Hertfordshire

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 the 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
A working partnership between police and probation to focus on the management of high risk offenders began in Hertfordshire in 1996. The introduction of the Sex Offenders Act in 1997 increased the emphasis on close liaison between the two services, and other agencies were also involved on a case by case basis. The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 placed a statutory duty on the police and probation services to implement a formal structure through the creation of Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). As a consequence, a network of local Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs) has been established across the county, which includes representation from other agencies. The work of these panels has been underpinned at local level by the establishment of Area Review Panels, which represent the first stage in the inter-agency risk management process. The review panels offer the opportunity for all agencies involved locally to present cases that, in their judgement, may raise public protection issues. A joint action plan is then developed for each case where a high risk is identified. In the most serious cases a decision will be taken to refer the case to the MAPP panel for ratification and inclusion on the Public Protection Register which signifies that the case is in the highest risk category. In an emergency, a meeting of either panel can be called at 24 hours notice.

MULTI AGENCY PUBLIC PROTECTION ARRANGEMENTS IN HERTFORDSHIRE STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT PANEL (COUNTY-WIDE)
MAPP PANEL (EASTERN)
Area Review Panel North Herts Area Review Panel East Herts

MAPP PANEL (CENTRAL)
Area Review Panel Mid Herts

MAPP PANEL (WESTERN)
Area Review Panel South & West Herts

The formal MAPPA structure has now been in operation for a year in Hertfordshire, and is kept under continuous review. Currently the procedures are being reviewed in relation to new national guidance produced by the Home Office.

2. How the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements Work
The Hertfordshire public protection arrangements divide the county into three areas that correspond to police local areas: Eastern, Western and Central Hertfordshire. In each of these areas, a MAPP panel is chaired by a Probation Director of Operations. Membership of each panel consists of representatives from: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Hertfordshire Constabulary National Probation Service – Hertfordshire Adult Care Services (Herts County Council) Children, Schools & Families (Herts County Council) Community Mental Health Team Local Authority Housing Youth Offending Team Prison Service Victim Contact Unit (Probation Service) Risk Assessment Processes The MAPPA structure in Hertfordshire involves screening arrangements to ensure all offenders are assessed to gauge the risk they pose, and to enable the panels to focus on those critical few offenders who present a high risk. Screening is based on an assessment using the probation and prison service Offender Assessment System (OASys). Sex offenders are assessed under the police Risk Matrix 2000 system. Other agencies have different methods of risk assessment that are used to categorise risk of harm, and may alert the panel to a person posing a high risk. The Work of the Area Review Panel Cases that may potentially be high risk are considered initially by a local Area Review Panel, with a membership drawn from the same organisations as above. There are three possible outcomes at the Area Review Panel stage: • Cases confirmed as posing a high risk to the public are • immediately referred to the MAPP panel Cases designated as not posing a high risk will be managed by the Area Review Panel, which will develop an individual Action Plan for each case Each case will be monitored and kept under review The review panel may decide that a multi-agency approach is not required in current circumstances, and the case referred back to the probation service or other agency for further action

In areas of the county where much of the housing stock is owned or managed by a housing association, they will also be represented. Any other agency that has an interest in a specific case may also be invited to attend.

In a few cases, the decision may be taken that there is very little risk posed by an individual unless circumstances change significantly, eg. a trigger factor develops - such as homelessness, unemployment or a relationship failure that could prompt an increase in risk levels. These cases are brought before the Area Review Panel in order to share information and alert relevant staff to the possible need for the Review Panel to revisit the case if changes occur.

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3. What Do We Do?
The Multi Agency Public Protection Panel meets bi-monthly in each area, while the Area Review Panels meet each month. (The Eastern Police Area is divided between two Area Review Panels, as it covers two separate probation areas – North Herts and East Herts). Multi-agency working is a crucial component of these meetings. Information from a particular agency may represent the final piece of the jigsaw that then produces the complete picture of the risks posed. It is essential, therefore, that all agencies contribute relevant information, so that a comprehensive risk management plan is formulated. The plan produced for the individual offender will take account of the risks posed to: • • • • The public Specific people/groups of people Staff supervising the offender The individual involved - in terms of self-harm

Extra resources may be allocated where the need is identified, to assist in managing the risk, eg. funding for treatment programmes, or accommodation in a probation hostel. Action plans are reviewed regularly to ensure that any new information is included in the decision making

process. All agencies are aware that levels of risk may change over time. Staff from agencies involved in the management of a specific case will keep in close contact between meetings. This is to ensure continual updating of information, so that any changes can be addressed quickly. If necessary an emergency panel meeting will be called.

