Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements Annual Report 2001–2

Foreword by Hilary Benn
Protecting the public from violent and sexual offenders is a priority for us all. Over the past few years, a number of measures have been introduced to improve this protection, and the most recent are the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), which began operating in April 2001. The MAPPA place a duty on the police and the National Probation Service to assess and manage risks posed by offenders in every community in England and Wales. They do this work in partnership with other agencies, including the Prison Service, the health services and local authority housing and social services. As this report and the area reports will show, there is a great deal that the MAPPA are doing as they develop their activities. In the most serious cases they can recommend increased police monitoring, special steps to protect victims and the use of closely supervised accommodation. Where appropriate, they can disclose information to a range of people in local communities, including schools and employers. Although it will never be possible completely to eliminate risk, it is important that the public are aware of the steps that are being taken to guard us from these risks by assessing, and then carefully managing, them. In June, we announced that members of the public would be invited to oversee the work now being done under the MAPPA. I think it is only right that they should play a role in protecting local communities and, in doing so, to be able to reassure the public about the arrangements in place to do this. I also think that we should all have access to information about the steps being taken in our areas. This annual report together with the area reports, provide that information, which is being made public for the first time. I hope you find the report useful, informative and reassuring. I would, of course, welcome any comments you have about how the MAPPA are working.

Hilary Benn MP Parliamentary Under Secretary for Community and Custodial Provision

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introduction
1 Protecting the public from sexual and violent offenders is one of the Government’s highest priorities. In order to build upon the good practice which already existed and to strengthen existing legislative arrangements for public protection, the Government introduced new arrangements in the Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000.
This Act imposed a duty on each of the 421 police and probation areas (the ‘responsible authorities’) in England and Wales to work together to protect the public from sexual and violent offenders and other offenders who may cause serious harm to the public. Arrangements which enabled these duties to be discharged were introduced in April 2001. The Act also requires each area to publish an annual report on how these arrangements have worked. This report provides: • a summary of the roles the responsible authorities and other agencies have in delivering the new arrangements; • an outline of what those arrangements are and how they work, including an explanation of how the risks posed by the offenders with whom they deal are assessed and effectively managed; • a description of the way that disclosure can exceptionally be used to augment other public protection measures; and, • an outline of the work undertaken with victims – a feature of public protection work also strengthened by the imposition of specific duties on the National Probation Service. 2 Each area’s report will follow a similar structure and gives information on how the arrangements worked.

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The City of London Police, the 43rd police service, is included in the London metropolitan area.

Evidence based We must work in ways which have a proven track record of success and we are further developing the evidence base for public protection work.

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summary of roles and responsibilities
Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements 3 The new arrangements represent a significant development in public protection. Introduced at the same time as the new National Probation Service (NPS) was established, they strengthen work to which the criminal justice system as a whole contributes and are based upon the critical need for effective inter-agency working. For the first time we now have a statutory framework for managing high risk sexual and violent offenders.
Whilst serious offenders can expect to serve long terms in prison, only 22 of the current population of over 70,000 will never be released. So it is essential that effective and robust arrangements are in place to manage serious offenders when back in the community. 4 The new arrangements have built upon existing good practice and further work is already in hand to bed-in the new arrangements and to optimise their effectiveness. This further work is likely to include additional legislative provision and will include the development of performance standards and performance evaluation. 5 Essentially, existing practices and legislative provision for the supervision of offenders are suitable for effectively managing most offenders when they are released from custody. The new arrangements introduce additional measures to ensure that those who are assessed as posing a high risk of serious harm to the public and who cannot continue to be held in custody, are also managed effectively. While all offenders convicted of a sexual or violent offence2 are initially covered by the new arrangements, only those very few who are assessed as posing potentially a high risk of serious harm are the subject of their detailed provision. At the heart of the new provisions is the requirement imposed on the responsible authorities (the police and the NPS) to: “...establish arrangements for the purposes of assessing and managing the risks posed in that area by… relevant sexual and violent offenders, and other persons who are considered by them to be persons who may cause serious harm to the public.” 3 The Home Secretary is empowered by the Act to issue guidance as to the way police and probation discharge their responsibilities. This report reflects how the initial guidance4, which the Home Secretary issued in March 2001, has been implemented.

