Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
MAPPA are a set of arrangements to manage the risk posed by certain sexual and violent offenders. They bring together the police, probation and prison services into what is known as the MAPPA Responsible Authority.
A number of other agencies, including Children’s Social Care, have a statutory duty to co-operate with the Responsible Authority and as such make a critical contribution to the process of managing potential risks to children, families and the wider community.
The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 placed a statutory duty on the Police and Probation Service to be known as the “Responsible Authority” to make joint arrangements for the assessment and management of relevant sex and violent offenders and other persons who, by reasons of offences committed, are considered by the Responsible Authority to be persons who may cause serious harm to the public.
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 further refined the MAPPA function by including the prison service into ‘The Responsible Authority’ and introduced a statutory ‘duty to co-operate’ on several other agencies (e.g. Children and Adults Social Care, Youth Offending Teams, Local Housing Authorities, Local Education Authorities, Health Services, Job Centre Plus and Electronic Monitoring Providers).
The overriding purpose of MAPPA is to reduce the re-offending behaviour of sexual and violent offenders in order to protect the public, including previous victims, from serious harm.
The Staffordshire MAPPA Co-ordinator is Mark White who is located alongside the MAPPA business unit at Lindum House – 01785 235170.
MAPPA Guidance (Version 4)
Revised MAPPA Guidance was published in May 2012 and brings about the inclusion of UK Border Agency as a duty to co-operate agency. The new guidance includes a number of amendments and updates but does not in any substantial way change the existing offender focused process and framework of arrangements which inform the common goal of public protection.
MAPPA Offender Criteria
There are 3 categories of offender eligible for inclusion in MAPPA:
Category 1 – Registered Sex Offenders – sexual offenders who are required to notify the police of their name, address and other personal details and to provide details relating to any subsequent changes to their circumstances.
Category 2 – Violent Offenders – offenders sentenced to imprisonment/detention for 12 months or more (or detained under hospital orders). This category includes a small number of sexual offenders who do not qualify for registration.
Category 3 – Other dangerous offenders - This category comprises other offenders who do not qualify under categories 1 or 2 but who currently pose a risk of serious harm and require active multi-agency management.
It should be noted that only offenders who are ‘eligible’ (i.e. meet the defined criteria) can be included within the MAPPA process.
Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels
There are 3 levels of management within the MAPPA framework reflecting the level of multi agency co-operation required to implement an effective risk management plan.
Level 1– This is for offenders who require ordinary level management by the agency which had the lead role in supervising them (e.g., Probation, Police, and Health) and whose risk does not require regular multi agency meetings to co-ordinate the risk management plan.
Level 2- Level 2 management requires the active involvement of several agencies and a risk management process which is undertaken by the convening of regular meetings (panels).
Level 3– Level 3 management requires the active involvement of several agencies but in addition may require the commissioning of additional/specialised resources, and usually reflects additional concern emanating from specific and identified risk factors. In general terms offenders managed at Level 3 pose a complexity of risk which is greater than those at Level 2 and may have heightened levels of media/public interest. Previously offenders managed at Level 3 were referred to as the ‘critical few’ which emphasised the statistical small, but particularly dangerous cohort of individuals.
The contribution by Children’s Social Care as a ‘duty to co-operate’ agency is reflected by the maintaining of an attendance at all the Level 2 and 3 Panels convened across Staffordshire – this duty is discharged by a ‘Core Representative’ which is a responsibility undertaken by the Risk Management Co-ordinator on behalf of Staffordshire Children’s Social Care.
MAPPA Panels are currently configured on a ‘North’ and ‘South’ basis, which reflects the grouping of historical Policing Divisions - Chase and Trent Policing Divisions (South), and Stoke on Trent and North Staffs Policing Divisions (North). Level 3 Panels are convened monthly – (1 x North, 1 x South), and Level 2 Panels are similarly scheduled monthly albeit with 2 x North Panels. Additionally, specific Panels are convened quarterly for the 3 Approved Premises within Staffordshire (Wenger House; Wharfelane; and Staitheford House). Youth Panels are also held quarterly and specifically review and discuss offenders under 18 and an appropriately weighted ‘welfare’ perspective is maintained.
All Panels are currently held within the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) at Lindum House in Stone.
Expectations of Professionals
Professional representatives of the ‘responsible authority’ and ‘duty to co-operate’ agencies have a clear mandate to share any relevant information pertaining to the offender, victim(s) or other relevant children/adults and contribute to the panel discussion in ways that allows the formulation of an appropriately robust risk management plan. There exists an identical responsibility for representatives from a range of other statutory, independent and third sector organizations who may have direct/indirect input to the circumstances of individual offenders and may have significant contributions to make to Panel discussions
It is important that agency representatives or invited individuals -
Recognise the importance of panel attendance and seek whenever possible to attend in person.
If an agency representative or invited individual is unable to attend, then apologies should be tendered and attempts should be made to identify an appropriate colleague to participate in the discussion.
Where it is not possible to attend, an appropriately detailed report capturing all relevant agency information should be provided to the panel
Ensure that any action agreed at the panel meeting (assigned to any agency representative) and detailed within the individual offenders risk management plan, is completed in accordance with the identified timescales.
Each discussion is informed by the requirement to make a signed commitment to clear parameters of confidentiality and recognised principles of anti-discriminatory practice.
Revised – October 2012
Review Date – October 2013