Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements Annual Report

Annual report for the period 1st April 2001 to 31st March 2002

North Wales

MAPPA Annual Report 2002

1

Introduction

Local arrangements in North Wales for the coordination of work with sex and dangerous offenders pre-date the implementation of the Sex Offender Act 1997. A Protocol of Inter-Service arrangements for Managing Dangerous Offenders in the Community was agreed between North Wales Probation Service and North Wales Police in July 1997. This was subsequently developed into an Inter-Agency Protocol dealing with Sex Offenders and other dangerous offenders in April 2001. This committed Police, Probation and all Local Authorities across North Wales to co-operate in respect of risk assessment and management and to exchange information with regard to individuals who are considered to be a risk to public safety. These arrangements are currently under review in line with the duties placed on Police and Probation under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.

2

Summary of Roles and Responsibilities
Assessment Systems (OASys). In cases of sexual or violent offending, the Thornton Risk Matrix 2000 is also used. Where an offender is identified as posing a high or very high risk of harm, the case is referred to a Multi Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP). Supervising Probation Officers will then work closely with the Police in managing the risk posed by the offender. For further details contact: The Chief Officer, North Wales Probation Area, Alexandra House, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 9YF. Council Offices, Wynnstay Road, Ruthin, Denbighshire, LL15 1YN Wrexham: Wrexham County Borough Council, Personnel Services, Lambpit Street, PO Box 1287, Wrexham, LL11 1WH Flintshire: Flintshire County Council, County Hall, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 6NB

Police role:
North Wales is divided into three Divisions or Police areas and each area has a dedicated Police Officer working in conjunction with their counterparts from other agencies. These are dedicated Officers trained to a National level who as well as collating information on individuals in their areas, also visit them to confirm identities and addresses and to discuss any issues with the individual which may have a bearing on public safety or the safety of the individual. These Officers are often in contact with their opposite number in Probation who on some occasions join with an Officer to visit an individual. This brings together the expertise of both services and is an example of how the closer working partnership is being adopted across North Wales. North Wales Police have a dedicated officer working in Police Headquarters at Colwyn Bay specifically tasked with providing assistance to divisional practitioners. Guidance and the highlighting of good practice identified together with the development of a new database to assist in monitoring arrangements is provided. This officer has established links and is in regular contact with other forces to this end. For further details contact: The Public Protection Co-Ordinator, Community Safety Department, Police Headquarters, Colwyn Bay, LL29 8AW

Health role:
The Health role is predominantly one of providing information and opinions as to levels of risk posed by offenders with mental health problems. Input may be given by the Doctor who is handling a particular case or a Forensic Psychiatric Nurse if general advice is needed. The Health teams are contactable through the three trusts in North Wales. North West Wales NHS Trust Ysbyty Bryn y Neuadd, Llanfairfechan, Gwynedd, LL33 0HH Conwy/Denbighshire NHS Trust Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, LL18 5UJ North East Wales NHS Trust Ysbyty Maelor, Croesnewydd Road, Wrexham, LL13 7TD Commissioning of Health provision is currently located with the North Wales Health Authority. The address of the Authority is: North Wales Health Authority Preswylfa, Hendy Road, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 1PZ The Health Authority fulfils a coordinating role across North Wales in relation to Policy Development in this field and, also convenes a North Wales Mentally Disordered

Social Services role:
Social Services are requested to attend Multi Agency Public Protection meetings when a case involves a family or child who are known to the agency for any reason. For example, this could be where a sex offender has children as part of their immediate family or where an offender is known to the Social Services Mental Health Team. The Social Services teams are contactable through their respective local authority area as follows: The Director of Social Services: Môn: Ynys Môn County Council, Shire Hall, Ffordd Glanhwfa, Llangefni, LL77 7TS Gwynedd: Gwynedd County Council, Shire Hall Street, Caernarfon, LL55 1SH Conwy: Conwy County Council, Builder Street, Llandudno, LL30 1DA Denbighshire: Denbighshire County Council,

Probation role:
The Probation Service carries out risk assessments on all offenders subject to statutory supervision, using a nationally accredited assessment tool – the Offender

Offenders Group. Work has been commissioned by this Group to examine the relationship between Health provision and work with sex offenders. A report is awaited which it is anticipated will address the issue of need in relation to Psychiatric and Psychological

services and the responsibility of Health as a provider.

Local Authority Housing role:
It is recognised that appropriate stable accommodation can be an

important factor in reducing the risks of further offending. Local Authority Housing Officers are regularly involved in Multi Agency discussions about the accommodation of offenders and attend MAPPPs in parts of North Wales.

