Avon and Somerset

MAPPA Annual Report 2002

"The annual report should be a clear and accessible document that informs and reassures the public about the work taking place for their protection"

1. Introduction

Local arrangements in Avon and Somerset began in response to the Sex Offenders Act 1997 when the Police and Probation Services developed joint arrangements for the assessment and management of Registered Sex Offenders. These arrangements were built on and a protocol agreed between various agencies that allowed any agency to call a risk management meeting for anyone deemed to be of a very high risk to the community. In practice, this was generally called by the police or probation. This existing protocol still applies but is in the process of being updated to take account of the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and good practice from other areas. This document will provide further details of the arrangements made in Avon and Somerset and give contact points for any additional enquiries.

2. Summary of Roles and Responsibilities
"A summary of the roles and responsibilities of police probation and any other agency locally involved in the arrangements. This must include the results of efforts made to engage other agencies like Social Services, Health and Local Authority Housing." Following the implementation of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, the police and probation services have taken steps to consolidate and extend the existing arrangements described above, and to ensure consistency across the area. Structures, processes and protocols have been developed and a way forward has been identified through which the commitment and contribution of other agencies is recognised both at an area strategic and local operational level. Representatives of Social Services, Housing and Health attended a regional conference in November 2001. Local Authority Chief Executives, and senior Prison and Health representatives in the area have been briefed about the emerging picture. The Police and Probation remain the main agencies for ensuring the requisite response to the dangers posed by the very high risk offender. Avon and Somerset Probation Area came into existence on the 1st of April 2001, at the same time as the National Probation Service was formed. All offenders who are the subject of a probation service report to the court, or who are supervised in the community or on release from prison, are assessed using a common assessment method which indicates the likelihood of further offences being committed and the level of harm. The assessment also indicates likely categories of victim and any factors present in the offender’s life which might indicate the imminence of reoffending. The work done with offenders under supervision follows a plan which is individually designed to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and protect potential victims and which will, as appropriate, involve other organisations. Programmes of work with offenders are available which have been researched, evaluated and accredited nationally for their effectiveness in reducing the risk of reoffending. Avon and Somerset Police The Sex Offenders Act 1997 identified persons that had been convicted of certain defined sex offences and placed a requirement for them to register with the Police their personal details including their home address. Those persons are carefully monitored by full time police staff to ensure that they register. The Police work closely with partner agencies such as the Prison Service and Probation to share information as appropriate to ensure that risks these persons may pose are addressed at the earliest of stages. The risk that they may pose is carefully assessed by trained officers and this includes, for instance, visits at their home. These assessments are then used to put in place a suitable monitoring and management scheme for that individual. The monitoring and re-assessment of these individuals is a continuing process. Any new relevant information is collected so that any change in the risk posed by the person is identified and acted upon appropriately. The individuals of a very high risk are particularly closely monitored and good use is made of Sex Offender Orders for instance to control those risks. The work has ensured an almost total compliance by those required to register. Any breaches are identified early by this constant monitoring and acted upon positively. Avon and Somerset Public Protection Team was originally formed in Bristol two years ago. It consisted of several probation officers and one police officer who managed all the most serious offenders in the Avon area. The way in which the unit is staffed enables higher levels of contact and surveillance of offenders, immediate exchange of information between police and probation, and ensures a focus on experienced and suitably trained staff. Since May 2002, the team has expanded to cover the whole of Avon and Somerset and additional police and probation officers are being recruited. The Police and Probation Services rely on co-operative working relationships with other organisations. Social Services in Avon and Somerset are organised into five authorities. Amongst their various statutory duties is a responsibility to provide services to vulnerable groups, both children and adults. Social Services work together with other agencies including the police and probation services through the Area Child Protection Committees. Social workers attend risk management meetings on those offenders in whom they have a related interest. NHS Mental Health Trusts are a provider of specialist mental health services. They aim to provide a full range of high quality mental health services which meet the needs of users, carers and local communities. This includes the prevention of harm and self-harm. HM Prison Service. There are five prison institutions located in Avon and Somerset although the prison population comes from far and wide. Close liaison with prisons is necessary in order to plan the release of offenders into the community and ensure that their resettlement plans take into account the risk they pose as well as contribute to their rehabilitation. Probation officers contribute to planning for release from their knowledge of the local community, information about the victim’s concerns and their knowledge of the resources available. HM

