North Yorkshire / York

MAPPA Annual Report 2002

1. Introduction
North Yorkshire and the City of York are independent, separate, local authority areas, but agencies within them have decided to adopt a joint approach to public protection, and one single arrangement covers both areas. Local arrangements for public protection in North Yorkshire and York began in 1994 with new risk management procedures for the Probation Service. These required that every offender be assessed for risk at first contact with the Service, and that those identified as threatening dangers of personal harm to members of the public be made subject to inter-agency Risk Strategy Meetings. These arrangements were extended in 1998, through a new inter-agency agreement, “Managing Dangerous Offenders in the Community”. In 2001, an inter-agency Task Group was set up to enlarge and adopt the existing arrangements, to meet the requirements of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act. This produced a new Protocol, establishing a new structure and system for public protection in North Yorkshire and the City of York. These arrangements provide for two levels of case conferences, for High Risk, and Very High Risk, cases, and for the assessment and management of sex offenders and other dangerous offenders. Work to inform, consult, and support victims is through arrangements which are common to the two local authority areas. This document provides details of the arrangements made in North Yorkshire and York. Any queries relating to it may be addressed to the North Yorkshire Police (Tel - 01609 783131) or the National Probation Service, North Yorkshire Area (Tel - 01609 778644).

2. Summary of Roles & Responsibilities
The Police and Probation Services share statutory responsibility for public protection procedures and have worked together to establish the new arrangements in York and North Yorkshire, which build on earlier police/probation co-operation. The Police maintain a Register of individuals convicted of sexual offences. Each individual on this Sex Offender Register is assessed for risk, and is visited at home by the police: the frequency and nature of the visits depend on the risk assessment. The majority of these offenders, and of those convicted of serious crimes of violence, will be known to the Probation Service, as explained in the following section. The North Yorkshire Probation Board is funding a newly created post, at Middle Manager level, dedicated to risk management and public protection work. This Probation Public Protection Manager took up post in July, 2002. Responsibilities include supporting probation officers who are supervising dangerous offenders, and servicing the Area’s multiagency public protection arrangements. Police and Probation take the lead, but other key agencies are Housing, Social and Community Services, Health and Education. These agencies make up the core group for higher tier case conferences, which are Multi Agency Public Protection Panel Meetings (MAPPPs). Because of the national re-organisation of the Health Services from April 2002, representation by Health professionals at public protection panel meetings is yet to be determined. The Housing Departments of the City of York and the District Councils of Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby have an important role to play. Stable accommodation is crucial to the successful management of dangerous offenders, and staff in Housing Departments sometimes need to call on the support of other agencies where current tenants are presenting risks. North Yorkshire Social Services, and the City of York Community Services, work towards sustaining the quality of life of individuals and communities across the Area, especially children and vulnerable adults. They have responsibilities towards children in need and their families, older and disabled people, and those with mental health needs. They are committed to working collaboratively with other agencies to protect the vulnerable from those who might harm them, particularly individuals with convictions for sexual or violent crimes against children (who are known as “Schedule 1 Offenders”). The Health Service has a key contribution to make. A substantial proportion of offenders under supervision (estimated at 40% in one area) is thought to have mental health problems. Mental Health specialists might provide diagnosis and assessment and treatment, including referral to in-patient units. Forensic Community Psychiatric Nurses have been engaged in risk management meetings in almost all parts of the Area for some time, and currently the involvement of more senior health representatives at higher level meetings is under discussion. Resourcing for Mental Health Services is an issue. Health Service professionals attended the Area-wide set-up meeting to discuss the inter-agency Protocol, and more recently there was a meeting with forensic psychiatrists. The recent National Health Service reorganisation has caused delay, but commitment to the Protocol is now being considered by the Directors of the four Health Primary Care Trusts which cover North Yorkshire and York. Some serious offenders prey on children and the dangers they represent often require the involvement of schools. North Yorkshire and the City of York Education departments are committed to a collaborative approach to protecting the children in their care, through the multiagency public protection system - by referring concerning cases which come to their attention, and by responding to information provided through the Protocol arrangements. Other parties involved include North Yorkshire County Council Legal Services, who provide advice on legal issues to the Multi Agency Public Protection Panel, the NSPCC in York, which is devoted to safeguarding children from harm, and the Youth Offending Teams (YOTs). There are separate YOTs in North Yorkshire and York, which supervise offenders aged 10 to 17. Some of these young offenders have committed very serious offences and represent very high risk to others.