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As defined by Section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. Section 67, Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. Initial Guidance to the Police and Probation Services on Section 67 & 68 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.

Professional judgement No risk assessment tool is foolproof: the key to effective assessment is to use validated tools to inform professional judgement.

good practice information sharing Duncan

Duncan, aged 24, was convicted of sexual assaults on young children in his care. He was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment and was placed on the sex offender register. He was released from prison on licence and his case was referred to the Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP). As part of the regular monitoring of the case it came to light that Duncan had begun to referee football matches for boys’ teams in the local area. Using its powers to disclose information to others, the MAPPP informed the local Football Association. When there was a suggestion that he may be refereeing at national tournament, the FA nationally was also informed. Based on this pattern of behaviour, the MAPPP applied to court for a sex offender order to help them manage the risk he posed. Amongst other things, the order banned Duncan from refereeing. Although he abided by the condition of the order, he committed an unrelated offence which was immediately detected and he went back to prison. When he is released he will remain subject to the sex offender order, the requirement to register and to management by the MAPPP.

6/7 summary of roles and responsibilities

The role of the National Probation Service
7 The wider context in which the new arrangements were introduced critically includes the establishment of the NPS – for which legislative provision was also given in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. The NPS came into being on 1st April 2001 replacing the former arrangements whereby probation services, although substantially funded by central government, were accountable to 54 local probation committees. The NPS is funded entirely by central government and is organised in 42 areas – the same areas as the police service. The NPS was established with five statutory aims which underline the importance of these new arrangements: • the protection of the public; • the reduction of reoffending; • the proper punishment of offenders; • ensuring offenders’ awareness of the effects of crime on the victims of crime and the public; and, • the rehabilitation of offenders.

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The establishment of these aims signalled the further shift in the focus of probation work from caring solely for the offender to protecting the public and enforcing the orders of the court. Supporting these aims is the further statutory duty imposed on the NPS to undertake victim contact work (more details of which are given below in paragraphs 41-44); and the priorities currently set for the NPS by the Home Secretary of which the top three are: • more accurate and effective assessment and management of risk and dangerousness;

sentencing decisions. Before any of those reports are written, and at the beginning of any supervision period, a thorough risk assessment will be completed. All subsequent work with the offender is based upon that assessment, which is regularly updated. Details of how risk assessment and risk management are integral to the new public protection arrangements are given in paragraphs 30-38 below.

The role of the Police

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10 Today’s police service is founded on the principle that the prevention and detection of crime is central to its purpose, although it acknowledges that the manner by which this is • the production and delivery achieved has changed significantly of offender programmes which over the years. Crime prevention have a proven track record in comprises a range of measures that reducing reoffending. are undertaken in partnership with other agencies and community groups. On any given day the NPS supervises Whether through the use of closed more than 200,000 offenders. Of circuit television, the development those offenders 70 per cent will be and support of Neighbourhood Watch on a community sentence and 30 schemes, the distribution of crime per cent will be on licence having prevention literature, advising on served the custodial part of a better physical security or improved prison sentence. The NPS prepares street lighting, the police are actively engaged in a variety of partnerships 235,000 reports for magistrates in their communities to prevent crime. and judges each year to assist in • more contact and involvement with the victims of serious sexual and other violent crime; and,

good practice victim focus Wayne

Victim enquiry work with the student violently raped by Wayne revealed her fears and anger about his future release. She was put in touch with support agencies, but found it hard to “move on” while Wayne 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 Wayne finally acknowledged his guilt, this information was passed on to her promptly and she began to rebuild her confidence.

Much of this partnership working has been formalised in the local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships that bring together police, local authorities and a range of other people and agencies from the local communities. 11 These partnerships have been central to the identification of local crime problems and responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of action plans to tackle those problems. Robbery, domestic burglary, anti-social behaviour and vehicle crime are issues that have confronted many communities and often overlain problems associated with persistent young offenders and drug abuse. 12 However, to fight crime effectively the police have had to target their resources at the most active offenders as well as the most serious offenders in their communities. This has required the development of better criminal intelligence systems that are capable of indicating who the prolific offenders are and of assisting in gathering evidence to prosecute offenders. This intelligenceled model of policing has been successfully adopted across England and Wales.

