Northamptonshire

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

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 cooperate’ 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.

1. Area Summary

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) with all of them. The Northamptonshire Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements are founded on the principle that the

community is best safeguarded by an interagency approach to risk assessment and risk management. Within Northants, the partner agencies in criminal justice, social care and health, child protection, police, probation, prison service, youth offending team and housing work together to enhance the protection afforded to individuals and communities from the risks posed by sexual, violent and other dangerous offenders and persons who may cause serious harm. The Sex Offender Act (1997) introduced joint working arrangements between the Police and Probation Service to monitor and reduce the risks posed by registered sex offenders. The remit of the Public Protection Panel was then widened to include potentially dangerous offenders. Information sharing is vital to effective risk management and the Public Protection Panel drew in other agencies to share information and also to share skills and resources in the management of risky individuals. Since then, the panel has developed and formalised these arrangements and, in accordance with the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000) the Public Protection Panel became the Multi Agency Public Panel (MAPPP). The term Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) relates to the individual risk assessment and management arrangements developed by each partner agency as well as the overarching protocol for cooperation between agencies. Public protection through the management and, where possible, reduction of risk is the paramount aim of MAPPA. In pursuing this aim, MAPPA respects the legal and human rights of individuals, whether victims, offenders or members of the public. The MAPPA recognises issues of diversity and difference and strives to ensure that individuals receive fair and equitable treatment. To ensure accountability, the work

of MAPPA is carefully recorded and decisions are based on judgements against clear and agreed evidence-based criteria. The MAPPA strives to give individuals the means to control their own behaviour and reduce their risk through the provision of effective interventions. In the case of individuals who are unable or unwilling to respond positively to such interventions, the MAPPA imposes external controls on their behaviour such as post prison licence conditions or the restrictions afforded by a Sex Offender Order. This document provides details of the arrangements made in Northants and the work of MAPPA and MAPPP in the past year. It also provides contact points for any further enquiries including agencies other than Police and Probation.

2. Roles and Responsibilities
As the “Responsible Authorities” under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000) the Police and Probation Service share the chairmanship of the Strategic Management Board of MAPPA. The following agencies are signatories to the MAPPP Protocol and are represented both at strategic management level and as panel members. A Detective Sergeant and Detective Constable, both based in Force Intelligence, represent Northampton Police on the Multi Agency Public Protection Panel. These Officers risk assess all registered sex offenders using an evidence-based risk assessment tool. They visit registered sex offenders at home and ensure the sharing of information both within the Police and with other agencies, in particular Social Care and Health’s children’s services. Through their assessment of risk the Police identify individuals whose risk indicates the need for cooperation between two or three of the partner agencies. The Police work closely with the Probation Service frequently undertaking joint visits to offenders both in custody prior to release and at home post release. The Police also identify individuals for referral to the MAPPP. As panel members the Police contribute to risk assessment by sharing information and skills and to risk management by actioning risk management plans. The Probation Service uses the Offender Assessment System (OASys) to risk assess every offender whom they supervise or report on to Courts. In addition, Probation Officers use specialist risk assessment tools when assessing violent and sexual offenders. The High Risk Team supervises all sex offenders and offenders who pose a risk of serious harm. The members of this team have received specialist training in risk assessment and management and in working with sex offenders. They also deliver the Community Sex Offender Treatment Programme: a 240-hour programme that enables men who have committed sexual offences to understand and control their abusive behaviour. The Manager of the High Risk Team is a panel member who, for the past year, has taken responsibility for chairing the MAPPP. The MAPPP Manager also chairs Local Risk Management Meetings and oversees all referrals to MAPPP. The Manager of Bridgewood House is also a panel member who is able to share information on the progress or deterioration of offenders as well as providing approved premises for offenders who need both a high level of support and restriction to reduce their risk. An Assistant Chief Officer is also a panel member; representation at this high level ensures that resources follow risk. The Prison Service is also adopting OASys to risk assess all prisoners and through the sentence management process works with the Probation Service to engage prisoners in reducing their risk and preparing for resettlement in the community. The Prison Service supports the MAPPP by releasing personnel, prison officers and governors to attend panel meetings as needed. A Senior Probation Officer, from HMP Ryehill, represents the Prison Service on the MAPPP. HMP Ryehill holds violent and sexual offenders and offers a Sex Offender Treatment programme to prisoners. This panel member assists by contributing information on prisoners for example, their disciplinary record and by accessing resources, for example psychiatric assessments, on prisoners registered with the panel. One practitioner from the Community Forensic Outreach Team sits on the MAPPP. They are, on occasion, able to share information on individuals as well as contribute from their knowledge base and skill in working with persons who suffer mental illness or personality disorder. The referral procedures for this team means that over the past year, the MAPPP has not been able to access this resource as part of the risk management plan for any offenders they have discussed. The Strategic Management Board is pursuing this issue. Northamptonshire has seven Borough Councils, each with its own Housing department. A representative of Northampton Borough Council is a panel member. This panel member is able to offer information about tenants which is vital to risk assessment and they also give advice on housing matters making an invaluable contribution to risk management plans. The Youth Offending Teams manage young offenders who may present a risk to others but who may also be damaged by their childhood experiences and in need of protection from others. The Youth Offending Team therefore undertake a specialist criminal justice role that links the work of the Police and the child protection agencies. The Youth Offending team is represented on the Strategic Management Board and attends MAPPPs on a case-by-case basis. Social Care and Health and the Primary Care Trust provide services to vulnerable groups both adults and children. These include services to children in need and their families, older people, disabled people and those with mental health needs. As the area of responsibility for Social Care and Health is wide, two panel members represent this agency. One member represents Children’s Services forming a link with the work of the Area Child Protection Committee and contributing to the

