Staffordshire

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements Annual Report 2002–3

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Contacts
Staffordshire Probation Area Mr. David Walton Chief Officer david.walton@staffordshire.probation.gsx.gov.uk Address University Court, Staffordshire Technology Park, Beaconside, Stafford. ST18 0GE Phone 01785 223416

Mrs. Muriel Lawrence Assistant Chief Officer muriel.lawrence@staffordshire.probation.gsx.gov.uk

Staffordshire Police Huw Jones M.A. Assistant Chief Constable

Address Police Headquarters, Cannock Road, Stafford. ST17 0QG

Phone 01785 232219

Paul Davey Detective Superintendent

Police Headquarters, Cannock Road, Stafford. ST17 0QG

01785 232535

mappa@staffordshire.pnn.police.uk

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Foreward
This is the second annual report of the Staffordshire Multi Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP). It highlights the safeguards put in place to protect the people of Staffordshire from violent and sexual offenders and describes the processes used to manage those risks. This year the total number of sex offenders living in the county has increased from 320 (in 2001-2002) to 363. This is to be expected. As new offenders join the sex offenders’ register, 90% of those previously registered remain under supervision for statutory periods of five years, ten years or life, dependant upon the severity of their crime and their age at conviction/caution. This remains a tiny percentage of the Staffordshire population. Lower risk offenders make up the bulk of this register – two thirds of those will be registered for ten years or less. These statutory periods mean that fewer offenders leave the register – around 8% per year – while new offenders are registered at a rate of 20%. This increase has been boosted by proactive police campaigns, such as those focused on the purchase of illegal web-based materials. This increasing cumulative total is not a bad thing. It means that MAPPPs, which were established as part of the Court Services and Criminal Justice Act 2000 and boosted by the Sex Offenders Act 1997 under which the register was created, can properly manage those who may pose a risk – however small. MAPPP membership is drawn from various social agencies – the police, probation service, local authorities and health and housing services – to ensure that all community issues are taken into consideration in the management of sexual, violent and other potentially dangerous offenders. Those on the sex offenders’ register have committed offences ranging from possession of indecent photographs to sexual assault. Those within the violent offender category have convictions ranging from causing actual bodily harm to murder. Headline-grabbing sex offences such as attacks by paedophiles or child murders are extremely rare and those perpetrators would represent only a tiny proportion on any register. MAPPPs are all about prevention. Assessing and managing the risk of sex and violent offenders provides a layered approach, from prison release to treatment and supervision. We recognise that these types of offenders can cause great distress and concern to our communities but this co-ordinated multi-agency approach tackles the risk they pose to protect the public.

John Giffard CBE, QPM Chief Constable, Staffordshire Police

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David Walton Chief Officer, Staffordshire Probation Area

