Steering Group which, in addition, has representation from Health, with plans to extend to Education and Housing. To report on these arrangements is a new requirement and this report observes the advice provided by the Dangerous Offender Unit, Prison Service Directorate, Home Office. The management of Potentially Dangerous Offenders in the community provides very real challenges for all of the agencies concerned and this has never been more so than in the light of recent tragedies and an increased public appetite for more information of dangerous people and, in particular, of sex offenders residing in their communities. Whilst it is impossible to remove risk completely, we are confident that the structures and processes we have put in place ensure that a high degree of protection and risk management is provided to our communities. We intend to revisit during the year ahead a review and audit that was undertaken two years ago. This is timely following the recent introduction of the Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000 and recent amendments to the Sex Offenders Act 1997. SUMMARY OF ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES ‘A summary of the roles and responsibilities of police, probation and any other agency locally involved in the arrangements. This must include the results of efforts made to engage other agencies like Social Services, Health and Local Authority Housing’

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2.1

The last year has seen the former West Mercia Potentially Dangerous Offenders Steering Group joined by the former West Mercia Mentally Disordered Offenders Steering Group, creating one forum. This merger anticipates the outcome of the ongoing review of the Mental Health Act currently anticipated to be introduced in 2004 with the likely creation of

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Dangerous Severely Personality Disordered Persons (DSPDPs). Our new partners from health have been enthusiastic in becoming integrated into our existing structure and processes yet, much work remains to be done to see that integration consolidation and a greater awareness is instilled in key and relevant staff of health service providers within the West Mercia area. We are confident that that will be achieved during the year 2002/2003. 2.2 In terms of current roles and responsibilities, Police currently chair the Steering Group and provide the administrator, but arrangements vary at local Multi Agency Public Protection Panels, as does responsibility for recording information etc. We are also aware that, despite a high commitment to attendance at MAPPS by Police, Probation and Social Services Departments, with increasing inclusion of Youth Offending Teams, the level and consistency of that representation appears to be more disparate than formerly. This will be subject to investigation in the planned review. Each agency has an identified relevant contribution to make to the joint management of high risk offenders. Police introduce intelligence and evidence, Probation and Youth Offending Teams are able to contribute information following supervision of offenders. Social Services Departments create a connection with any child protection issues. Other agencies with special knowledge of individuals are invited to local Multi Agency Public Protection Panel meetings as appropriate, e.g. Housing, Education and Mental Health Providers. OUTLINE OF THE ARRANGEMENTS MADE ‘An outline of the arrangements made for the protection of the public, starting with the day to day work of the agencies involved and moving on through to the more specific arrangements for the highest risk offenders’. 3.1 A number of agencies hold a specific responsibility for public protection and, whilst there are differences in their roles, they are likely to be involved in all or most of the phases of risk management. Known as Level 1 Agencies they are: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 3.2 Police Probation Service Prison Service Social Services Departments Youth Offending Services

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These agencies will frequently be the recipients of information, often partial, that requires that further information is obtained and they are routinely involved in risk assessment. They have an ongoing statutory supervision responsibility in order to protect the public and whilst being centrally concerned with the welfare of victims, have a mandate in respect of offenders and potential offenders.

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3.3

The statutory responsibilities in relation to the management of Potentially Dangerous Offenders are largely contained within: ♦ Human Rights Act 1998 ♦ Sex Offenders Act 1997 ♦ Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000

3.4

The Steering Group identifies and responds to strategic issues, i.e. new legislation, training, reviews and audits. The day to day management of Potentially Dangerous Offenders is undertaken at a territorial level within the West Mercia area, generally drawn along police divisional boundaries, as shown in our schematic structure map (Appendix A). These meetings, now generally known as MAPPPs, continue to be known in some local areas under the historic title of Potentially Dangerous Offenders Risk Strategy Meetings. These meetings are chaired by mutual agreement by either Police or Probation, meeting on a needs basis but usually, at least once a month. It is at this level that PDOs, having previously been risk-assessed using a national risk assessment process in the case of sex offenders, will be considered by the inter-agency group and risk management plans developed and actioned, as considered appropriate on a case by case basis. Young offenders are assessed by an alternative procedure.