Individual offenders It is a mistake to think that all sex or violent offenders are the same. Effective practice demands a clear understanding of an individual’s offending behaviour.

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Other legislative provisions which enhance public protection
13 It was into this general context that the Sex Offenders Act 1997 was introduced and certain convicted sex offenders began registering with their local police. Until that point police generally dealt with sex offenders only when an offence had been committed. This legislation meant that for the first time police were being notified of certain sex offenders in their community, some of whom were likely to pose a high risk of further serious offending. 14 It therefore became vital that police developed their understanding of risk assessment and risk management in order to target effectively their resources towards the highest risk offenders. As a result, in many areas the contacts between the local police and probation services were strengthened: agreements were established for sharing information about offenders and for collaborating in managing the risks these offenders present. As practice developed, many areas began to involve other agencies such as housing, health and social services. This multi-agency work also began to look at other serious offenders as well as sex offenders. It is upon this good practice that the new public protection arrangements are founded.

15 This work to protect the public has been developed from an increasing awareness of the nature of sexual and violent offending and its effect on victims, coupled with a need to do something about it. There have always been difficult decisions to be made about how far statutory agencies should interfere in people’s lives to help make society safer. The challenge lies in balancing the need to protect the public on the one hand, and in respecting the individual’s rights to privacy and freedom on the other. 16 Over the last 10 years or so that balance has swung quite a long way in favour of better public protection by making increased – though proportionate and justified – requirements and restrictions on offenders. The measures to enhance public protection which the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act built upon and strengthened include:

Criminal Justice Act 1991
This Act introduced compulsory supervision on release for all offenders who were sentenced to 12 months imprisonment or more. Before this Act prisoners were only supervised after release from prison if they got parole. Many of the sexual and violent offenders were considered too risky to get parole and so were unsupervised and free to do as they wished when they were released. Now all who go to prison for 12 months or more are supervised on licence by probation after release and are subject to rules about where they can live and what they can do. This Act also enabled the Courts to pass a custodial sentence longer than is commensurate with the seriousness of the offence in order to protect the public from serious harm from the offender.

Victim focused Our motive for public protection work is the protection of known victims and the prevention of further victimisation.

Sex Offenders Act 1997
This Act requires many sexual offenders to register their address with the police and to let the police know if they move. The Home Office guidance that accompanied the Act required the police to assess and manage the risks presented by the registered offenders.

Crime and Disorder Act 1998
This Act introduced extended sentences for serious sexual and violent offences. This means that courts now have the power to order that these offenders are subject to supervision on licence on release for far longer than was the case before. This can be for up to 10 years for sex offenders and five years for violent offenders, on top of the normal period of supervision. This Act also introduced powers to enable certain offenders to be subject to electronic monitoring (tagging) and for the police to take out Sex Offender Orders on certain convicted sex offenders for whom there is reasonable cause to believe that they pose a risk of serious harm to the public.

Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000
In addition to setting up the new public protection arrangements which are the subject of this report, this Act introduced: restraining orders and exclusion orders (the former prohibits the offender from doing anything specified in the order; and the latter prohibits an offender from entering a specified location); arrangements for preventing unsuitable people from working with children; and extended the powers to make certain offenders subject to electronic monitoring so increasing its use.

Crime (Sentences) Act 1997
This Act made it compulsory for courts to pass a life sentence on people convicted of a second serious sexual or violent offence unless there are exceptional circumstances.

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Multi-Agency partnership
17 In recognition of the importance of the contributions other agencies must make to ensure effective public protection, the Home Secretary’s guidance about setting up the new arrangements required police and probation to negotiate the involvement of social services, health and local authority housing. They were also required to work in close partnership with the Prison Service. The contribution each of these agencies can make is as follows:

Prison Service
Close liaison with the Prison Service occurs in the identification and management of offenders who may pose a risk of serious harm to the public on their release. In addition to an assessment of the risks each prisoner presents, prisons run accredited offending behaviour programmes which help reduce those risks before the prisoner is released. Prisons also participate in planning for the controlled release of prisoners into the community, sharing information with police, probation and other relevant agencies.