3. Outline of Arrangements
Almost all referrals to the public protection arrangements are from the Probation Service. Most offenders representing dangers to others in the community are known to the Service, and the majority are ex-prisoners. Anyone given a prison sentence of 12 months or more will be subject to licence on release and will come under the supervision of a probation officer. The period of the licence is related to the length of sentence, and the licence requires the subject to attend the probation office (initially weekly), and may contain other conditions (such as participation in treatment programmes). In York and North Yorkshire, all offenders (whatever their sentence) are assessed at first contact with the Probation Service for risk of harm to others. There is an initial screening, using a standard assessment tool, which is applied to all offenders and to defendants subject to presentence reports. Offenders under supervision are given further indepth risk analysis, if the initial screening reveals any indication of risk of harm. Following risk assessment, offenders under Probation supervision are placed in one of four risk categories: Low Risk of harm, Medium Risk, High Risk, and Very High Risk. Those categorised as High Risk are made subject to interagency Risk Management Meetings, and those identified as being Very High Risk are considered by the Multi Agency Public Protection Panel. High Risk and Very High Risk cases are given a higher degree of closely-focussed supervision, following discussion at the inter-agency risk meeting. The purpose of both Risk Management and Public Protection Panel meetings is to protect people in the community from harm, through a joint approach in which agencies share responsibility and a co-ordinated response to manage the risks and dangers represented by an individual to others. At the meetings, information is shared and analysed, risks are identified and assessed, and an Action Plan for managing them is agreed. The Plan will identify which staff in each agency are to undertake the actions, and when. Progress will be considered and the Plan updated at subsequent review meetings. While most dangerous offenders are already known to the Probation Service, a professional working in any other agency who has concerns that an individual with whom he or she has had contact is a danger to the public can refer to the Probation Public Protection Manager (PPPM). The PPPM, in conjunction with the police, will assess the case, and decide whether it should be the subject of a MAPPP, or a Risk Management Meeting (RMM, the lower tier of case conference). The PPPM will convene the appropriate level of meeting and invite representation from all relevant agencies. Initial meetings (MAPPP or RMM) are held as and when they are necessary, and in urgent cases are convened very quickly. Review meetings are usually at four monthly intervals, but can be more often if the case so requires.

4. Strategic Management Arrangements
A Steering Group is being established to oversee the system, and the functioning of the arrangements for public protection. It will be made up of senior managers from the Police, Probation, Social/Community Services, Education, Health and Housing. The Steering Group will assess the effectiveness of the inter-agency work, and monitor the outcomes of meetings, through periodic reviews. It will receive reports on the nature of cases considered, attendance at meetings, and the involvement of agencies in the public protection processes. Evidence of success will be a low number of registered Very High Risk cases who go on to commit further serious offences, and a low number of serious offences committed by individuals in whom risk was not recognised.

5. Disclosure
Individuals have the right to have their privacy and confidentiality respected by public service agencies. Sometimes, however, the protection of others requires that these rights are breached and that information about an individual is disclosed to others to protect those at risk of harm from that individual. Because such disclosure infringes civil liberties, decisions about it are taken only after careful consideration at the highest level through MAPPP meetings. The responsibility for carrying out any disclosure rests with the Police. In a recent case in North Yorkshire, when it was recognised that information about an offender needed to be disclosed to safeguard children and also professionals he had threatened, there was thorough planning, informed by legal advice. A two-tier approach was adopted, with briefings being given to the professionals directly involved, and less detailed information being given to those (like headteachers) who could protect children in general. The risk management action in this case was successful and no further offences have been committed by the individual concerned.

6. Victims Work
New legislation, implemented in 2001, gave to the Probation Service nationally new responsibilities for victims. Since April 2001, the Service has been required to contact the victims of all sexual and violent crimes, where the offender was sentenced to imprisonment of a year or more. The contact is to offer interviews at which information about the criminal justice system, and the approximate date of release of offenders, can be given, and the views of victims can be obtained. Victims’ views can be taken into account when the circumstances of the release of prisoners is being considered, and may result in special conditions being added to licences (but cannot prevent or delay the release of prisoners). In 2001, the Probation Service in North Yorkshire and the City of York established new arrangements to conduct victim work. It now has a nominated and specially trained staff member in each of its main offices. Between them, these Victim Liaison Officers undertake all victim contact work, and cover the whole area. The Service has agreed protocols relating to victims with other agencies, and has a partnership with Victim Support. Volunteers from Victim Support make the first approach to victims, and where the victim accepts the offer of contact, visit with the Probation Victim Liaison Officer. Victim Support can be contacted on these telephone numbers:York & Selby (01904) 636905 Harrogate & District (01423) 500033 Ryedale, Scarborough & Whitby (01723) 500539 Hambleton & Richmond (01609) 777771 Craven Victim Support (01756) 794775 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. The Victim Support Line - 0845 30 30 900 - gives information and support and details of other relevant organisations.

7. Statistics
i The number of Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) in the community on 31/3/02 (s68(2) CJ&CS Act 2000) The number of RSOs per 100,000 population ii The number of SOs cautioned/convicted for breaches of registration requirement 01/04/01 - 31/03/02 The number of Sex Offender Orders 01/04/01 - 31/03/02 (a) total number applied for (b) granted (c) not granted (d) applications still in progress iv The number of violent offenders and other sex offenders 01/04/01 - 31/03/02 (s68(3)(4)&(5) CJ&CS Act 2000) • The number of other offenders 01/04/01 - 31/03/02 (s67(2)(b) CJ&CS Act 2000)

Number of Offences

212 28

11

iii

0

0

0

0

195

7

v.

Additional Costs of Local Arrangements Probation Board £’000 Police £’000 1.3 0.3 1.6 1.6 Other Agencies £’000 3.4 3.4 3.4 Total £’000 8.1 0.6 8.7 8.5

Staff Costs Other Costs Total Expenditure Income Net Expenditure* *Set up costs including above

3.4 0.3 3.7 3.5

2.6

1.6

3.4

7.6

Contacts
North Yorkshire Police H.Q. Address Newby Wiske, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 9HA Phone 01609 783131

National Probation Service

Address North Yorkshire Area Thurstan House, 6 Standard Way, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL6 2XQ

Phone 01609 778644