3.5

Risk Management Plans are then delivered by operational staff of each agency identified within the action plan. In the case of the Police Service this is by a Detective Constable, PDO Intelligence Officer assigned to each of the six policing Divisions. S/he will monitor the activity required by the Risk Strategy Group is undertaken and delivered. Supervising staff will take responsibility for appropriate actions. These actions may include visits to the PDO, together with other agency professionals, monitoring, surveillance, engagement of other service providers, e.g. Community Mental Health Services etc. A joint agency review of the structure and process of PDO management within the West Mercia area was undertaken by senior police and probation officers in 1999/2000, which supported the revision of the Protocol in June 2000. That review anticipated the requirements of the Human Rights Act st coming into force 1 October 2000 and provided the catalyst for achieving commonality of standards across the West Mercia area. It is intended to revisit that review during 2002/2003 to identify good practice and procedures that may be shared throughout the West Mercia area and, potentially beyond, and to examine observance of the Common Standard introduced in the revised policy. It is anticipated that this review will be undertaken on a joint agency basis to ensure that the views and experience of all are appropriately represented and understood, and that ownership of the outcome is assured.

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4.

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS ‘A description of the strategic management arrangements demonstrate that the work is subject to monitoring and evaluation’ to

4.1

The combined Mentally Disordered Offenders and Potentially Dangerous Offenders Steering Group has oversight of local arrangements for MultiAgency Public Protection Panels. In recognition that more consistent and regular monitoring is needed, we are looking to the feasibility of appointing a multi-agency funding co-ordinator who will report to the Steering Group on arrangements within local units and collate relevant data. The above agencies are signatories to a “Multi-agency Protocol for the Management of Potentially Dangerous Offenders and the Sharing of Information”. This was revised in June 2000 with the introduction of a Common Standard to ensure common structure, process and system throughout the six policing districts of the West Mercia area. Many other agencies have public protection as an important part of their work without it being as specific a responsibility as in the case of the Level 1 Agencies detailed above. These other agencies are commonly referred to as Level 2 Agencies and they include: • • • • Housing Departments and Housing Associations Health Providers Education Departments, Schools and Colleges Leisure and Sports Departments

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This list is not exhaustive but does identify the key agencies who can frequently contribute to the management of PDO’s in our communities. As these agencies often have information or concerns about PDO’s and/or their victims. They often have to deal with the concerns of service users about PDO’s and, specifically sex offenders, whilst treating information from the Level 1 Agencies on a confidential basis with a variety of remedies to deal with potential dangerousness from very few powers to the power of eviction. As part of the comprehensive risk management plan these agencies can and frequently do play a valuable part. Conversely, an agency that breaches a Risk Management Plan, or acts unilaterally and or precipitately can undermine the work of the public protection agencies. Training In 2000 the former PDO Steering Group commissioned a training package that could be employed in each of the Level 1 agencies in briefing and advising all relevant staff of the way in which PDO’s are risk assessed and managed, and the contribution that individual staff could make to the process. The terms of reference given by the PDO Steering Group to the Training Sub Group was to create a flexible, easy to use and adaptable package that was of a ‘briefing’ format.

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In autumn 2000, that training package was delivered to each of the Level 1 Agencies to be delivered to identified trainers and, thereafter, cascading to all

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relevant staff. The training package was developed and distributed on a floppy disk with training support material that could be adapted for the training cultures and needs of each of the agencies represented within the Steering Group. 4.8 It was understood that this training had to take its place within other key agency training priorities, frequently of a legislative and organisational nature and that it would be delivered over the course of the following year. It is fair to say that this training has not been delivered as fully as was intended and hoped for by the PDO Steering Group but work is underway to recover this situation and to deliver that training to key and operational staff as soon as possible. The package is also intended to be used to brief Level 2 Agencies to promote the work of the Steering Group and its supporting structures and to provide reassurance and awareness of how the process may be accessed and contributed to by those other agencies.