Social Services
Social Services have the lead in work on child protection and with other vulnerable groups within society. They have a major role to play in local arrangements for the protection of the public. Social Services Departments have a long history of working in partnership to protect vulnerable children. Social Services Departments are principally linked to the new public protection arrangements in three major areas of their activity: the prevention of abuse; the assessment and protection of children at risk; and rehabilitation. Additionally, they are increasingly becoming involved, with other agencies, in work which focuses on the perpetrator rather than the child or the family.

good practice leisure watch

Leisure Watch is a multi-agency initiative developed by an independent charity to take early action against sex offenders who target children at leisure centres. The scheme, piloted on a local basis last summer in Northumbria, has been evaluated for its effectiveness and will be rolled out in Northumbria this year. In the pilot, local agencies including health, child protection, police and probation worked closely together. They trained leisure staff in how sex offenders target children, how to spot vulnerable children most likely to be at risk and what action to take if they had concerns about a visitor to the centre. Good liaison is an important feature of Leisure Watch. In each leisure centre a liaison officer is appointed, who links with a named police officer whom they can contact if there are any concerns about a visitor to the centre. The police officer will give a leisure centre further information about an individual if necessary and relay any concerns expressed to the force intelligence bureau. Leisure Watch has the potential to be broadened to include amusement arcades, parks, lifeguards on beaches and other areas where children congregate.

Health Services
The involvement of professionals from the health services in the local arrangements has been highly beneficial, not least in the case of those offenders who require mental health services. Police, probation and other agencies need the advice of the health professionals on the appropriateness of any kind of health intervention with offenders who present some level of risk to the community. Health services can also contribute to the assessment and management of risk. The proposed reform of the mental health legislation will highlight the importance of the full integration of health within the multi-agency public protection arrangements and address concerns over how people with certain types of mental illness can be treated. These developments are likely to reconsider current provision under which those with a personality disorder cannot be compulsorily detained if they pose a serious risk of significant harm to others as a result of their mental disorder. The Department of Health is aware, however, that the contribution of Mental Health Trusts to the multiagency public protection arrangements is variable. The Department of Health will issue guidance later this year to ensure that all Mental Health Trusts are appropriately represented in the arrangements.

Housing
Many offenders, who do not have suitable accommodation of their own, are released to hostels in the first instance, but places are limited and in high demand. We need to ensure that when they are moving on from prison, hospital or hostels they are housed in a way that is best for public protection. Local arrangements benefit from strong links with experienced local housing professionals who can advise on the safest local housing options available and who can provide links to the variety of housing providers in the area. This is an area where, when particular difficulties arise, the National Probation Directorate can assist by providing additional resources (for example, very close supervision) deemed necessary to ensure the public is protected.

18 Accommodation for offenders on release is one of the most difficult and contentious issues surrounding public protection. No one would wish to have someone who has been convicted of a sexual or violent offence living in their local community. Yet offenders have to live somewhere. It is partly because of this entirely justifiable concern that the Government established the new public protection arrangements. These new arrangements ensure that a very thorough, well co-ordinated assessment of the release arrangements of each prisoner who may present a risk to the public is made. Having assessed the arrangements, plans are drawn up and implemented which ensure that any risk that an offender poses is properly managed. 19 Without these new arrangements, which ensure that sexual and violent offenders are provided with appropriate accommodation, these offenders would be left to make other possibly inappropriate arrangements. Experience tells us that they would find accommodation in locations which often tend to house some of the more vulnerable people in our society and so put the public at greater risk. Suitable housing allows the opportunity for monitoring and surveillance, improves victim protection schemes, and enhances the prospects of safe resettlement of offenders. Examples of good practice in housing dangerous offenders include the use of people experienced in working closely with high-risk cases and arrangements between local authorities which ensure that the use of the most appropriate accommodation is optimised.

