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CONTENTS

Item Page

Foreword 2

Introduction 3

Summary of roles and responsibilities 3

Outline of the arrangements made 4

Strategic Management Arrangements 6

Disclosure 7

Victims Work 8

Statistical information 9

Appendix A 11

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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.

1.2 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.

1.3 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.

1.4 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.

1.5 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.

1.6 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.

2. 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’

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.

2.3 Each agency has an identified relevant contribution to make to the joint
management of high risk offenders.

2.4 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.

3. 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:

♦ Police
♦ Probation Service
♦ Prison Service
♦ Social Services Departments
♦ Youth Offending Services

3.2 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.

3.6. 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
coming into force 1st October 2000 and provided the catalyst for achieving
commonality of standards across the West Mercia area.

3.7. 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 to


demonstrate that the work is subject to monitoring and evaluation’

4.1 The combined Mentally Disordered Offenders and Potentially Dangerous


Offenders Steering Group has oversight of local arrangements for Multi-
Agency 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.

4.2 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.

4.3 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

4.4 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.

4.5 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.

4.6 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.

4.7 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.

4.9 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.

5. DISCLOSURE

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

5.1 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.

d) 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.

5.2 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.

6. 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’.

6.1 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.

6.2 This may result in specific conditions being placed upon the offender,
following release from prison, in order to protect and support their victims.

6.3 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.

6.5 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.

7. STATISTICAL INFORMATION

The following items of statistical information along with a brief


explanation of their significance.

i. The number of registered sex offenders on 31st March each year

7.1 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.

7.2 The number of S0s cautioned or convicted for breaches of registratiion


requirement 01/04/01 – 31/03/02 is 12

7.3 The number of Sex Offender Orders 01/04/01 – 31/03/02 is 6. Currently there
are no additional Orders in progress.

7.4 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

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

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7.6 v 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.

7.8. 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)

PDO RISK
Referral made if STRATEGY MEETING
CP Procedures only if concerns re offender
Specific child
Victim(s). Convened by Police.
SSD chairs m eetings referral made if any Attended by Police (+ CP
and procedures are concerns raised about Unit), Probation, SSD and any
followed in a child protection other relevant agency
accordance with issue
Existing guidelines

relevant
Information
passed to Meets routinely each month
regular meeting with additional meetings when
to incorporate in required (e.g. if an offender
review process moves into an area)

Purpose:
∗ to assess risk of offenders Convened urgently in
due for release from between regular
custody/sentence by meetings if the need
courts arises
∗ to review all cases in area
for whom there is a
Police/Probation statutory
responsibility or potential
victims are adults/non-
specific child

High Risk Medium Risk Low Risk

Refer to Police/ Develop local Visit to confirm


Probation strategy and address/
Managers with routinely review registration and
recommended routinely review
plan/strategy (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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