Protecting the Public from Potentially Dangerous Offenders

Annual Report 2001/2002

1. Introduction
This report accompanies the national report on MAPPA. It describes how these arrangements have been implemented in West Yorkshire. The West Yorkshire area pioneered a joint Police and Probation approach to public protection in Bradford in 1990. This was in response to concerns about the potential behaviour of some particular offenders who were soon to be released from prison. Informal liaison was developed into a case conference arrangement and this method was spread across the area in 1993. The case conferences were expanded to include representation from child protection, health and housing and victim agencies. On the basis of this experience a national public protection conference was hosted in Bradford in 1997. The approach in West Yorkshire has been commended in national inspectorate reports. There are five metropolitan districts in West Yorkshire. Each of these districts has local liaison arrangements between Probation and Police. Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs) are held in each district. These are chaired and administered by the Probation Service. Cases can be referred by any of the participating agencies, although in practice the majority of cases are referred by the two lead agencies. The MAPPPs also consider cases referred by Youth Offending Teams. Further information on these arrangements is available from the contacts given at the end of this report.

2. Roles and Responsibilities
In this year, steps have been taken to refine and consolidate local arrangements made for public protection in line with Guidance issued by the Secretary of State. In some districts there is full participation in MAPPP arrangements by Health (Forensic and Mental Health Services), Social Services (Child Protection) and local authority housing officials. Steps are being taken to secure these arrangements in the districts where they are not yet fully in place. Given the number and range of different agency boundaries, it is not possible to summarise the roles of these agencies in a single document for West Yorkshire. Further information can be obtained from the contacts given at the end of this report.

3. Outline of arrangements
The assessment of the risk of harm or degree of dangerousness is a core task for the Probation and Police services in the West Yorkshire area. In Probation all offenders are subject to a comprehensive assessment of the likelihood that they will re-offend and the potential harm that another offence might cause. This assessment is undertaken at the first point of contact by the responsible staff member. It is a formalised process and is based on a variety of sources of information. Where a Cour t report is being prepared this information will be used to determine the sentencing proposal. Following sentence this risk assessment determines the nature and level of supervision, and where appropriate, referral to a MAPPP. The information is also shared with prison staff where there is a prison sentence. At present all MAPPP meetings are chaired by the Assistant Chief Officer of the relevant district. In accordance with the advice from the Secretary of State, steps are being taken to ensure MAPPPs are only convened for the very highest risk offenders. Police assess all Sex Offenders who are subject to registration under the Sex Offender Act. This assessment will determine the level of monitoring and surveillance undertaken and whether the case is referred for MAPPP consideration. At the MAPPP there is a panel of senior officers from the participating agencies and details are presented by staff who have direct contact with the case. Information concerning victims or potential victims will also be presented. At the conclusion of the discussion the meeting will confirm the action to be taken and when the case will be reviewed. Action to protect any identifiable victims is always a key priority though this only arises in a minority of cases. The police and probation services ensure that there are identifier ‘flags’ for high risk o potentially dangerous offenders who may come to their attention in a routine manner. MAPPPs are held on a regular basis across West Yorkshire; the exact frequency varies by size of district and level of activity.

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4. Strategic Management arrangements
The current arrangements were reviewed in 2000. A formal Police and Probation protocol was agreed and staff training was delivered and received on a joint agency basis. This provided an area wide strategic framework, albeit with local arrangements that were responsive to local needs and circumstances. At district level, discussions are to be held with representatives of the various local authorities, health authorities and other bodies on the proposals and implications for future arrangements. A further review is currently being held. This is sponsored by the Chief Officers of each agency and has a Project

Board. It is anticipated that this will lead to an increase in the resources devoted to this area

of work and closer operational co-operation. Both agencies would like to achieve co-

location for the key staff involved in this work.