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outline of the arrangements made
20 The new arrangements build upon existing provisions, and provide a sharper focus in the assessment and management of the very few offenders who present an exceptional risk. The new arrangements also provide a strategic management framework to ensure that, in addition to the work of managing specific cases, the agencies involved in public protection work in each area monitor and review the effectiveness of those arrangements.
22 The initial guidance 6 which the Home Secretary issued on the implementation of the MAPPA required the police and probation services (the ‘responsible authorities’) in each of the 42 areas of England and Wales to establish systems and procedures: • for sharing information and for inter-agency working on all relevant offenders; • to ensure that those offenders assessed as potentially posing the highest risk are referred to a Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP);

21 The practical issues of managing risk in all cases start with the collation and sharing of information, which are the essence of effective supervision and public protection because it is • for the operation of the MAPPP; upon them that the critical assessment • to monitor and review the of risk is based. The vast majority effectiveness of the arrangements of cases are assessed as being made in respect of the statutory appropriately dealt with by the NPS duty and to revise them as using conventional case management necessary; standards and procedures. A few cases are assessed as presenting a • to consider resource allocation; risk which is best managed through multi-agency training; and well-established inter-agency cocommunity and media operation. Of these an even smaller communication; and, number are assessed as requiring • to produce an annual report referral to the multi-agency public detailing the public protection protection panels (or MAPPPs). arrangements for the local area So, while all offenders convicted of and how their duties have been a sexual or violent offence and who discharged. are sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment 5 fall within the 23 In order to understand how the scope of the multi-agency public MAPPA have been implemented, protection arrangements (sometimes it is helpful to describe the type abbreviated to MAPPA), only a very of offenders covered by the new few are formally referred to and arrangements before considering considered by the MAPPP. how the risks presented by them are assessed and managed.

Sexual and violent offenders7
24 Section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 defines the offenders whom the police and the NPS are required to consider under the public protection arrangements in three broad categories: sexual offenders, violent offenders and other offenders likely to pose a risk of serious harm. No simple definition of either of the first two categories exists and the third category is by definition wide to ensure that no offender who may pose a risk of serious harm to the public is excluded. It is therefore worth examining the types of offender who fall into these categories.

• the vast majority of sexual offences against children and adults are committed by people they know such as members of their own family, neighbours or friends or people who hold positions of responsibility or care for them – i.e. not by strangers; and,

• sexual offenders are not a homogeneous group: not all sexual offenders pose the same risk of reoffending; and although convicted 28 Although the third category of offenders also covered by the sex offenders are predominantly arrangements is intentionally broad, men, sexual offences are committed the police and the NPS work on the by men, women and young people basis of the following definition. of all ages and social groups. An offender within this category is someone who presents a risk of 26 Nevertheless, sexual offences “harm which is life threatening or cover a wide range of activity traumatic and from which recovery, from possessing abusive child whether physical or psychological, pornography to sexualised touching 25 Sexual offenders covered by the can be expected to be difficult or and rape. The harm caused to new arrangements are those who impossible”.9 Most of these offenders the victims of these offences is have been convicted in the UK of a are likely to be people who have considerable and may be direct or sexual offence and either have a committed serious sexual or violent indirect. For some, recovery from requirement to register with police offences prior to the introduction of the harm caused will be difficult or under the Sex Offenders Act 1997 impossible. Furthermore, reported this legislation and they will include or are not required to register but crime is not a true reflection of the some mentally disordered offenders have been given a prison sentence of level of sex offending in our society and offenders from overseas who 12 months or longer since 1st April because victims often find it have a right of residence in the UK. 2001. Additionally, the MAPPA cover traumatic to report the offence those offenders who were serving a because it involves explaining to 29 Over 47,000 offenders are covered sentence of 12 months or longer for by the MAPPA, of whom 18,513 are strangers what happened to them. a sexual or violent offence on 1st April registered sex offenders; 27,477 are It is to help prevent any such harm 2001. Beyond this technical definition, violent and other sexual offenders that the new public protection the term ‘sex offender’ often who are not required to register; arrangements have been introduced. generates some anxiety and fear, and 1,219 other offenders. but it is important to recognise that:

27 A ‘violent offender’ is someone who has committed “an offence which leads, or is intended or likely to lead, to a person’s death or physical injury, and includes an offence which is required to be charged as arson” 8 . As with sexual offenders, the characteristics and motivation of violent offenders are diverse and it is not possible to define a ‘typical’ violent offender.

