Bedfordshire

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements Annual Report 2002-3

Foreword
By Paul Goggins, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Community and Custodial provision in the Home Office As the recently appointed Minister with responsibility for the MAPPA, I am pleased to introduce this, the second, annual MAPPA report. It is clear that in the last year (2002/3) the multi-agency public protection arrangements (the MAPPA) continued to play an important role in what remains one of this government’s highest priorities – the protection of the public from dangerous offenders. As someone with many years experience of working in the field of child protection, I am particularly impressed by the important contribution the MAPPA are making to strengthen collaboration between agencies at a local level where the focus is on the dangerous offender. These improvements must, however, impact on the protection of children. As the tragic death of Victoria Climbie showed, an effective multi-agency partnership is crucial and the MAPPA are an important element. To ensure greater consistency in the MAPPA across the 42 Areas of England and Wales, and to prepare for the implementation of measures contained in the Criminal Justice Bill, we published the MAPPA Guidance in April. Building on good practice, that Guidance clarified the structure of the operational arrangements as well as the importance of formal review and monitoring – of which this annual report is a vital part. The Criminal Justice Bill will strengthen the MAPPA in two ways. First, it will make the involvement of other agencies part of the statutory framework. Second, it will introduce the involvement of lay people – those unconnected with day-to-day operation of the MAPPA – in reviewing and monitoring the MAPPA. Annual reports and this new lay involvement show the Government’s commitment to explaining how the often

sensitive and complex work of public protection is undertaken. The Government is also strengthening the protection of the public with other measures in the Criminal Justice Bill. They include new sentences for dangerous offenders to prevent their release if they continue to be dangerous. Additionally, the Sexual Offences Bill will tighten up sex offender registration, introduce a new offence of ‘grooming’, and enable sex offender orders to be imposed on violent offenders who pose a risk of causing serious sexual harm – thereby extending sex offender registration to them. I commend this report to you and congratulate all the agencies and individuals who have contributed to the achievement of the MAPPA locally in your local Area.

Paul Goggins

The National Picture
This section of the report draws attention to wider context of the operation and development of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (the MAPPA). The most important work undertaken within the MAPPA is done locally, led by the police and probation – who act jointly as the ‘Responsible Authority’ in your Area – and in each of the 42 Areas of England and Wales. The experience and good practice upon which this work is based began in the 1990s – most significantly as a result of the closer working relationship required by the Sex Offender Act (1997). The Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act (2000) formalised that relationship and built on the existing experience by requiring the police and probation services to establish arrangements (the MAPPA) for assessing and managing the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders. The Act also required the Responsible Authority to publish an annual report on the operation of those arrangements. This report, covering April 2002 to March 2003, is the second annual report. The importance of partnership Key to the development of the MAPPA in the past year has been the closer involvement of other agencies, such as housing, health and social services, working alongside police and probation. The truly multi-agency nature of the MAPPA and the collaboration which underpins it is to be strengthened further by the Criminal Justice Bill. The Bill will place a ‘duty to co-operate’ on a wide range of organisations including local health authorities and trusts; housing authorities and registered social landlords; social services departments; Jobcentres; Youth Offending Teams; and local education authorities. In addition, the Prison Service will join the police and probation services and become part of the MAPPA ‘Responsible Authority’. Supporting and co-ordinating the development of the MAPPA throughout the 42 Areas of England and Wales, is the National Probation Directorate’s Public Protection Unit (PPU). This Unit acts as a central point for advice and, increasingly, involvement in the management of difficult cases. These include, for example, UK citizens who have committed serious offences abroad and return to this country without anywhere to live. The Unit is also able to provide financial support when the risk management plans make exceptional demands upon local resources.