To facilitate these arrangements, a Police/Probation Liaison Officer (PPLO) has been appointed. The PPLO assists with information exchange between agencies, provides a point of contact, and is responsible for reporting to senior managers on best practice, training needs, and areas for improvement.

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4. Disclosure
The need to disclose information is carefully considered in each individual case by the MAPP panel. Notification may be necessary to individuals, groups, or particular sections of the community. Each case will be decided on its merits, taking into account the likelihood of the harm that might result from nondisclosure, and in accordance with current legislation, eg. Data Protection Act, Human Rights Act. It is the responsibility of the panel to make a decision based on a rigorous examination of all available information. In cases involving sex offences, the ultimate decision on disclosure rests with the Chief Constable. To date disclosure has been made on a limited basis and information conveyed to relevant agencies in Hertfordshire. Information was received that a Registered Sex Offender who had a conviction for possessing indecent images of children was living with a woman who was a schoolteacher. It was suspected that he might be attending social events at the school with his partner. The MAPP panel agreed disclosure via police to the school’s headteacher to ensure that the offender was not able to attend any school functions. Both the police and the probation service recognise that the local media may have a valuable role to play in disclosure to the public in certain circumstances. A protocol between the local media and Hertfordshire Constabulary has ensured close co-operation on a number of occasions. Responsibility for disclosure or dissemination of information for background purposes rests with the police Corporate Communications Unit, working in conjunction with other agencies as appropriate. The local media also plays an effective part in highlighting local crime prevention initiatives, eg. improved street lighting, installation of CCTV, thus reducing further the risk to the public.

5. Victim Issues
There is a well established victim contact network in place in Hertfordshire. The Chief Executive of Victim Support is a member of the Strategic Management Panel (see below), and provides valuable insights from the victim perspective. . Under the Criminal Justice & Court Services Act 2000, a Victim Contact Unit has been established in Hertfordshire by the National Probation Service. The unit keeps victims of serious sexual and violent offences (involving prison sentences of one year or more) informed of the management of the case, and provides a point of contact to enable victims to access other services that can offer them help and support. Unit representatives attend each Area Review Panel, providing information from victims and raising victim concerns. Many victims have expressed gratitude to unit staff for the information given to them about the criminal justice process. The victim was informed by the probation Victim Liaison Unit when a man sentenced to a prison term for a serious physical and sexual assault was to be released on licence. As a result of the victim’s discussions with the unit, the MAPP panel ensured that strict conditions were imposed as part of the licence, to prevent the offender revisiting the area. A family bereavement then led to the offender being permitted to return to the area to attend the funeral. The victim was informed of the arrangement and left the area while the offender was in the vicinity. Further action is now being taken by agencies on the MAPP panel to provide a new home for the victim who wishes to move out of the area before the licence conditions expire and the offender returns to his family.

Other well-established systems of support include the Woman’s Refuge Service, which helps women and children who have been victims of domestic violence.

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6. Overview and Strategic Management
Hertfordshire operates a Strategic Management Panel which provides an overview of the county-wide multiagency public protection arrangements. Senior managers from each of the agencies attend the Strategic Management Panel, which meets three times a year to review progress and discuss future developments. The Strategic Management Panel examines what is best practice, address training needs, and ensure effective communication with staff in every agency. The Police/Probation Liaison Officer is responsible for providing a report to the Strategic Management Panel at each meeting on the work that has been undertaken by the local panels. Each year the Strategic Management Panel produces an Action Plan for the forthcoming 12 months. The police and probation service are responsible for ensuring appropriate training is made available, with each agency then charged with making arrangements for this training to be delivered to relevant staff.

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

No. of Offenders
225

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

10

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

0

(b) The total number granted

0

(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])

130

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])

178

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

15

b) MAPPP - violent and other sex offenders

18

c) MAPPP - other offenders

22

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

5

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

0

c) charged with a serious sexual or violent offence

4

Contacts
Hertfordshire Probation Area Carole McDougall Director of Operations (Public Protection) carole.mcdougall@hertfordshire.probation.gsx.gov.uk Address Hertfordshire Probation Headquarters Graham House Yeomans Court Ware Road Hertford SG13 7HJ Phone 01992 504444

Hertfordshire Constabulary DCS Jeremy Alford Jeremy.alford@herts.pnn.police.uk

Address Hertfordshire Police Headquarters Stanborough Road Welwyn Garden City AL8 6XF

Phone 01707 354000

Published by the National Probation Service Hertfordshire. September 2003.