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Or its equivalent in terms of the Mental Health Act. Initial Guidance to the Police and Probation Services on Section 67 & 68 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. Over 70 different sexual and violent offences are covered by the relevant legislation. Section 161(3) Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentences) Act 2000. A definition taken from the Offender Assessment System (OASys).

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Rigorous risk assessment

30 Critical to rigorous risk assessment is the collation and sharing of all the relevant information. The timely exchange of clear, accurate, reliable and relevant information is essential to the speedy identification of offenders who may pose serious risks to the public. The new arrangements strengthen those already in existence: when an agency becomes aware of an individual who 32 Probably one of the most important might present a serious risk of harm, developments in the area of risk that agency will share details of that assessment is the roll-out over the person with other partner agencies next two years throughout both the within existing public protection Prison and National Probation protocols. Simultaneously, it will also Services of the Offender Assessment gather any information held within its System (OASys), which will ensure own agency from the area where the consistency of approach, enhance offender previously lived or was held. communication flows and hence With a clear understanding of an the accuracy of risk assessments. offender’s history and current OASys, which is consistent with circumstances, a thorough risk and complements the assessment assessment is then undertaken. mechanism now used by the police to identify serious sexual and violent 31 The creation of MAPPA now provide offenders, is able to identify dynamic a nationwide system for ensuring risk factors, which will vary, as well that all the available information is as static actuarial risk factors such gathered and shared with all the as those derived from past behaviour. agencies which deliver services The joint development by the Police contributing to public protection. and National Probation Services of For example, in the case of an a violent and sex offender register offender convicted of a violent sexual (ViSOR) will also assist in this work. attack who is due to be released from prison, there will be information 33 Risk assessments place offenders held about him from a number of in one of four categories: low, sources. From the prison service medium, high and very high. But there will be details of his behaviour risk assessment is not just about whilst in prison and any treatment describing how potentially dangerous programmes that he attended someone might be. Critically, risk and completed. The NPS has a assessment identifies what factors responsibility to remain in contact place an offender in a particular risk with the original victim, if the victim category which in turn enables the chooses, and will make every effort police, the NPS and other agencies to ensure the offender’s licence to target those factors and thereby conditions minimise the possibility of effectively and safely manage the risk.

re-victimisation. The police will have a history of his criminal offending and the nature of those offences. Social services will know if there are any child protection concerns involving him or his family and housing and health services may also hold current information identifying either the risk he poses or the needs he has in maintaining a stable ‘offence-free’ lifestyle.

Risk assessment Rigorous risk assessment in every case is the foundation for effective public protection work.

good practice close monitoring Alistair

Alistair, aged 46, had one conviction for a sexual offence, but because it pre-dated the implementation of the Sex Offenders Act in 1997, he was not required to be on the sex offender register. Although not immediately thought of as a high risk, when the MAPPP began to receive reliable information on Alistair from different sources they decided risk was increasing and they needed to intervene. Alistair was – legitimately by all appearances – involved in an internet marketing scheme. He was active in fundraising, working at a school and involved in a story-writing project. However, Alistair’s name had been linked with someone under investigation for trading child porn on the internet. The police also received information of concern about his internet use. The MAPPP was in a position to piece all the information together – five reports in all from good sources. The team decided they needed to tell others selectively about the information they had. The Charity Commission was informed and those individuals with responsibility for children in Alistair’s circle were advised to end their contact with him. The police visited him and spoke to him. The MAPPP continue to monitor him.