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Outline of Arrangements Made
Mental Health issues. Local Authority Housing Officers attend in some areas and other agency representatives attend by invitation to discuss individual cases. Whenever an offender under discussion has substantial links with another area of the country, an invitation to attend is sent to relevant agencies in that area. In addition, to scheduled meetings, a MAPPP may be convened at any time to discuss a case new to the area or where the level of risk is judged to have become very high. Such meetings will usually be chaired by the Assistant Chief Probation Officer. The decisions of all meetings are recorded and reviewed at subsequent meetings. All sex offenders subject to statutory supervision by the Probation Service are assessed for participation in the Community Sex Offender Groupwork Programme. This is a nationally accredited programme which challenges behaviour and addresses cognitive distortions which has been demonstrated to have an impact in reducing re-offending. The Probation Service in North Wales is introducing other accredited programmes which address violent behaviour. A Multi Agency Working Group has been meeting since the beginning of 2002 to review local arrangements. A new Protocol is in the final stages of development. This will clarify which offenders will be the subject of a high level review and introduce a more consistent approach to the process and recording of MAPPP meetings.

Multi Agency arrangements for the assessment and management of sexual, violent and other dangerous offenders are in place across North Wales. Regular meetings are convened each month by the Probation Service to share information about offenders subject to statutory supervision and make joint plans if necessary. Other agencies bring cases for discussion at these meetings. Meetings are usually chaired by the local Senior Probation Officer. Core membership includes the Area Police Sex and Violent Offender Monitoring Officer and their Manager, the local Social Services Child Protection Coordinator and Youth Offending Team Manager. A member of the North Wales Forensic Psychiatric team has begun to attend meetings to advise directly on offenders with

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Strategic Management Arrangements
meetings, in January and March 2002 have taken place to review the Protocol and the operation of the MAPPPs, in line with the requirements of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. Arrangements are under review with a view to developing a revised Multi Agency Public Protection Strategy and the creation of a Multi Agency Strategy Group which will meet regularly to oversee the operation of MAPPPs and the second tier of Multi Agency meetings as well as co-ordinating training, media relations and information sharing.

Current strategic management arrangements are based on the Inter-agency Protocol dealing with sex offenders and other dangerous offenders dated April 2001. This identified a standing group to oversee the implementation of the Protocol. Two multi-agency

5

Disclosure
makers at Easter, children playing on the site might be vulnerable to attack by the couple. After discussions with the couple, a psychiatrist and other agencies, such as social services, it was decided to inform the site owner of the couple’s convictions. The owner made them leave. The couple brought an action for judicial review of the Police’s conduct. HELD: In LIMITED circumstances the Police could release factual information about individuals if it was very strongly in the public interest to do so. This should be based on the following: i) There is a general presumption that information should NOT be disclosed, based on a recognition of: - the potentially serious effect on the ability of the convicted people to live a normal life; - the risk of violence to such people; and - the risk that disclosure might drive them underground ii) There is a strong public interest in ensuring that the Police are able to disclose information about offenders where that is necessary for the prevention or detection of crime, or for the protection of young or other vulnerable people. iii) EACH CASE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED CAREFULLY ON ITS PARTICULAR FACTS (there must be no blanket policy), assessing the risk posed by the individual offenders; the vulnerability of those who may be at risk; and the impact of disclosure on the offender. In making such an assessment, the Police should normally consult other relevant agencies (such as social services and the Probation Service). Although this particular case made National headlines at the time, the need to use such measures have not arisen again to date in North Wales. There has been low key incident where it was agreed in a Multi Agency meeting for a Head teacher of a particular school to be informed about a young person with the relevant convictions seen loitering outside the school gates.

The focus of the MAPPP arrangements is on the sharing of information between agencies on a strictly confidential basis. However, there are circumstances where the sharing of some information with a wider audience may be justifiable to protect the public. The Police have the lead responsibility in respect of this matter. Disclosure of any information about a sex or dangerous offender will only take place on the authorisation of a Senior Police Officer. Perhaps the best example of how North Wales has used this power to protect the public in the case of R .v. North Wales Police. This case was heard at the Court of Appeal on the 18th March 1998. The Court basically approved the following decision made by the Queen’s Bench Division. AB and CD were a married couple, recently released from Prison after serving sentences for serious sexual offences against children. In the winter of 1997, they hired a caravan on a holiday site in North Wales. The police were very concerned that when the site opened to holiday

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Victim’s Work
victims to offer them the choice of receiving information about an offender’s progression through the custodial part of the sentence and to inform them of release plans. The unit also advises Probation colleagues on conditions to be included in licences. 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 Support line – 0845 30 30 900 – for information and support and details of local services and other relevant organisations.

Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 places a duty on local Probation Boards in connection with victims of certain offences. The Probation Service is under a duty to make contact with the victims of sexual and serious violent offences in cases where the offender is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more. North Wales Area Probation have set up a dedicated unit to undertake this task. Staff make contact with

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i.

Statistical Information
The number of Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) in the community on 31/03/02 (s68 (2) CJ &CS Act 2000)

Number of Offenders

257

The number of RSOs per 100,000 population

39

ii.

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

10

iii.

The number of Sex Offender Orders 01/04/01 – 31/03/02

(a) total applied for

5

(b) granted

4

(c) not granted

0

(d) applications still in progress

1

iv.

The number of violent offenders and other sex offenders 01/04/01 – 31/03/02 (s68 (3)(4)&(5) CJ&CS Act 2000)

147

The number of other offenders 01/04/01 – 31/03/02 (s67 (2) (b) CJ&CS Act 2000)

0