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DISCLOSURE ‘A description of the way that disclosure has been used to assist public protection, including any relevant examples’

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The public do not have a right to notification of all those in the community who have committed serious offences, or who may do so. Any limited disclosure in special circumstances by the Police will be confined to that that is necessary to protect specific members of the public from an imminent and specific threat of serious harm. There have been examples when this has taken place within the West Mercia area and some examples are quoted below: a) An adult male sex offender with a requirement to register his details with the police became a cause for concern at a management of risk meeting when information provided by the housing authority indicated that he may be in the process of grooming a mother with a young child. A visit by the police also gave cause for concern. The man was placed under surveillance and was seen to visit a house where a very young child was present. Together with Social Services a disclosure was made to the parents and the offender no longer visits the house. b) An adult male sex offender against whom a sex offending order had been made preventing him from associating with, or befriending, males under 16 years came to the notice of police as he was frequenting a public house where a 7 year old male child was staying with his father. Other intelligence indicated that the sex offender was befriending the child and playing football with him in a courtyard area of the public house. Together with Social Services, the father of the child was advised of the serious nature of the subject’s offending history. Consequently, the child was given added protection by his father and the subject was barred from the public house (statements have been taken and it is anticipated the subject will be arrested and dealt with through the Courts.)

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c)

In April 2001 a sex offender order was granted against a man who was prohibited from any contact whatsoever, either at his home address or in public, with persons under the age of 18 years. It was agreed to disclose the case to the local press. Subsequently, a full report outlined the prohibitions and a photograph of the man was printed. This disclosure resulted in valuable information being supplied to the police by neighbours, schools and public at large concerning continuing breaches of the sex offender order by the man. Disclosure to a hospital took place following the circulation of a high risk offender who had 21 convictions for sexual assault on female authority figures, i.e. female police officers, medical staff etc. The offender’s modus operandi included presenting himself to hospitals with false complaints of illness and injury which caused him to be physically examined. Sharing the information with hospitals in the area reduced the opportunity for further assaults to occur.

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In every case disclosure is cons idered very carefully by the signatories to the multi-agency Protocol and in accordance with the Common Standard contained within that Protocol that governs confidentiality and disclosure. VICTIMS WORK ‘An outline of the work being done to ensure that victims are informed about the progress of the offender as outlined in Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act’.

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Section 69 of Criminal Justice Court Services Act 2000 placed a responsibility upon the Probation Service to make contact with the victims of serious sexual or violent offences where the offender was sentenced to 12 months or more in custody. The purpose of this contact is to provide victims with information on the sentencing process and the progress of the prisoner through that sentence, in addition to giving them an opportunity to express any views or concerns about the release of that prisoner into the community. This may result in specific conditions being placed upon the offender, following release from prison, in order to protect and support their victims. Such issues are frequently discussed, either at Risk Strategy meetings or in day to day contacts between the operational staff of the relevant agencies. In West Mercia Probation Service Victims’ Officers have been appointed to undertake this role. Within the West Mercia area, there are three full time victim contact officers, based at Telford, Kidderminster and Worcester, in addition to a part time administrator based at Worcester. These three specialist staff do not work directly with offenders but work closely with supervising officers, prisons, the Parole Board and other local agencies, in order to ensure victims views and concerns are expressed in relation to conditions of release from custody. Referrals are received, in the main, from our local Crown Courts and other Area Victim Contact Units. The administrator will initiate the relevant victim tracing procedures and then allocate the case to the appropriate Victim Contact Officer. Local protocols are currently being agreed with the Police in order to ensure processes to provide victim staff with timely victim information are in place. There are also strong links with Victim Support Services.

