Devon and Cornwall

NATIONAL PROBATION SERVICE
for England and Wales

MAPPA Annual Report 2002

1. Introduction
There is a history of close working and collaboration between Police and Probation in Devon and Cornwall. The former Probation Services of Devon and Cornwall were amalgamated in April 2001, alongside the introduction of the National Probation Service. This is a large geographical area, which consists of four Police areas and four Probation divisions. Each of these divisions has made local arrangements for multi agency management of potentially dangerous offenders, under the existing protocols and procedures. Work is currently in progress to further improve these arrangements and ensure consistency of standards and practice. Formal arrangements in Devon and Cornwall began in response to the Sex Offenders Act 1997, when Police and Probation began to make joint arrangements for the assessment of registered sex offenders. We have built on those arrangements over the past few years and we now have multi-agency arrangements between Police, Probation, Health, Housing and Social Services for information sharing and the assessment and management of sex offenders and other potentially dangerous offenders. This document will provide further details of arrangements made in Devon and Cornwall and give contact points for any additional enquiries including agencies other than Police and Probation (see page 8). Section 7 iv details additional specific costs consequent upon the introduction of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. This does not reflect the overall costs of these arrangements within the Devon and Cornwall Probation Area and the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary.

2. Summary of Roles and Responsibilities
Devon and Cornwall Constabulary employs a 'Dangerous Offenders Officer' in its 'Force Intelligence Centre' whose role is to oversee and monitor the sex offender register and work with a recently appointed Risk Assessment Officer to assess offenders prior to release from prison, working with other agencies to devise release plans. There are plans to appoint two further Risk Assessment Officers and one other Dangerous Offenders Officer. The work of this officer is overseen by a Dective Inspector in the Force Intelligence Centre and in cooperation with the ‘Victim Centred Crime’ Unit at Police Headquarters in Exeter. The Constabulary employs four additional 'Dangerous Offender Officers' each of whom is based in one of the four territorial policing areas, which are broadly consistent with the local Probation divisions of Exeter and North Devon, South Devon, Plymouth and Cornwall. These officers work closely with Probation staff in the local management of the multi-agency public protection process, assessing and managing potentially dangerous offenders. Devon and Cornwall Probation Area employs specialist Probation staff who are trained and experienced in the assessment and management of potentially dangerous offenders. Probation Officers undertaking these roles are based in each of the four divisions; they work primarily with offenders sentenced to imprisonment, both during their sentences and on release, although they sometimes manage potentially dangerous offenders on community sentences. The Probation Area also employs specialist staff who deliver offending programmes to sex offenders. All divisions have established working arrangements with other agencies. Local middle managers responsible for resettlement work line manage the Probation staff, chair and manage the multi-agency conferencing process with the Police, review cases and oversee local registers of offenders assessed as posing a risk of harm to the public. There are three prisons in Devon; Dartmoor, Channings Wood and Exeter. Probation and Prison staff within these establishements work together with Police, Probation and others in the community to plan for the release of offenders under conditions, which address the risks they pose to the public. Prison based staff provide reports and other information, sometimes attend multiagency meetings and ensure that offenders are clear before release, about any licence conditions to which they may be subject. Examples of agencies involved in local partnerships include: a) Health Service staff provide a range of services including community mental health, psychiatric and forensic assessment. Local forensic psychologists provide assessment and treatment packages for offenders where appropriate. Health professionals attend multiagency meetings and contribute to assessments and supervision plans. b) Social Services Departments in Devon and Cornwall have a ststutory duty to provide for the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Their representatives contribute to the multi-agency assessment and management process in all divisions, attending Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP) meetings, providing written and verbal reports where appropriate and working closely with all relevant agencies in the implementation of supervision plans. c) The NSPCC has a partnership agreement with the Devon and Cornwall Probation Area. This partnership covers the provision of sex offender treatment groupwork, staff training and consultation and appropriate contribution to the MAPPP process.

3. Outline of Arrangements Made
Within Devon and Cornwall, arrangements have been made for multi-agency conferencing of all potentially dangerous offenders. This process involves sharing of information and close working to protect the public. All registered sex offenders are initially assessed by the Police, using an assessment system entitled 'matrix 2000'. Those who are assessed as medium or high risk are discussed at MAPPP meetings, which take place every two weeks. Violent Offenders who serve prison sentences of 12 months or more are released under the supervision of the Probation Service.

Specialist Probation staff trained in the assessment and management of risk work closely with Police and other agencies to manage all offenders who are assessed as posing a high risk of harm to the public. To improve public protection, Police, Probation and any other relevant agencies share information and make joint plans. For the highest risk offenders, a MAPPP will be convened. MAPPP meetings are usually chaired by Probation Managers and they are always attended by Police representatives, who may also chair the meeting. The Police co-ordinate MAPPP meetings and provide secretarial support. The length of meetings is dependent upon the nature of the case to be considered, risks posed and the need for a risk management plan. As much relevant information as possible from Police, Probation and other agencies in contact with the offender is considered, so that informed decisions can be made. MAPPP meetings routinely consider previous offending history, proximity and vulnerability of potential victims and the likely nature of future offending. A risk management plan is constructed, detailing multi-agency roles and responsibilities and any joint approach to the management of risk. Registered offenders are reviewed through the MAPPP process; regularity of reviews is dependent upon the requirements of individual cases. All cases are