5. Disclosure
A great deal of attention has been given locally to the question of disclosure, usually in relation to child sex offenders. Discussions have been held with a wide range of agencies and with local Area Child Protection Committees. The local arrangements reflect this consultation. Discussions have been held with the editors of local newspapers, radio and television stations on issues relating to media disclosure. Third party disclosure takes place where there is an identifiable risk to a victim or category of victims. The final decision rests with a senior police officer but this decision is only taken after consultation with a local MAPPP, unless there is an imminent risk. An example where disclosure to an individual or organisation has been agreed by a MAPPP follows:This man was convicted of sex offences against a girl under 16, who was a member of his family, and was sentenced to 8 years in custody. Whilst in prison, he began writing to a number of women throughout the country, including several in West Yorkshire. Some of these relationships became more than penfriendship, and there was evidence that he had proposed marriage to one woman. The offender told his Probation Officer he had not revealed to this woman the real reason he had been imprisoned. When the offender, now aged 51, was due to be released, a MAPPP discussed concerns that he could re-offend if he was in a relationship with a woman who had daughters under 16. The following management action plan was agreed:that in order to protect members of the public, the police would disclose the criminal record and the risk posed to any woman with whom he had a relationship, if she either had children herself or had contact with children.

6. Victims work
Both Probation and Police services work closely with local victim agencies. The Probation service has local victim-offender units in each district. The standing membership of each MAPPP includes representation from the specialist probation victim offender unit. These developed from the pioneering Leeds mediation/reparation work in the 1980’s but are now focused on the statutory duties to consult victims or victims' families in all Lifer cases or parole cases where release is discretionary. In addition there are local arrangements for contacting victims in all Domestic Violence cases. These arrangements ensure that the victim's voice is heard where key decisions, especially those concerning release from prison are being made. One West Yorkshire district victimoffender unit surveyed the views of victims with whom it was working by sending out 39 questionnaires. Of the 23 forms returned (59%), 12 respondents said they were 'satisfied' with the service provided and 11 said they were 'very satisfied' The following pen pictures illustrate the value of this approach:-

Sally
Sally’s partner was convicted of raping and badly injuring her. He had become more

and more possessive and violent when she tried to end their relationship. Although she was terrified of meeting him again on his release, Sally had been unable to talk about this to anyone. It was only when the Victim Enquiry was begun by the Probation Victim-Offender Unit that she was able to raise the issues that concerned her. These were fed back through MAPPP meetings, and as a result she was re-housed in safe accommodation well away from the district. On his release, conditions were plac ed on Sally’s ex-partner requiring him not to try to approach her. She was well aware of release plans and felt far more protected as a result of the joint work of the Victim Offender Unit, Police and other agencies involved.

agencies, but found it hard to “move on” while he still protested his innocence. Following MAPPP meetings, the police were able to set up safety devices including alarms, which enabled her to recommence her studies. When the offender finally acknowledged his guilt, this information was passed on to her promptly, and she began to rebuild her confidence.

fact that when released, he would never be able to return to the family home. The victim’s family felt they had regained some power, and were able to accept the eventual release.

Arthur
Arthur, a pensioner, was murdered by a young man who lived on his estate. No motive for the killing has ever been established, a fact with which his frail wife has struggled ever since. Victim Enquiry work started early on in the life sentence, so Arthur’s family were kept fully updated throughout his sentence. Their views were passed on to the MAPPP and a condition was put in the licence barring the offender from ever returning to the estate. He had to face the

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. There is a national Victim Supportline – 0845 30 30 900 – for information and support and details of local services and other relevant organisations. The following are the contact details for Victim Support in West Yorkshire:

Lisa
Victim Enquiry work with Lisa, who had been violently raped, revealed her fears and anger about the release of her attacker. She was put in touch with support

Victim Support Schemes in West Yorkshire
Calderdale VSS Helen Whale Co-ordinator Off Hopwood Lane 5 Park RoadTel: 01422 344742 Halifax HX1 2TS

Huddersfield VSS Carol Sanderson Co-ordinatorHuddersfield PO Box 479Tel: 01484 511112 HD1 2YG

Keighley VSS Joanne Waterhouse Co-ordinatorKeighley 1st Floor 105-107 East ParadeTel: 01535 606871 BD21 5HU

Wakefield VSS Cath Saxton Co-ordinatorWakefield PO Box 130Tel: 01924 369107 WF1 2XQ