Involving the public MAPPA developments in the next 18 months will also include the appointment by the Home Secretary of two ‘lay advisers’ to each Area. The eight Areas of England and Wales which have been piloting these arrangements since January (Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Durham, South Wales, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey and West Midlands) report that they add real value. Lay advisers will contribute to the review and monitoring of the MAPPA which is undertaken by each Area’s Strategic Management Board – the work of which you can read more in this report. The purpose of appointing ‘lay advisers’ is to ensure that communities understand more of what is done to protect them and that those involved professionally with the MAPPA are aware of the views of the community. The lay advisers will not ‘represent’ the community in the way, for example, that local councillors do, nor will they be involved in operational decision-making. And, given the sensitivity of much of what the MAPPA does, especially with the few offenders who pose a very high risk of serious harm to the public, it is not practicable for the general public to be involved. Lay advisers will, however, ensure an appropriate and a practical level of community involvement. MAPPA Offenders This year the annual report provides a more detailed breakdown of the number of sexual and violent offenders who are covered by the MAPPA in your Area. As last year, the figures include the number of registered sex offenders. Because sex offender registration is for a minimum of 5 years (and generally for much longer) the figures are cumulative. This is why they have increased – by 16 per cent in England and Wales. Only a very small proportion (about six per cent throughout England and Wales) are considered to pose such a high risk or management difficulty that they are referred to the highest level of the MAPPA – the MultiAgency Public Protection Panels (the MAPPP). Figures alone do not, of course, tell the whole story. The anonymised case studies illustrate the practical work of the MAPPA, and demonstrate the preventive action which can be taken. Prior to the MAPPA, action of this kind was mainly taken by one agency alone, with the effect that on occasion offenders’ behaviour which might have triggered preventative action went unnoticed. The multi-agency approach of the MAPPA helps ensure that if an offender does breach the condition

of the licence under which they were released from prison or a court order prohibiting certain activities, then action to enforce the condition or order and protect the public can be taken more swiftly. If you are interested in reading the reports of other Areas, they will be published on the National Probation Service’s website www.probation.homeoffice.gov.uk (under the public protection section).

1. Area Summary
The Sex Offender Act (1997) introduced the concept of the joint management of certain categories of offenders, to be undertaken by both the Police and the Probation Service. As a result, Bedfordshire Police and Bedfordshire Probation Area developed protocols and procedures designed to ensure that those offenders who pose a serious risk to others would be regularly discussed, monitored and properly managed. Although the original remit of the Act was specifically aimed at sex offenders, many areas - including Bedfordshire – used the opportunity of intelligence sharing and information gathering to widen the scope of the panel to address other high risk offenders. In April 2001, national guidelines were issued to all areas to further develop local panels to become Multi Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs). The Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) place a duty on Police and the National Probation Service to assess and manage risks posed by offenders in every community. Many other agencies and organisations also hold information about offenders, their circumstances, and the victims of their crimes, so there is a need for the Police and the Probation Service to work closely in partnership with these organisations. Each offender who is subject to MAPP arrangements will have been initially referred to the panel for discussion and decision-making as a result of: • The serious nature of their original offence • The need to ensure that all agencies contributing to the offender’s rehabilitation into the community can share information and voice concerns • The need to ensure that an accurate and up-to-date picture of the risk the offender may continue to pose is obtained, which will subsequently inform the work carried out with the offender However, additional provision such as treatment, accommodation, employment, is often critical in ensuring an offender has the best chance of re-integration into the community, whilst also offering the public a higher level of protection. The Chair of the MAPP panel meeting, therefore, also has the important role of making sure that these needs are taken into consideration when work with the offender is being planned. Bedfordshire MAPP panel meetings consider not only the practical arrangements for the management of an individual offender, but also what types of treatment, for example psychiatric assistance or attendance at a probation groupwork programme (eg. sex offender programme) may be necessary.

Effective joint working between agencies ensures that the framework of supervision and monitoring is established, within which provision for the individual offender can be discussed and the correct treatment identified. The MAPP arrangements must ensure that, as far as possible, a balance is struck between the monitoring and surveillance of the individual and the provision of a suitable programme of treatment. It is crucial to get this balance right in terms of providing enhanced protection for the public, while being able to work with the offender and tackle his or her behaviour. SIGNIFICANT OPERATIONAL EVENTS In the last 12 months there have been several key developments which have enhanced the MAPP arrangements in Bedfordshire. Police and the Probation Service have provided funding this year to enable the appointment of a MAPP co-ordinator, and the post will be filled initially by a senior probation officer with considerable local experience in the field of public protection and of the work of the multi-agency panels. This appointment will be on a part-time basis from June 2003. The past year has also seen the establishment of a Strategic Management Board to oversee and evaluate the operational work of the MAPP panels in Luton and Bedfordshire. The panel membership includes representation from a wide range of agencies that are now involved in public protection work in conjunction with the police and probation services. Further details about the Board and its work are contained later in this report. One of the most significant national operations involving Bedfordshire Police has been Operation Ore, which has focused on potential paedophiles identified via their access to an internet site. In Bedfordshire a number of potential offenders have been identified and enquiries are continuing, although a number of arrests have already been made.