Prison, Horfield in Bristol and Avon and Somerset Probation Service jointly fund a post at senior management level which is designed to enhance developments of this nature through a number of projects. Housing Organisations which have a responsibility to provide accommodation for offenders along with other members of the public, are invited to participate in risk management meetings on serious risk offenders so that when accommodation is allocated, the risks to potentially vulnerable people can be taken into account. All agencies who attend risk management meetings are subject to a confidentiality agreement. A manager from either the Police or Probation Services chairs the

meetings and minutes are kept. Minutes can be subject to disclosure in a court of law. Man discovered to be spending time with teenage boy who had been victim of previous assaults by others. Social Services alerted. Psychologist confirmed probation assessment that man was grooming boy for further assaults. Probation arranged for man to be recalled to prison. Social Services provided counselling for boy. Man convicted of many offences of incest released from prison. Accommodated in probation hostel initially . Housing authority attended risk management meetings and were able to find suitable move on accommodation. Police visit regularly. Social Services in contact with family

members who were victims of the offences and information exchanged with them about developments. Liaison with housing department: one male sex offender released from hostel – assured he was not accommodated near to families with children. White male – assessed as very high risk of causing serious harm to self, specific individuals or members of public. Risk management has involved officers from two police services, prison staff, social services, psychiatric services, hostel staff and present and previous probation officers. Was recalled to prison. Risk management focus is now on plans for eventual release.

“An outline of the arrangements made for the protection of the public, starting with the day to day work of the agencies involved and moving on through to the more specific arrangements for the highest risk offenders”. With effect from July 2002 new arrangements have come into place which will enable the area wide strategy group for the assessment and management of serious risk offenders to ensure that all parts of the area are working to the highest standards. In each of the eight police districts across Avon and Somerset there will be a schedule of monthly meetings involving the police, probation and other agencies at which offenders thought to represent a serious risk of harm and who live or plan to live in that district will be considered. Those present at the meeting will be given information from the assessments undertaken by probation and police and will decide whether the offender should be registered as being of serious risk. In that event, those present at the meeting will also agree a plan for the management of that risk. For offenders already registered, the meeting will monitor implementation of the plan previously made and review future arrangements. In extreme circumstances, the meeting can refer a case to the area wide group for consideration. These are likely to be cases in which there is a high level of media interest or in which resources in excess of those normally available through the various agencies are required. The monthly meetings based on the police districts are known as Multi-agency Risk Conferences [MARCs]. They will be chaired by a Senior Probation Officer or Detective Chief Inspector, both of whom will be in attendance. Minutes and copies of the plan for each offender will be supplied to the area wide group. Cases will usually be referred by the police or probation services, but there is provision for other individuals to be referred by any agency if it is thought that they present a risk of harm which is life threatening or traumatic and from which recovery can be expected to be difficult or impossible.

3. Outline of the Arrangements Made

4. Strategic Management Arrangements
“A description of the strategic management arrangements to demonstrate that the work is subject to monitoring and evaluation”. The Chief Executives Crime and Disorder Group for Avon and Somerset is a group of all local authority Chief Executives who meet twice a year, chaired by the Chief Constable, together with Chief Executives of Criminal Justice and other agencies. It has been decided by them that in an area of the size and complexity of Avon and Somerset, it would be the most practicable arrangement to nominate membership of multiagency public protection [MAPP] group by choosing representatives of the different agency disciplines which have an interest in the shared management of risk. Representatives of Social Services, Housing and Mental Health have therefore been nominated to form the basis of the MAPP. The MAPP is responsible for the implementation and review of the area-wide arrangements for the management of offenders who pose a serious risk. The group is chaired by an Assistant Chief Constable and an Assistant Chief Officer of Probation and had its inaugural meeting in July. It will meet quarterly. Its first meeting endorsed its remit and considered extension of the membership, in addition to the development of a programme of work. The provisional terms of reference, in line with national guidance, are: • To review and monitor the effectiveness of the joint arrangements Agree systems and processes for sharing information for good interagency working • Establish and agree systems to ensure that only those few offenders who represent a serious risk of harm are referred to the multi agency public protection panel. Consider training needs and resource implications. Consider communication issues in relation to the local media and local communities Prepare and publish an annual report.