NE Leeds VSS Marie Hearnshaw Co-ordinatorStation Road St Theresa’s Parish CentreTel: 0113 2930199 Leeds LS15 7JY

NW Leeds VS Corinne Hunt Co-ordinator: Gledhow Mount Mansion Suites 2-3 Tel: 0113 2392299 Roxholme Grove Leeds LS7 1AB

S & W Leeds VSS Trevor Buckroyd Co-ordinator190 Dewsbury Road The One Stop CentreTel: 0113 2713558 Leeds LS11 6PF

Dewsbury & District VSS Carol Sanderson Co-ordinatorMarket Place Batley Police StationTel: 01924 476622 Batley WF17 5DG

Area Director Chris Carling Woolston HouseTel: 01274 390360 3 Tetley Street Bradford BD1 2NP

7. Statistical Information
Number of Offenders
i) The number of Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) in the community on 31/03/02 (S68(2) CJ & CS Act 2000) The number of RSOs per 100,000 population 1045

See Note
(i)

49

ii)

The number of SOs cautioned/convicted for breaches of registration requirement 01/04/01 – 31/03/02

19

iii) The number of Sex Offender Orders 01/04/01 - 31/03/02 a) b) c) d) total applied for granted not granted applications still in progress 1 1 0 2

(ii)

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)

2046

(iii)

110

(iv)

NOTES (i) Registered Sex Offenders - s68(2) CJ & CS Act 2000: an offender who is subject to the notification requirements of Part 1 of the Sex Offenders’ Act 1997

(ii) A Sex Offender Order may be applied for by the police where the behaviour of sex offender gives cause for concern that the public are at risk of serious harm from him/her. This is a civil order for which application is made to the magistrates’ court. It contains prohibitions on the offender necessary to protect the public. It runs for at least 5 years and requires the offender to register under the Sex Offenders’ Act 1997.

(iii) Violent Offenders & Other Sex Offenders - defined by s68 (3)(4) & (5) CJ & CS Act 2000: (3) A person falls within this subsection if (a) he is convicted by a court in England or Wales of a sexual or violent offence (within the meaning of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000), and

(b) one of the following sentences is imposed on him in respect of the conviction (i) a sentence of imprisonment for a term of 12 months or more

(ii) a sentence of detention in a young offender institution for a term of 12 months or more (iii) a sentence of detention during Her Majesty’s Pleasure (iv) a sentence of detention for a period of 12 months or more under section 91 of the Powers of criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 (offenders under 18 convicted of certain serious offences) (v) a detention and training order for a term of 12 months or more, or (vi) a hospital or guardianship order within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983

(4) A person falls within this subsection if (a) he is found guilty by a court in England and Wales of a sexual or violent offence (within the meaning of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000) by reason of insanity or to be under a disability and to have done the act charged against him in respect of such an offence and (b) one of the following orders is made in respect of the act charged against him as the offence (i) an order that he be admitted to hospital, or

(ii) a guardianship order within the meaning of the Mental Health Act 1983

(5) A person falls within the subsection if the first condition set out in section 28(2) or 29(2) or the second condition set out in section 28(3) or 29(3) is satisfied in his case

(iv) Other Offenders - s67 (2)(b) CJ & CS Act 2000: an offender considered by the responsible authority to be a person who may cause serious harm to the public not included in the above categories

West Yorkshire Probation / Police Contact Details:
Probation Assistant Chief Officer (Public Protection) West Yorkshire Probation Board Cliff Hill House Sandy Walk Wakefield West Yorkshire WF1 2DJ Tel: 01924 885300

Communications & Public Relations Manager West Yorkshire Probation Board Cliff Hill House Sandy Walk Wakefield West Yorkshire WF1 2DJ Tel: 01924 885300

Police Head of Crime Operations West Yorkshire Police HQ PO Box 9 Wakefield West Yorkshire WF1 3QP Tel: 01924 292388

Principal Media & Public Relations Officer West Yorkshire Police HQ PO Box 9 Wakefield West Yorkshire WF1 3QP Tel: 01924 292388