1 Area Summary
The origins of the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements
In the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 the Government placed a legal duty on the local Chief Constable and the Probation Board for their area to put in place multi agency arrangements for the protection of the public from violent and sexual offenders who might pose a risk of serious harm. This report is the second since the legislation came into effect and covers the period 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003. Better public protection is achieved by agencies, (particularly police, probation, prisons, social services and youth offending teams) sharing information and working together. Action plans are put in place that will reduce offenders’ risk to the public following sentence by the court and on release from prison. Multi agency arrangements to protect the public had been in operation in Staffordshire for some time prior to 2000. Following the Sex Offenders Act 1997, Staffordshire Police and agencies in Staffordshire came together and established arrangements for the assessment and management of sex offenders. Staffordshire Police established dedicated police officers in each division to manage the registration and supervision of registered sex offenders. Part of this is a pattern of regular visits to the offenders to ensure that they are still living at their registered address and to monitor any factors, which might indicate a risk to individuals or the general public. Legislation requires offenders convicted of certain sexual offences to notify the police of their address within 72 hours for initial registration and 14 days of further changes including changes of address and travel abroad. Staffordshire police has a good record in enforcing registration, 98.62% of those who should register have complied with the requirement and continue to be at their registered address. Seventeen have been pursued and prosecuted for failing to comply. Regular multi agency risk assessment meetings share information to assess the risks presented by an offender and then agree what actions agencies will take to minimise it. Action plans are regularly reviewed to assess how effective the actions have been in reducing the risk. The monitoring of sex offenders might indicate a return to behaviour, which precipitated previous sexual offending e.g. targeting areas where children might be or other vulnerable people and attempting to form inappropriate relationships. Where evidence can be gathered of activities linked to the risk of re-offending the police have been successful in securing sex offender orders in appropriate cases. This order prevents offenders engaging in specified activities like going to swimming pools when children are on the premises or to playgrounds or having unsupervised contact with minors. However, not all sex offenders offend against children and not all sex offender orders will be aimed at protecting potential child victims. Some will be to protect adults. Three offenders in Staffordshire have sex offenders orders placing restrictions on their behaviour. The behaviour of offenders subject to such orders continues to be monitored and offenders who engage in behaviour, which breaches the order, can be immediately arrested. The maximum penalty for a breach of a sex offender order is five years in prison. The police in Staffordshire have prosecuted four breaches (including a repeat) with a custodial sentence resulting in each case. Most of the sexual and violent offenders who might pose a risk of serious harm to the public are under the supervision of the probation service. Staffordshire Probation Area has within its risk management policy clear procedures for assessing the risks presented by every offender for whom it has a statutory responsibility. Probation staff will gather information from other agencies in order to assess the risks that individual offenders present. Once this has taken place, probation staff with colleagues from other agencies and the offender will work together to minimise the risks presented by the individual offender. A good deal has been learned from agencies working together in the last few years. The lessons learned have shaped Staffordshire’s response to public protection. MAPPPs have been in operation in Staffordshire since April 2001. The core membership comprises senior managers from police, probation, social services, and a police officer from the Public Protection Unit [PPU], it also involves those who are working on a day to day basis with the offender. This is discussed further within the “Roles and Responsibilities” section. In Staffordshire we are working towards a three-level system of risk assessment and management with level three being the highest risk of category. Seriousness of risk and the resources needed to manage the risk are the primary factor determining the level at which cases will be discussed.

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2 The Principles Underpinning Public Protection
The protection of the public is the prime concern, which drives these measures. This balances the rights of the victim and the offender. All work under the arrangements is carried out in accordance with the legal requirements and the spirit of the Human Rights Act 1998, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. To balance rights and responsibilities the work carried out under the arrangements will wherever possible attempt to engage an offender in the management of their own risk. Teaching offenders’ ways of managing their own risk will be part of their action plan to reduce their risk to the public and their progress will be monitored by the multi agency panel. Staffordshire Probation Area runs a number of nationally accredited and intensive programmes to tackle the risks presented by high-risk offenders. These programmes can be a condition of a community rehabilitation order or a condition in a release licence following a prison sentence. Following an offender’s assessment, an individual may be placed on specific group work programmes. The enhanced thinking skills programme requires attendance for twenty sessions totalling fifty hours. Offenders participate in a series of exercises using questions, which require them to think about how they react to their feelings, behaviour and relate to other people. They are asked to think about the consequences of their behaviour, learn from past decisions and understand other peoples’ perspectives. The community sex offender group work programme is based on research in USA and the United Kingdom. This has repeatedly demonstrated that imprisonment alone will have little, if any effect on repeat offending. Intensive group work has been shown to lead to a significant reduction in re-offending rates. The programme requires offenders to attend sessions for two years and requires a high level of motivation and commitment from participants. During the programme, offenders must examine their thought processes, attitudes and belief systems, their offending and the impact on victims. It is a demanding programme. Reports on offenders’ progress in the group are shared with the MAPPP and offenders are clearly told as they begin the group that if they fail to comply enforcement action will be taken promptly. This is very likely to result in a custodial sentence. Both these programmes clearly work on changing the way offenders manage their lives and therefore their risk by raising the importance of “internal controls”. This is critical in reducing the level of risk that they present, both during supervision or when they no longer have statutory contact with the probation service. Supervision by the probation and police services combined with programmes to teach control and the prevention of relapse are key to self-control. Often other specialist services are used to achieve a reduction in risk for example a timely intervention by the mental health services or accommodation providers. Self-management will be supported by varying degrees of external control, which might include required residence at a probation hostel, curfew and where appropriate drug testing. Failure to respond to these requirements can often result in return to prison.