risk assessment and management of individuals where there are concerns for children. The Manager of the County Approved Social Work Service is also a panel member

contributing their own expertise to the panel and linking with Psychiatrists and Approved Social Workers countywide.

3. The Operation of MAPPA
There is a co-ordinated structure covering Northamptonshire for the assessment and integrated risk management of sexual and violent offenders with the aim of securing public protection. In addition to the protocol covering the MAPPP, this structure includes the prison service, Housing and Employment Services and the Area Child Protection Committee. In accordance with Prison Circular 45/95, the Prison Service identifies prisoners who have been convicted of an offence against a child under the age of 18 years. When such a prisoner is transferred between institutions or is due to be released, the Probation Service, Registry and Conference (Child Protection) Service and area Social Care and Health Teams are notified. This ensures that individuals who pose a risk to children are tracked as they move from the prison into the community and that necessary steps can be taken to protect children. These can involve the disclosure of information to parents or carers and intervention by the Registry and Conference Service. The Probation Service has a protocol with the Employment Service, which is notified in advance when anyone convicted of a sexual offence is about to be released from custody. This ensures that those offenders who seek assistance in obtaining employment through the Employment Service are directed to appropriate work that does not involve contact with children. As noted, the Police use an approved risk assessment tool to assess all registered sex offenders. Information is shared with other agencies, in particular the Registry and Conferencing Service. Visits are made to offenders at their homes to check addresses and monitor behaviour. When the behaviour of a sex offender has caused concern, the Police have responded by seeking a Sex Offender Order. The Sex Offender Order was introduced in the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act. It is a Civil Order, applied for and managed by the Police. An application can be made if an offender is “grooming” potential victims, or their families, or engaging in any behaviour that was the precursor to previous offending. The Order is preventative in nature and can for example, prohibit an offender from living with or having unsupervised contact with a child. In a recent case, an offender, whom we shall refer to as A, had convictions for sexual offences against children. A had refused to engage in treatment to reduce his risk and the Police obtained a Sex Offender Order that prohibited A from contact with children. As a result of monitoring A, the Police learned that he had attended a children’s party where he had joined in with children playing and had lots of physical contact. There was no evidence that A has sexually assaulted any of the children however, his behaviour was a clear breach of the Sex Offender Order. Evidence was presented to court and A was sentenced to a substantial prison sentence. Within the Probation Service, a team of specially trained Probation Officers undertake all pre-court assessments of sex offenders. They produce Pre-sentence reports that include a detailed risk assessment and a report on the defendant’s suitability for treatment. If the defendant is assessed as presenting a high risk of offending, the courts are asked to impose a prison sentence. The courts are also asked to impose extended periods of supervision after release to ensure the completion of treatment programmes and the protection of the public. As noted, specially trained Probation Officers also deliver a Community Sex Offender Treatment Programme to men as part of a community sentence or following a prison sentence. Research on the effectiveness of this programme indicates that it significantly reduces risk of reoffending. Violent offenders sentenced to 12 months imprisonment or more, are released from prison subject to licence and supervised by the Probation Service. Licence conditions can be included which require co-operation with measures to reduce risk or prohibit behaviours for example, contact with victims. Community sentences and post release licences are rigorously enforced with breaches resulting in court action or recall to prison. All offenders are risk assessed using OASys. Offenders assessed as presenting a high or very high risk or