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Ensuring risk is robustly managed

34 Armed with the information provided by a rigorous assessment of the risks an offender may present, plans for 35 Clearly, central to the effective managing those risks are drawn up. management of any risk is good Typically, where the risks posed by supervision which comprises two an individual are assessed as low key elements: imposing the right or medium, those offenders are conditions and enforcing them. managed through the normal For those offenders who are under mechanisms available for offenders, some form of statutory supervision, that is without referral to the MAPPP licence conditions address the risks but which may include, for example, identified in the assessment. While formal probation supervision and the exact terms and conditions of registration as a sex offender. In the licence under which an offender cases in which risk is assessed as will be supervised in the community being high but not the highest, intermay vary, these are the types of agency work enables effective risk conditions which are often applied management. Only in a very few to an offender’s licence: cases in which the risk is assessed

as being very high will an agency refer the case to the MAPPP. The MAPPP ensures and enables that joint agency discussion, planning and management of the risk takes place.

• requirement to live at a particular address and to observe a curfew enforced with an electronic tag; • prohibition on entering certain localities; • prohibition on making contact with certain individuals or groups of people – and particularly victims; and, • restrictions on the type of employment they may have. Failure to keep to any of these conditions will lead to the NPS taking enforcement action which may result in custody. The NPS now has standards which require a much more rigorous enforcement of licence conditions than was previously exercised by probation officers.

Robust risk management Work to manage the risks posed by offenders is founded on robust multi-agency monitoring, surveillance and management.

36 Additionally, for those whose risk is assessed as being particularly high and for whom it may be difficult to establish satisfactory release arrangements (accommodation, for example), MAPPPs may refer a case in exceptional circumstances to the Public Protection Group of the NPS. In 2001/2002 173 cases were referred to the Public Protection Group. The Public Protection Group can assist by enlisting the support and co-operation of police and probation in other parts of the country, and by providing short-term additional resources where these are deemed necessary (for example, funding extra supervision). In very rare cases, for example where an offender is not subject to statutory licence conditions and supervision,

the police may take such measures as surveillance and/or an application for a sex offender order. 37 In addition to the imposition of licence conditions and rigorous supervision arrangements (and the enforcement of them if they are breached), the NPS now delivers a range of programmes for offenders which have been proven to reduce the chances of reoffending. Attendance on such programmes can be made a licence condition and therefore subject to the scrutiny of supervision as well. Central to the importance of these programmes is their effectiveness in getting offenders to take responsibility for their own behaviour.

38 The effectiveness of these programmes help strengthen the ability of the NPS to deliver against its five statutory aims, particularly the reduction of re-offending, ensuring offenders’ awareness of the effects of crime and on victims and the rehabilitation of offenders. The NPS already runs programmes which address sexual offending and impulsive behaviour, and others which enhance problem-solving skills and victim awareness. These programmes will be supported by other programmes that target substance abuse and domestic violence which are being developed.

good practice high risk outreach workers

Finding high risk offenders suitable, stable accommodation is essential for public protection for two reasons. First, for offenders trying not to reoffend, a secure home is a vital part of a return to normality. Secondly, for those who continue to pose a risk, a vigilant and responsible landlord and a fixed address help allow effective monitoring or surveillance by probation and police. So important is joint working that, in one area, probation and the local authority have created two joint posts for high-risk outreach workers. Their job is not only to set up the accommodation so that the offender is quickly settled in a stable location, but they also make sure the correct information is available to everyone including details of relevant convictions. They monitor for significant changes in behaviour, and they routinely keep in contact with the police and, in the case of higher risk offenders, the MAPPP team. Their work brings greater confidence to both agencies, allowing housing providers and probation resettlement to build on each other’s strengths.

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disclosure
39 Although the exchange of confidential information between agencies is fundamental to the risk management process, it must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998. It is against this background that the controversial issue of disclosing information by agencies to the public arises. It is therefore worth outlining the circumstances in which the police are allowed to disclose information about sexual and violent offenders to members of the public or other organisations who are not formal members of the MAPPA.
40 A decision to disclose information of this highly sensitive nature to a third party will always need to be justified thoroughly. Such a decision will only be taken as part of a carefully managed process which will require the proposed disclosure to be authorised by a senior police officer who must assess each case on its merits. The Court of Appeal has recently ruled10 that disclosure of details of the identity and whereabouts of an offender can only be authorised when, after all the relevant factors have been considered, it is deemed necessary for the protection of the public and the disclosure is part of a risk management plan.