3 Roles and Responsibilities
The Chief Constable and Probation Board is deemed to be the “responsible authority” for public protection by establishing arrangements to assess and manage the risk posed by sexual, violent and other dangerous offenders in Staffordshire. An early and significant response to the legal requirements placed on Staffordshire Police and the Probation Board, was the setting up of the jointly staffed PPU, already referred to above. The role of the unit is to co-ordinate the arrangements for the assessment and management of all relevant offenders.

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3 Roles and Responsibilities
The responsible authority must put in place a strategic management board comprising senior managers from relevant agencies. This board has a responsibility to review the effectiveness of local public protection arrangements. This is covered in more detail under a separate section headed “Strategic Management of Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements”. Those agencies with specific roles and responsibilities for MAPPA are:q

(continued)
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In its work with offenders the agency has a responsibility to reduce the risk of reoffending and the risk of serious harm to the public. The most dangerous offenders will be referred to the PPU.
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Staffordshire Police has a duty to protect life and property. Immediate action is taken to deal with people presenting a high risk of causing serious harm to the public. In appropriate cases action will be followed up by a referral to the Public Protection Unit for a multi agency response. Dedicated officers are available throughout the county to manage and monitor sex offenders. This would include visiting offenders, gathering intelligence and acting upon it. Staffordshire Police is a core contributor to the public protection arrangements and provides senior management representation on the MAPPP and the Strategic Management Board [SMB]. In addition the service provides a significant contribution to the level two multi agency meetings.

Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-onTrent City Council social services departments have a statutory duty to provide services for a range of individuals including children in need and their families, older people, people with disabilities and those with mental health needs. The role of social services departments in working with other agencies through the Area Child Protection Committees [ACPC] means that they have a key part to play in the assessment and management of the risks posed by those who might cause serious harm to the public. Both departments are core contributors to public protection arrangements by referring appropriate cases, and contributing to the overall management of public protection arrangements.

Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-onTrent City Council education departments are involved in the arrangements for identifying and referring those considered appropriate to the PPU and participate in relevant case meetings. Housing Provision plays a significant role in the effective management of offenders. Progress continues to be made with housing authorities and associations to provide a helpful working framework that recognises the needs of housing providers, the community and the offender. Given that appropriate accommodation can reduce the risk presented by an offender, the Home Office have recently funded the provision of two specialist staff to focus on securing appropriate accommodation for offenders who might pose a risk of harm to the public. Once this has been achieved the specialist staff will maintain close contact with the offender to monitor their progress and include any evidence of increasing risk. Regular reports are provided to the multi agency meeting.

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Staffordshire Probation Area has a statutory duty to supervise most of the offenders falling within the MAPPA.

Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-onTrent City Council youth offending services have a responsibility to assess the risk by young people of reoffending and risk of causing serious harm to the public.

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3 Roles and Responsibilities
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(continued) The next Criminal Justice Act will involve the Prison Service becoming equally responsible with Police and Probation for area public protection arrangements.

Health providers primarily those involved in forensic services, refer appropriate cases to the PPU. Senior managers have also assisted with disclosures to protect staff and other patients from violent or sexual offenders. Local Prisons have been involved in drawing up protocols concerning the management of potentially dangerous offenders and their release from custody. However Staffordshire together with other areas has prisoners serving sentences all over the country.