2. Roles and Responsibilities
Two Senior Probation Officers, representing Luton and South Beds; and Bedford, Mid Beds and North Bedfordshire are responsible for overseeing the work of the MAPP panels in their area and for convening and chairing each meeting of the local panel. Bedfordshire Police liaise closely and routinely with each of the senior probation officers through a specialist Detective Constable who has a dedicated role in co-ordinating police activity relating to those identified as dangerous offenders. Bedfordshire Police are also represented at each MAPP meeting by the divisional Detective Inspector who is able to make decisions about committing police time and resources. The minimum membership of a local MAPP panel meeting usually consists of: • • • • • Senior Probation Officer Supervising Probation Officer Detective Inspector Detective Constable Victim Liaison Officer (probation) Additionally, in certain circumstances, individual victims may be invited to attend a panel meeting where consideration is being given to the release of a prisoner on licence. The victim’s concerns about the release can be aired and these may subsequently be taken into account when consideration is given to possible conditions which may be attached to a prisoner’s release on licence. wish to move out of the area. She advised the panel that he should be required to live in a Probation Hostel where his behaviour could be closely monitored. She had secured a hostel place in a town some 20 miles away. Mr J would attend a probation domestic violence group for offenders while resident at the hostel. It was important therefore for the panel to consider protection for the victim, Ms L, and the restrictions to be placed on Mr J in the community. . The panel agreed that: Mr J had been serving an 18 month sentence for an offence of assault against his ex-partner. During his sentence he had continued to express hopes of reconciliation, and found it difficult to accept she did not feel the same. Prior to Mr J being released, the Senior Probation Officer arranged a MAPP panel to discuss the case, and invited the following agencies: • • • • • Probation Hostel Manager Police – both Domestic Violence Unit and the Intelligence Unit Victim Liaison Officer (probation service) Social Services . • Ms L be helped by the Victim Liaison Officer to seek a Restraining Order preventing contact by Mr J. The police Domestic Violence Unit would visit Ms L to discuss installation of an alarm system and the provision of a mobile phone Police would ensure that Ms L’s address was registered for an immediate response to a call for assistance The Local Housing Trust would explore with Ms L the option of moving out of the area Prior to Mr J’s release, the Probation Officer would seek additional conditions on his licence.

When a panel meeting is called by the Senior Probation Officer, other agencies will be invited to attend as is deemed necessary. All agencies are bound by the statements of confidentiality contained in the MAPP protocol. Agencies who may be involved are: • • • • • • Bedfordshire County Council Social Services Luton Council Social Services Local Authority Housing Departments Education Services in Luton and Bedfordshire Mental Health Teams Prison Establishments

The victim, Ms L, also attended for the first part of the meeting to tell the panel of her concerns at her ex-partner’s release and of the history of their relationship previously. Both Social Services and Police Intelligence confirmed that they had received several referrals on the family in the past, and Ms L agreed that she had called the police but had been too afraid to give a statement against Mr J. Since his conviction, Ms L had received support and information from both the Police Domestic Violence Unit and the Probation Victim Liaison Officer. After Ms L left the meeting, the supervising Probation Officer revealed that Mr J had very recently expressed a

Licence Conditions:
Forbidding contact with Ms L, her family, or visiting within the vicinity of her home. Compulsory attendance on the domestic violence programme while in residence at the probation hostel Compliance with all hostel rules, including curfew restrictions. The panel arranged for the Hostel Manager and Probation Officer to visit Mr J prior to his release to explain fully the conditions that would be attached to

his release from prison on licence, and that any infringement would result in his return to prison.

The case demonstrates the role of each agency in being able to contribute vital information about the case. In addition, while police and probation were able to provide

protection and support on a temporary basis, the involvement of the housing agency ultimately enabled a permanent solution to be found.