reviewed at least three monthly, many more frequently. Registration criteria under the MAPPP arrangements fall under the following definition: 'Individuals living in the community or about to be released into the community, who have a high probability of inflicting serious harm on others' Serious harm is defined as: '…death or damage which is life threatening and / or traumatic, and from which a full recovery is unlikely. It can be psychological as well as physical.’' Offenders who do not fall into the above categories, but who are assessed as posing a risk of harm are considered through inter-agency liaison and meetings. If the risk escalates, they are referred to the MAPPP process. Risk management of high-risk offenders can take a variety of forms, including the following: a) Information to local police officers about the residence of such offenders on their beat b) 'Flagging' of offenders on police intelligence systems c) Compliance checks and regular home visits for registered sex offenders d) Joint Police and Probation home visits

e) Disclosure of relevant information to those at risk, or to relevant nonstatutory agencies where the interest of public protection is paramount f) The use of sex offender and antisocial behaviour orders g) Surveillance h) Conditions attached to post release licences, including exclusion from certain areas, not to approach certain persons, hostel residence or electronic tagging i) Intensive programmes of work undertaken by or on behalf of Probation staff, in the community or in prison. These programmes are increasingly validated through extensive research and include sex offender treatment programmes, which involve comprehensive analysis of offending, impact upon victims, repeat patterns of behaviour and how to avoid them and work aimed at preventing a relapse into offending. Work of this nature is undertaken in prison and in the community; its impact upon offenders, successful or otherwise, is used to inform release plans and can affect decisions made by the Parole Board about timing of release. Protection of the public is the paramount concern and the specific risks to potential victims can be managed through a variety of measures. In cases where the risk of harm to others is particularly high, hostel residence, police surveillance and electronic tagging can be used.

4. Strategic Management Arrangements
In Devon and Cornwall, a Superintendent from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and an Assistant Chief Officer from Devon and Cornwall Probation Area meet regularly to review and monitor arrangements for MAPPPS. Further development of this alliance is planned, in the form of a MultiAgency MAPPP Steering Group, to include senior representatives of other agencies, including Social Services and Health. The Steering Group will make decisions about resource allocation and implications and commission inter-agency training. In Devon and Cornwall, as a result of a recent review of MAPPP arrangements, Police and Probation representatives plan to establish a structure for co-ordinating the assessment and management systems for potentially dangerous offenders across the area. This will ensure greater consistency and strategic oversight of systems and processes within this large geographical area.

5. Disclosure
One option available to agencies involved in the management of potentially dangerous offenders is to disclose information to individuals, groups or sections of the community if this is proportional and justifiable. Decisions to disclose must be justified on the basis of the harm, which is likely to occur if disclosure does not take place. Examples of disclosure are as follows: a) A registered sex offender with a history of indecency against vulnerable youths continued to involve himself in youth football. A sex offender order was obtained prohibiting participation in such activity. It was subsequently discovered that he intended to referee youth football matches in a forthcoming tournament. Authorisation to disclose was obtained and the organiser of the tournament was contacted and confirmed suspicions. The offender was then arrested. b) An offender convicted of serious sexual assault was resident in a local Probation Hostel. He was subject to post release licence with a condition not to approach his former victim or her family. This man failed to return to the hostel at the appropriate time and the Police and Home Office Sentence Enforcement Unit were immediately informed. A decision was made to advise the former victim and her family, who received police protection until the offender was apprehended by the Police. He was returned to prison for breach of his licence conditions.

6. Victims Work
Under section 69 of the 'Criminal Justice and Court Services Act' 2000, the National Probation Service has a duty to contact victims of sexual or violent offences, where the perpetrator is serving in excess of twelve months imprisonment. Devon and Cornwall Probation Area employs specialist Victim Liaison Officers, who work alongside victim support and who ensure that victims are consulted and informed at appropriate stages throughout the offender's sentence. The protection of victims from further offending is paramount. They may express a wish that the offender should not be released to an address near to them, resulting in a licence condition prohibiting the offender from living in their area, or from approaching or seeking to contact them. In this way, Victim Liaison Officers provide information to their colleagues who manage offenders, which informs sentence planning and release plans. Some sexual offences occur within families. In such instances, a number of people from the same family can be affected, either directly, or as a result of a traumatic experience to someone close to them. In such cases, all victims will be offered contact with Probation. If, as in many cases, there are fears about what will happen when the offender is released, as he or she may wish to sustain relationships with some family members, then all steps are taken to protect vulnerable former victims from further traumatic experiences or abuse. These can be complex situations and often require the intervention of several agencies. 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 contact numbers for local Victim Support services are contained on page 8.

7. Statistics
i. Number of Registered Sex Offenders in Devon and Cornwall on 31/03/02: 586

Number of Registered Sex Offenders per 100,000 of the population

37

ii.

Number of Sex Offenders cautioned / convicted for breaches of registration requirement:

45

iii.

Sex Offender Orders 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002:

1

(a) Total applied for:

1

(b) Granted:

1

(c) Not Granted:

0

(d) Applications still in progress:

0

iv.

Number of Offenders 01/04/01 to 31/03/02:

a)

Violent Offenders and other Sex Offenders:

837 5

b)

Other Offenders:

v.

Cost of Local Arrangements Staff Costs Probation Staff Costs Police Staff Costs Total COST £90,000 £80,000 £170,000

Contacts
Devon and Cornwall Probation Area Address Phone

Chief Officer

Queen’s House Little Queen Street Exeter EX4 3LJ

01392 474100

Devon and Cornwall Police

Address

Phone

Chief Constable

Middlemoor Exeter EX2 7HQ

0870 5777444

Devon and Cornwall Victim Support

Phone

Victim Support Exeter East & Mid Devon

01392 427117

Victim Support North Devon

01271 324005

Victim Support Plymouth

01752 777118

Victim Support South & West Devon ‘

01626 203295

Victim Support Torbay

01803 665989

Victim Support Cornwall

01872 263464