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Police and probation staff always exchange information on offenders during sentence and particularly when planning for release. In specific cases prison staff will attend MAPPPs in the area where the prisoner will go on release. The release of those posing a risk of serious harm will be planned well before release date. On behalf of the Prison Service a management representative from HMP Stafford participates in the MAPPA Strategic Management Board.

4 The Operation of Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements
How are sexual and violent offenders who pose a risk of serious harm identified? How are they assessed and managed in order to minimise the risk to the public? This is the essential work of the MAPPA. risk assessment systems, which assist in the identification of those who pose a risk of serious harm. In addition, the police use a national assessment framework which is applied to every sex offender in Staffordshire. Work is progressing on ensuring that other agencies have risk assessment procedures in place to identify those who they come into contact with who might pose a risk of serious harm. The agency who has identified the offender will contact the PPU, set out their concerns and request a multi agency meeting who consider the risk and how this will be managed. In Staffordshire, multi agency public protection meetings are held twice per month to consider those who pose the highest risk of causing serious harm to the public. Each case is considered by senior managers from police, probation, social services and staff from the public protection unit. It will also involve those working with the offender on a day to day basis.

Identification of relevant offenders Agencies in Staffordshire most likely to come into contact with potentially dangerous offenders are all involved with the public protection arrangements. Some agencies are heavily involved on a regular basis: others less so. Most of the relevant offenders will be supervised by the probation service or the youth offending team or subject to monitoring by the police as a registered sex offender. These agencies have nationally agreed

Assessment and Management What happens when a relevant offender who poses a risk of serious harm is identified?

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4 The Operation of Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements
(continued) The meeting will consider the following: ü who is at risk from the offender ü in what circumstances ü when ü identify what harm might occur. The meeting will determine what action must be taken to reduce the risks to individuals and the public and decide which agency will be responsible for particular action which will be reviewed at the next meeting. A critical time for some high risk offenders is their immediate release from prison. In order to manage this, for example, the offender may be collected at the prison gates and taken to their home area. This process will include: ü ü registration at a designated police station the police have the power to take the offender’s photograph and finger prints. Office, following recommendation by the probation officer. The conditions were:
q q

Case example two Simon was sentenced to custody for offences against boys in the community. On release from prison he quickly reoffended in a similar manner and was again sentenced to prison where he undertook an extensive sex offender programme. On the occasion of his second release the MAPPPs had been established which discussed the plan needed to reduce the risk of further offending. Simon was to be released from a prison outside Staffordshire. He was collected from prison and taken to accommodation where he could be monitored. Any ‘internal controls’ to prevent reoffending developed by Simon through the prison sex offender programme were reinforced by ‘external controls’ in the form of monitored accommodation and stringent release licence conditions. The licence involves residence were approved, curfew to coincide with children going to and from school, employment restrictions, restrictions on entering leisure facilities without approval and attendance at a sex offender programme run by the probation service in the community. Any attempt to contact victims is prohibited in the licence and Simon is not allowed to enter the area in which they live. The probation service and police have carried out the supervision of his licence. Simon has not re-offended.

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to reside where approved by the supervisor seek supervisor’s agreement to any employment or voluntary activities not to have inappropriate contact with children.

The plan included supervision by the PPU. Steve was visited in prison by staff from the unit where conditions for his supervision were discussed with him. To ensure that supervision got underway immediately from prison he was collected and taken to the accommodation where the requirements were once again reinforced including the curfew. Steve was regularly supervised by the unit. The unit identified that he was forming relationships with vulnerable women with children and he had obtained employment contrary to the terms of his prison licence. Information regarding the risks presented to children was disclosed to the women to allow them to protect their children. Not only had employment been gained in a potentially risky situation without declaring convictions but also without the probation officer’s agreement. The potential employer was informed which prevented Steve taking a job with the company. Given the nature of his behaviour and his failure to comply with release licence, a successful application was made the Home Office which led to his immediate recall to prison.