who cause concern to any of the partner agencies are referred to a Local risk Management Meeting. These meetings include at a minimum Police and Probation and can also involve any other agency with an interest in the person being assessed. In cases where there are grave concerns or where the offender is assessed as presenting an imminent risk of serious harm, a referral to the MAPPP follows. The MAPPP meets monthly to discuss those cases that are assessed as posing an imminent risk of serious harm. As detailed above, all panel members hold managerial positions in their own agencies. The MAPPP Manager who is a Senior Probation Officer has chaired meetings over the past year. In the interests of consistency and objectivity, each MAPPP meeting follows a standard agenda. The MAPPP meets once per month, with, in general, two to three new cases considered each time; each is subject to a discussion of approximately one to one and half hours. The MAPPP will consider information and assessments provided by practitioners who are involved with the individual. Historical case information will also be sought from the partner agencies. The panel will then decide if the case meets the criteria for registration. Where a decision is made to register, the panel then develops a risk management plan and designates a lead agency to implement the plan. Risk Management Plans include different agency actions or ways of limiting the opportunity for an individual to cause serious harm to others. This can include decisions about prison licence conditions that require an offender to undertake a treatment programme or address his alcohol

problem. More controlling measures can include curfews, electronic monitoring, police surveillance or residence at approved premises. The MAPPP will also hear direct feedback from Victim Contact Officers with regard to the concerns of victims and the measures needed to enhance their safety. In a recent case an offender, we shall call him B, was nearing the end of a prison sentence for offences of violence against his family. The MAPPP heard information from the Victim Contact Officer that B’s family were extremely fearful of his release, as he had continued to make threats against them. B was interviewed by the Police and repeated his threats; this amounted to an offence. On completion of his prison sentence, he was arrested and charged with further offences. Whilst taking action to reduce B’s ability to carry out his threats against his family, MAPPA also located specialist psychiatric assistance for B to explore the possibility of a mental health problem and possible treatment. While MAPPP strives to reduce the risk of harm presented by those registered it is not possible to eliminate all risk. During the past year one offender registered with MAPPP has been charged with an offence of robbery, he has been remanded in custody since May 2002 awaiting sentence. Individuals who have been registered with the MAPPP are informed of their registration unless there are clear reasons not to do so i.e. that this would increase risk to potential victims or the public in general. Registered cases reviewed to ensure are implemented account of changed are regularly that decisions and to take circumstances.

Each case review includes a review of the need for continued registration. Each MAPPP discussion is minuted in full. The MAPPP minutes are clearly designated as highly confidential however information is shared with parties not attending MAPPP meetings when this is necessary to secure the protection of the public. The MAPPP has the authority to disclose information to a wider public but in this past year, such action has not proved necessary. While MAPPPs are held monthly, all panel members are committed to attending additional MAPPP meetings at short notice should the need arise. One case in particular demonstrates the benefits of information sharing and disclosure and the external controls that can be imposed on individuals to reduce risk. An offender came to the attention of the Police following an incident of domestic violence. The man, we shall call him C, had a record of serious sexual offences against girls and as he had been living with the adult victim of his assault and her child, he was discussed at the MAPPP. C’s relationship with his partner ended as a result of the assault however, the MAPPP retained an interest in C because he has shown that he could become part of a family with a child while hiding his past. Shortly afterwards the Borough Council panel member reported that C was living with a woman, Y, who had a young daughter, Z. The Police visited Y and disclosed C’s criminal history. Y was dismissive of the risk posed by C. The Police then applied for and obtained a Sex Offender Order that prevents C from living with or having any unsupervised contact with Z or any other child.