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6.4

Following amalgamation and restructuring, the victim provision as it now exists across West Mercia, is relatively newly created and consists of a small but committed team, able to focus upon victim issues, whilst closely linked to other aspects of service delivery. This model enables victim staff to make a strong contribution to risk management via liaison with colleague Probation staff, and by the inclusion of the Victim Contact Officer in individual offender multi-agency conferences. Future activity will include raising awareness of victim issues more widely across the service through training events and other forums. 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. A Victim Supportline is available (0845 3030900) for information and support and details of local services and other relevant organisations.

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7. STATISTICAL INFORMATION The following items of statistical information along with a brief explanation of their significance. i. 7.1 The number of registered sex offenders on 31st March each year

The total number of identified sex offenders required to register, resident within West Mercia as of 31st March 2002, is 407. The number of RSOs per 100,000 population is 35. ii. The number of sex offenders having a registration requirement who were either cautioned or convicted for breaches of the requirement, between 1st April and 31s t March.

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The number of S0s cautioned or convicted for breaches of registratiion requirement 01/04/01 – 31/03/02 is 12 The number of Sex Offender Orders 01/04/01 – 31/03/02 is 6. Currently there are no additional Orders in progress. The number of violent offenders and other sex offenders is 388. The number of other offenders is 0. iii. The number of Sex Offender Orders applied for and gained between 1st April and 31 st March

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Six Sex Offender Orders have been sought and gained. Currently there are no additional orders in progress.

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7.6

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The cost of the local arrangements, to include initial set up costs and staff hours.

The introduction of the Sex Offender Act 1997 and the arrangements that the Level 1 agencies within West Mercia came to, as consolidated within the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, has created a tremendous impact on agency resources in managing potentially dangerous offenders in our communities. It is difficult to accurately assess the complete cost of this work to the Police and Probation Services and their partner agencies as much day to day activity can fall upon roles other than those dedicated to managing risk. For example, on a day to day basis within the Police service, operational detective officers and Beat Managers will be making their own contribution to risk management plans in visiting PDO/RSOs, monitoring their behaviour, submitting intelligence reports or indeed whole teams undertaking surveillance. 7.7. Currently an issue for decision is the proposed appointment of a co-ordinator, the position (whether full or part time) could incur an extra expenditure within the region of £24k. It is encouraging to note that all agencies have displayed an enthusiastic will to work together and to understand respective roles for the benefit of the public we serve.

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APPENDIX A

The Process of Managing Potentially Dangerous Offenders in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire.
(Police policy including those subject to the Sex Offender Act 1997) and its fit with Child Protection Procedures and risk management processes (sharing of information protocol)

CP Procedures only if Specific child Victim(s). SSD chairs m eetings and procedures are followed in accordance with Existing guidelines

Referral made if concerns re offender

PDO RISK STRATEGY MEETING

referral made if any concerns raised about a child protection issue

Convened by Police. Attended by Police (+ CP Unit), Probation, SSD and any other relevant agency

relevant Information passed to regular meeting to incorporate in review process

Meets routinely each month with additional meetings when required (e.g. if an offender moves into an area)

Purpose: ∗ to assess risk of offenders due for release from custody/sentence by courts ∗ to review all cases in area for whom there is a Police/Probation statutory responsibility or potential victims are adults/nonspecific child

Convened urgently in between regular meetings if the need arises

High Risk

Medium Risk

Low Risk

Refer to Police/ Probation Managers with recommended plan/strategy

Develop local strategy and routinely review

Visit to confirm address/ registration and routinely review (at least annually)

PDO Risk Management Meeting Meetings of Practitioners to develop, integrate and implement action planning and activity, reporting to PDO Risk Strategy Meeting as considered appropriate by local arrangement.

UNDERPINNING PRINCIPLES TO SAFELY SHARE INFORMATION THAT HAVE BEEN AGREED BETWEEN ALL RELEVANT STATUTORY AGENCIES IN HEREFORDSHIRE, SHROPSHIRE, TELFORD & WREKIN AND WORCESTERSHIRE (MULTI-AGENCY PROTOCOL FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS OFFENDERS AND THE SHARING OF INFORMATION.)

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