Case example one Steve has a number of serious previous convictions against children, including child abduction. As a consequence of his offence his release from prison was a cause of great concern. This was discussed over a number of months by the multi agency public protection meeting to ensure his safe return to the community. The release plan agreed between the agencies included the provision of accommodation where he could be supervised and monitored which was reinforced by a curfew. Conditions were imposed on his release from prison by the Home

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4 The Operation of Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements
(continued) Case example three Richard has a long history of committing offences of extreme violence. His last victim suffered severe head injuries and was left paralysed. Richard’s inability to cope with the every day challenges of living in the community often lead him to resort to alcohol abuse and violence. He eventually began to resort to desperate behaviour during prison sentences, because he was frightened about release. The MAPPP met a number of times to plan for his release. A specialist hostel was found for his release. The multi agency meeting continued to monitor him although he was not subject to statutory supervision. Since release from the sentence over 18 months ago there has been no repeat of his previous alcohol-fuelled violence. He continues to be seen as a high risk and is monitored by the MAPPP. When offenders fail to comply with their supervision conditions action is promptly taken. children and disclosures have been made with a view to protecting adults as well as children. Disclosure is used to great effect in Staffordshire.

Disclosure Part of the management process is the disclosure of information to other agencies, vulnerable people and the general public according to the level of assessed risk. Disclosure has taken place on 34 occasions during the year. The issue of disclosure of information about sex offenders, particularly their whereabouts is a controversial one. The public protection arrangements in Staffordshire keep under constant review the need to protect potential victims. Disclosure of the risks presented by an individual can be a valuable risk management tool used appropriately. Disclosure is not used indiscriminately. This is an option always considered where it would assist in the protection of identifiable potential victims. The disclosure must be a balance between:
q q

Victim work Part of the arrangements for protecting the public set out in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 is the requirement for the probation service to take account of victims’ views in cases of serious sexual and violent offences where the offender has been sentenced to 12 months or more. This is particularly important when offenders are being considered for release from custody. Officers from the victims unit make contact with victims of serious sexual and violent offences within eight weeks of sentence offering contact. During 2002/03, the Staffordshire Victims Unit has achieved contact within this time in 89% of cases compared to the national target set for all probation areas of 85%. The contact with the victim can provide them with information about their offender’s sentence. These liaison officers also offer the victim an opportunity to receive information about significant events during the offender’s sentence. These might include moving the offender to an open prison, or to release on parole. The victim will be provided with the opportunity to express any concerns they may have about their safety should such moves take place and to have these concerns reported to the parole board and the prison governor.

Case example four Gerald, an older man with a history of serious offences against children and adults was placed carefully in the community after a period of intense monitoring following release from prison. The unit identified that he constantly sought opportunities to target children or vulnerable adults. Following the multi agency meetings, disclosure about his risk has been made to families where he has sought contact. As the result of this action, no further contact has taken place between Gerald and these families. These cases demonstrate the level of supervision which is undertaken by police and probation staff working together.

q q q

the risks presented by the individual, the protection which might be possible by making the disclosure, duty of care to possible victims, the human rights of the offender the potential for the offender going “underground” with a loss of contact.

The case examples in this report show how some disclosures have been used, there are many others. Not all sex offenders offend against
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4 The Operation of Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements
(continued) If the offender is to be released under supervision the conditions under which release takes place could include specific restrictions on the offender to protect the victim. An offender will usually be prohibited from making contact with the victim and sometimes they are banned from areas around the victim’s home, or school in the case of child victims. The protection of victims is always a primary consideration whenever an offender is being considered at a multi agency risk management meeting. Close liaison takes place between staff from the PPU and staff from the Victims Unit; the latter are able to directly communicate the victim’s concerns to the multi agency meetings. The meeting will consider what actions must be taken to protect as far as possible the victim from fear and the prospect of re-victimisation. The multi agency meeting might request restrictions in the offender’s release licence and can direct an offender to live in supervised accommodation with a strict curfew until their risk to the victim can be assessed after a spell in the community. As well as having concerns presented to the multi agency meeting, victims will receive information about the steps, which are being taken by agencies to protect them. Many victims face the prospect of the release of offenders in tremendous fear. The victims unit and the MAPPA are now in a position to take steps, which go some way to help victims meet the fearful moment of release into the community, and the ongoing threat they feel. Many victims of serious crime have been helped by the intervention of the victims unit and the public protection arrangements.