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4. The Strategic Management of MAPPA
The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements and the MAPPP are overseen by a Strategic Management Board (SMB), The SMB represents, at strategic level, the member agencies that have made a commitment to the multiagency management of potentially dangerous individuals in Northants. It is convened and chaired on a rotating basis by the “Responsible Authorities”, i.e. the Probation Service and the Police. The SMB meets quarterly and membership is located at Assistant Chief Officer or Chief Officer level. The MAPPP Manager maintains a database of all cases registered at MAPPP and discussed at LRMMs and is required to submit regular reports to the SMB. Northants has signed an East Midlands Protocol that establishes reciprocal arrangements for MAPPPs within the region to conduct formal reviews of each other’s cases should serious harm result from an offence committed by an individual considered by MAPPA. In the past year the SMB has recognised that to provide a full and accountable service the MAPPP Manager position should be a full time position. The partnership agencies have all committed to financing this post and a MAPPP Manager has been appointed and will take up post in May 2003. The SMB is constituted as follows: National Probation Assistant Chief Officer Service – Police – Detective Chief Superintendent and Detective Chief Inspector Social Care and Health – County Manager of Children’s Services Youth Offending Team – County Manager Prison Service – Governor Housing - Chief Housing Officer Northampton Borough Council Health - Chief Executive Northampton Primary Care Trust of

Mental Health Trust -Head of Mental Health Services

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5. Victim Work
Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 places a statutory duty on the National Probation Service to contact victims and ask if they wish to be consulted about the release arrangements for violent and sexual offenders sentenced to 12 months in prison or more. Specialist staff, Victim Contact Officers, based in two locations north and south of the County deal exclusively with the victims of crime for whom the Probation Service has a statutory responsibility. The Victim Contact Officers make extensive efforts to locate victims whom they then approach in a manner that respects their wish to be consulted in the management of the offender and is conscious of issues of diversity and difference. Where a victim chooses to be consulted, the Victim Contact Officer will arrange to meet them at a time and place convenient to them. This is usually at the home of the victim(s). Victims are entitled to be kept informed of the release arrangements for the offenders, the month and general location, and details of any licence conditions that restrict the offender’s movements and reduce the impact on the victim. As noted above, the MAPPP has acted on direct feedback from victims, via Victim Contact Officers, on licence conditions restricting offenders from areas in Northants and prohibiting contact. The MAPPP has been active in cases of domestic violence both in directing the victim to support and advice offered by The 1 Sunflower Centre and in securing the perpetrator’s removal from the community. Victims are a key focus in all work of MAPPA both in representing their views and in assisting offenders to accept responsibility for the harm caused to
1

The Sunflower Centre's mission statement is "To protect and empower victims of domestic abuse and reduce repeat incidents regardless of age, gender, social class, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental ability, by adopting a multi agency response.

their victims thereby enhancing their motivation to avoid creating more victims. 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. You can also call the Victim Supportline - 0845 30 30 900 – for information and support and details

of local services and other relevant organisations. The details of the Northampton Victim Support scheme and other relevant agencies are listed on the contacts page of this report.

6. Statistical Information
Population figure for Northamptonshire as supplied by the last census in 2001

625895
Registered Sex Offenders per 100'000 population is: 32

No. of Offenders

i.

The number of registered sex offenders on 31 March 2003

200

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

4

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

1

(b) The total number granted

1

(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

1

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])

620

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])

3

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

11

b)

MAPPP - violent and other sex offenders

17

c)

MAPPP - other offenders

1

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

3

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

1

c)

charged with a serious sexual or violent offence

1

Contacts

MAPPP Manager

Northamptonshire Police Headquarters 01604 700700 Wootton Hall Northampton, NN1 0JQ

Northamptonshire Probation Area Assistant Chief Officer

Address National Probation Service Northamptonshire Area Walter Tull House 43-47 Bridge Street Northampton NN1 1NS

Phone 01604 658082

Northamptonshire Police

Address

Phone

Detective Chief Superintendent

Northamptonshire Police Headquarters 01604 700700 Wootton Hall Northampton, NN1 0JQ Northamptonshire Police Headquarters 01604 700700 Wootton Hall Northampton, NN1 0JQ

Detective Chief Inspector

Northamptonshire Victim Support Scheme County Director

Address Northampton Victim Support Scheme Angel Street, Northampton, NN1 1ED

Phone 01604 603477

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