• •

5. Disclosure

“A description of the way that disclosure has been used to assist public protection, including any relevant examples” When public safety would be increased by disclosure, the Multi Agency Public Protection Panel will recommend it. The Police have the power to disclose to third parties, without the offenders consent, on the authority of the Assistant Chief Constable (or higher). Examples of persons/ organisations to whom disclosures have been made in Avon and Somerset include • Employers and Employment agencies • Partners of the offenders • Accommodation Providers • Referee (football ) association • Social Services • Schools • Web site provider prospective employer and advised that there would be issues of disclosure if they employed her. She withdrew job application. Later successful application for work with another organisation. Probation officer and employer discussed her background so that they were able to employ her in a way which meant she was of no risk to the public. Man with record of sexual offences against adolescent boys developed friendship with young man at hostel where both living. Probation officer checked with young man that offender had disclosed nature of his offences and talked through issues of vulnerability.

The following case studies illustrate circumstances in which disclosure has been used effectively. Man with history of indecent assaults against children found to be working with local charity and to have been approved by the charity to visit families at home. Probation officer contacted charity who had been unaware of man’s background. They withdrew approval and man stopped working for them. Woman convicted of serious violent offence discovered to have applied for job working with the elderly. Probation officer contacted

“An outline of the work being done to ensure that victimes are informed of the progress of the offender as outlined in Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act “. In accordance with the requirements of Section 69 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act the Probation Service in Avon and Somerset undertakes to contact victims of serious violent or sexual crimes, following conviction and sentence, where the offender has received a prison sentence of twelve months or more. The service acts on information supplied by the police and the courts. This work is done by a Victims’ Unit which consists of 3.5 operational staff, supported by two administrative staff and some management time and who cover the whole of the Avon and Somerset Area. The service provides information to victims about the prison process and significant events affecting the offender such as the Parole Review, arrangements for early release and consideration of a move to an open prison for life sentence prisoners. The service also enables victims to be able to inform the Probation Service, Prison Service and Parole Board about the impact of the offence, their concerns about the offender and to comment on licence conditions which might be aimed at protecting them when the offender is released. This is achieved by maintaining contact at significant points in the sentence by agreement with the victim. Other forms of support to victims are offered by the Victim Support Services following report of an offence and prior to conviction and sentence. 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. Victim Support Offices in Avon and Somerset can be found at the addresses given on the contact page 2.

6. Victims Work

"The following items of statistical information along with a brief explanation of their significance".

7. Statistical Information

i.

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

423

The number of RSOs per 100,000 population

29

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

7

iii. The number of Sex Offender Orders 01/04/01 - 31/03/02

(a) The total number applied for - of which

2

(b) The number granted

2

(c) The number not granted

0

(d) The number of 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)

456

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

2

v. The cost of the local arrangements, to include initial set up costs and staff hours.

Supported by the above explanations, areas should include any costs that they can identify under the headings provided on the costings sheet provided at Annex C. The one requirement here is that any costs identified must be in relation to new work which has arisen as a direct requirement of the new statutory duty.

COST £153,000 £118,237

Total

£271,237

NOTE

Contacts
Avon and Somerset Probation Area Jeanette Whitford Chief Officer Jeanette.Whitford@avon-somerset.probation.gsx.gov.uk Jill Cotgrove Assistant Chief Officer Jill.Cotgrove@avon-somerset.probation.gsx.gov.uk Address Headquarters Brunel House 83 Newfoundland Road Bristol BS2 9LU 10 Canon Street Taunton Somerset TA1 1SN Phone 0117 9151303

01823 346409

Avon and Somerset Police Andy Drane Assistant Chief Constable andy.drane@avonandsomerset.police.uk

Address Police HQ PO Box 37 Valley Road Portishead Bristol BS20 8QJ (As above)

Phone 01275 816004

Barrie Douglas Det Chief Inspector barrie.douglas@avonandsomerset.police.uk

01275 816702

Victim Support Co-ordinators (see Section 6 VICTIMS WORK) Bristol:

Address 36 Dean Lane Bedminster Bristol BS3 1BS Radstock Police Station Wells Road Radstock Bath BA23 3SG PO Box 1013 Nailsea Bristol BS48 2FG 9a The Butts Blackdown View Ilminster Somerset TA19 0AY C/o South Glos Council 244 Station Road Yate South Glos BS37 4AF 12a Westgate Street Bath BA1 1EQ Weston Police Station Walliscote Road Weston super Mare BS23 1UU

Phone 0117 9631114

North East Somerset

01225 444212

North Woodspring

01275 855105

Somerset

01460 55400

South Gloucestershire

01454 866548

Bath

01225 444212

Weston super Mare

01934 638179