5 Services for Victims
Local agencies offering services to victims include: National Probation Service Adult Survivors of Chilhood Sexual Abuse Victims of Sexual Abuse

Ø Emerge (Cannock) Ø
Tel. No. 01543 576174 Emerge (Stafford) Tel. No. 01785 683133

Ø Womens Rape and Sexual
Violence Service Tel. No. 01782 221000

Ø Staffordshire Probation
Area Victim Liaison Unit Tel. No. 01782 719045 Domestic Violence

Ø SARAC (Burton) Helpline
Tel. No. 01283 517185

Victim Support

Ø S.A.I.V.E
Tel. No. 01782 683133 Racial Equality Council

Ø Domestic Violence Helpline
(24 hours) Tel. No. 01543 676800

Ø South East Staffordshire Victim
Support (Lichfield, Tamworth and Burton) Tel. No. 01543 30100

Ø North Staffs Domestic Violence
Helpline Tel. No. 01782 83700

Ø Mid Staffordshire Victim
Support Tel. No. 01902 847387

Ø Stafford District
Tel. No. 01785 246471

Ø East Staffordshire
Tel. No. 01283 510456

Ø North Staffordshire Victim
Support Tel. No. 01782 717184
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Ø North Staffordshire
Tel. No. 01782 214061

6 Strategic Management of Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements
The multi agency strategic management group has developed its work during the past year. This has mainly focussed on enhancing and sustaining the multi agency representation to oversee the local MAPPA.To this end, the board is jointly chaired by senior managers from police and probation. The review of the strategic action plan 2002/2003 identifies specific progress in the following:
q

managing case reviews to ensure time and resources are allocated according to assessment level of offender risk. This is in accordance with the new three level system.
q

An action plan 2003/2004 has been prepared. This builds on achievements in public protection work, both nationally and locally. This will be reviewed during the year to ensure compliance with the national requirements.

information protocol has been agreed which impacts on all statutory agencies. intensive supervision programme linked to fixed accommodation has been introduced (previously referred to).

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the sex offender management review identified a change in

7 Statistical Information
i. Number of registered sex offenders on 31 March 2003

No. of Offenders
363

ii.

The number of sex offenders having a registration requirement who were either cautioned or convicted for breaches of the requirement, between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003

18

iii.

The number of Sex Offenders Orders applied for and gained between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003

(a) The total number of Sex Offenders Orders applied for

3

(b) The total number granted

3

(c) The total number not granted

0

iv.

The number of Restraining Orders issued by the courts between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003 for offenders currently managed within MAPPA

0

v.

The number of violent and other sexual offenders considered under MAPPA during the year 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003 (as defined by section 68 [3], [4] and [5])
10

616

7 Statistical Information

(continued)

No. of Offenders

vi. The number of "other offenders" dealt with under MAPPA during the year 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003 as being assessed by the Responsible Authority as posing a risk of serious harm to the public (but who did not fall within either of the other two categories, as defined by s.67 [2b])

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vii. For each of the three categories of offenders covered by the MAPPA ("registered sex offenders", "violent and other sex offenders" and "other offenders"), identify the number of offenders that are or have been dealt with by:

(a) MAPPP - registered sex offenders

19

(b) MAPPP - violent and other sex offenders

25

(c) MAPPP - violent and other sex offenders

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viii. Of the cases managed by the MAPPP during the reporting year what was the number of offenders: 9 (a) who were returned to custody for breach of licence 2 (b) who were returned to custody for breach of a Restraining Order or Sex Offender Order 2 (c) charged with a serious sexual or violent offence

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