good practice disclosure and victim liaison Vince

Vince, aged 40, was released on licence from a seven year prison sentence for the rape of his sister-in-law. Prior to imprisonment he had lived near to his large family. During imprisonment he was divorced. His victim was contacted before his release so that her views could be considered before any decisions were taken about the conditions under which he might be released. Her views contributed to Vince being excluded from his home area and ordered to have no contact with his children. Any breach would mean a return to prison. Vince was put in closely supervised accommodation and placed under curfew. He twice attempted to establish new relationships, both times with women with learning difficulties. On both occasions the police visited the women and disclosed information about his past which they would otherwise not have been aware of.

working with victims
41 The criminal justice system has for a long time been criticised for not taking enough notice of the needs of victims of crime. This has resulted in legislation to ensure that improvements are made. Amongst the most important changes were made by the Victims Charters of 1990 and 1996.
Additionally, the Probation Circular 61/1995 and National Standards 1995 required probation services to contact victims of sexual and violent offenders who have been sentenced to a term of four years imprisonment or longer. Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, imposed a statutory duty upon the NPS to undertake victim contact work, which substantially extended the provision for victims. 42 This new duty requires the NPS to consult and notify victims about the release arrangements of all offenders convicted of a sexual or violent offence leading to a sentence of 12 months or more in custody. In discharging this duty the NPS will contact the victims and offer to meet them but only if they (the victims) so wish. The purpose of this and any further meetings is to inform victims of what happens to prisoners after sentence and to advise on how they may make representations about the conditions of the prisoner’s release. This duty is supported by detailed guidance for probation practitioners working with victims. 43 The police are also more conscious of and committed to the need of working more effectively with victims, especially following the recommendations of Sir William Macpherson’s report (into Stephen Lawrence’s murder), which have a far broader application than the investigation of racist incidents and crime. The recommendations extended to the specific care necessary in liaising with families of victims where incidents had been of a very serious or critical nature. In response the police have acknowledged the particular needs of sensitive and vulnerable witnesses and have continued to work in close co-operation with other agencies such as Victim Support and their Witness Service. The police offer support to the victims of sexual, violent and other offenders from the point when an offence is reported until the ending of the court process. 44 There are also now a number of other arrangements in place to meet the needs of victims of crime and these include: • the Prison Service victims’ help line (0845 7585112 open 9am-4pm, Monday – Friday, calls charged at local rates) to report concerns about unwanted contact from a prisoner or concerns about possible temporary release, parole, or release on licence; • the Victim Supportline (0845 30 30 900 run by the charity, Victim Support – calls charged at local rates) which provides free, confidential information and support and details Victim Support local services and other relevant organisations; and, • local probation offices which are listed in the telephone directory.

10

In the case of R v. North Wales Police ex parte A, B & CD.

20/21

good practice safer resettlement Les

Les, aged 56, was convicted of indecently assaulting a teenage boy he had befriended and plied with drink and drugs. He was sentenced to four years custody, assessed as a high-risk offender and put on the sex offender register. On his release, he was placed under licence with condition that he stayed in a hostel. However, his behaviour at the hostel in targeting a younger resident led to recall to prison before any further offending could take place. Near the end of his sentence, as he came up for re-release, it was the responsibility of the MAPPP to manage the risk he presented when his licence ran out and there was no scope to recall him to prison. The solution was to house him in a development of bungalows for the elderly, where there were no neighbouring children and there was a police station close by. Local beat officers were briefed about his history. After some minor concerns about his behaviour, a police officer witnessed Les with a boy who appeared to be drunk. The officer saw Les kiss the boy on the cheek. Les was immediately arrested and charged with indecent assault, an offence for which he was sentenced to eight years. The MAPPP’s assessment, planning, close monitoring, information sharing and early intervention meant they were able to take swift, decisive action to minimise any risk this offender posed to the public.

For further information contact:
Police and probation Telephone numbers can be found in the local section of this report and in local telephone directories. Home Office Customer Services 0870 000 1585 National Victim Supportline 0845 30 30 900

This report is also available in html and text only format at www.onlinemappa.info Published by the Home Office Communication Directorate July 2002