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3. The Operation of MAPP Arrangements
How do MAPP panels work in Bedfordshire? An offender referred for discussion under the MAPP arrangements may come to the attention of the panel either as a result of the serious nature of the offending and assessment by police/probation/prison services as high risk, or because of concerns expressed by another agency about the offender’s behaviour (or both). The Senior Probation Officer who chairs the MAPP panel then convenes a meeting to discuss the case. The MAPP panel can be convened at very short notice in an emergency. But it is often timed to precede an offender’s planned release from prison. Those agencies which are not core members of the MAPPP (as described in the previous section) would be invited to attend the initial meeting by the Senior Probation Officer as appropriate in each particular case. S/he would ask the agency representative to bring with them any relevant information about the offender, their family circumstances or the victim(s). This ensures that the subsequent discussion at the MAPP panel meeting is fully informed from a number of perspectives, ranging from the supervising probation officer, police, other agencies and, if appropriate, the victim. The purpose of each meeting is to establish the following: • What practical arrangements need to be put in place to better manage an offender’s risk (eg. electronic monitoring, surveillance) and who is responsible for this? • What information (if any) should be released to the victim, the community or any other agency, and how will this be done? What are the risk factors that could cause the offender to reoffend and what can be done to reduce these? would not pursue contact with them, this was not truthful. The family reported that a mutual friend visiting Mr B had been told he intended to seek contact directly with the children on release, especially his two sons, aged 12 and 15. All of the children had stated they did not wish to have contact with their father. Mr B had indicated that he wished to live with his elderly parents on release from prison, both of whom needed care, which he was in a good position to provide. However, they lived only two streets away from Mrs B and her children. . A MAPP panel met some months prior to Mr B’s release, to formulate a release plan and examine the consequences for all involved. In attendance were: • • • • Supervising Probation Officer Police Intelligence representatives Probation Victim Liaison Officer Mr B’s personal (prison) officer

At the end of the meeting an action plan is drawn up by the Senior Probation Officer as MAPPP Chair, identifying what is to be done and by whom, in order to better manage the offender’s risk. Review meetings are then held on a monthly basis, but in the meantime information will continue to be exchanged between the agencies involved. The police will make a significant contribution to the effective management of offenders who are subject to MAPP panel processes.

Mr B had been convicted of indecent assault against his daughters over a three year period. His daughters, now aged 17 and 14, were living with their mother and their two brothers. Concern was expressed by the family to the Probation Victim Liaison Officer that although Mr B had sent letters of apology to his daughters and stated he

Information was also obtained about the children’s current wishes relating to their father’s release, and the manager of the sheltered housing unit where Mr B’s parents lived submitted a written report. This stated that it was not possible for Mr B to live with his parents in their one-bedroom flat, and that the elderly couple were being visited on a daily basis by the district nurse and a carer.

The panel was concerned that living in such close proximity would give Mr B the opportunity to ‘accidentally’ meet with the children, and this would be very distressing for them. The MAPP panel agreed it would be more suitable for Mr B to be placed in a hostel away from his family’s home. Mr B. claimed he was sorry for what he had done, and his probation officer recommended that he undertake the probation sex offender programme on release (which had not been available to him in prison). This would provide a means of monitoring his behaviour and assessing whether his remorse was genuine. The panel also agreed that electronic monitoring (‘tagging’) should be applied, to further monitor his behaviour and whereabouts. The meeting decided that the probation officer should apply for a condition to be attached to Mr B’s release on licence from prison so that he could only visit his parents at certain, set times of the day/week. This information would be shared with Mrs B so she could be certain of when he might be in the area. If Mr B failed to abide by the conditions of his release on licence, he would be returned to prison. Mr B was subsequently released from prison and the panel’s plan implemented. Mr B has abided by the

conditions of the licence and has not made contact with his children. He is currently undertaking the probation service Sex Offender Programme.

DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION There may be occasions when disclosure of information is valuable in assisting in reducing the risk posed. The MAPP Arrangements recognise that there may be occasions when disclosure of information could be helpful in assisting professionals or particular sections of the local community, eg. in the very rare case of a predatory sex offender, police could decide on disclosure to local schools. Disclosure to wider sections of the community would only be made where there is a pressing need, and the decision would have to be justified on the basis of the harm which non-disclosure would otherwise cause. Disclosure to the media is recognised as potentially of value, where they may be able to assist with public protection by widespread coverage of an individual case. Eg. if a high risk offender absconded, and his whereabouts became unknown, the police could decide to make an appeal for information through the media. Bedfordshire Police act as the lead agency in all media-related cases.

When planning for an offender’s release from custody (e.g. in the case of Mr B), the panel will give consideration both to what sorts of internal agency facilities and what external controls may be available in the successful management of the offender. Probation Officers have access to a number of different programmes (e.g. Mr B and the Sex Offender Programme) which can help to further develop the offender’s understanding of why they have offended, and how to change their behaviour. Of equal importance are the conditions that an offender has to comply with, which are attached to his/her Licence or Supervision Order. These may be both specific (e.g. do not contact a certain person) and general (e.g. keep all appointments with your Probation Officer), and failure to comply with any part of the Licence or Order can lead to an offender going to prison.

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4. The Strategic Management of MAPPPs
Strategic responsibility for the management of the MAPP panels has largely been held by the Police Service and the Probation Service in Bedfordshire. However, in February 2003, the Strategic Management Board (SMB) was established. This is a multi-agency strategic group that gives a much greater degree of local ownership and accountability to all the main agencies involved in the MAPP arrangements. The membership of the new Board currently consists of representatives from: • • Police Youth Offending Team • • • • • Probation Electronic Monitoring provider Social Services Department HMP Bedford Mental Health Services (commissioning)

The Strategic Management Board provides a framework to ensure consistency of operational practice across the area and the newly appointed MAPP Panel Co-ordinator (funded by both police and probation locally) will report to the Board on a regular basis on the work of the panels. The Board will also need to ensure that at operational level all

agencies involved in MAPP arrangements are providing consistent information and making a proper contribution to enable the most effective management of high risk offenders. Protocols and procedures on the exchange of

information, confidentiality and roles and responsibilities will all be agreed shortly by the Board.

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5. Victim Work
Since the implementation of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 it has been a requirement of the Probation Service to offer contact to victims of serious crime where the offender has been sentenced to one year’s custody or more. Bedfordshire Probation Area was one of the first to establish a freestanding Victim Liaison Unit to ensure the needs of victims are met. Victim liaison staff in Luton and Bedfordshire provide assistance to MAPP panel meetings where there are specific victim issues or concerns, and this ensures that MAPP panel assessments are informed by the victims’ views and interests, and that any risk to the victim is better managed as a consequence.

6. Statistical Information
i. The number of registered sex offenders on 31 March 2003

No. of Offenders
220

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

7

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

2

(b) The total number granted

2

(c) The total number not granted

Nil

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

Nil

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])

290

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])

10

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

14

b) MAPPP - violent and other sex offenders

24

c) MAPPP - other offenders

2

viii. Of the cases managed by the MAPPP during the reporting year what was the number of offenders:

a) who were returned to custody for breach of licence

10

b) who were returned to custody for breach of a Restraining Order or Sex Offender Order

6

c) charged with a serious sexual or violent offence

1

Contacts
Bedfordshire Probation Area Lis Pace Assistant Chief Probation Officer lispace@bedsprobation.gov.uk Address Bedfordshire Probation Area Head Office 3 St Peters Street Bedford MK40 2PN Luton Probation Office Frank Lord House 72 Chapel Street Luton LU1 1QX Phone 01234 213541

Chris DeSouza MAPP Panel Co-ordinator chrisdesouza@bedsprobation.gov.uk

01582 413172

Bedfordshire Police Geoff Comb Detective Chief Superintendent geoff.comb@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk

Address Head of CID Bedfordshire Police Police Headquarters Woburn Road Kempston Bedford MK43 9AX Sex & Dangerous Offenders Unit Bedfordshire Police Police Headquarters Woburn Road Kempston Bedford MK43 9AX

Phone 01234 842356

Force Co-ordinator

01234 842356

Published by Bedfordshire Probation Area, 3 St Peters Street, Bedford MK40 2PN September 2003