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Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

The seventh annual Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) reports are published today. The MAPPA bring together the Police, Probation and Prison Services in each of the 42 areas in England and Wales into what is known as the MAPPA “Responsible Authority”. Other agencies are under a duty to co-operate with the responsible authority; including social care, health, housing and education services.

The aim of MAPPA is to protect the public from the risks posed by serious and complex offenders, and they do this in two ways. First, by ensuring the production of risk management plans that benefit from the information, skills and resources provided by the individual agencies being co-ordinated through MAPPA. Secondly, by focusing multi-agency MAPPA management on the cases that need it most.

One of the most notable developments last year was the roll out of ViSOR, the Violent and Sex Offenders Register, to every probation area and every prison in England and Wales. This means that the Police, Prison and Probation Services, working together through MAPPA, have the same key information about offenders, including details of current risk management plans.

It is also clear that the MAPPA agencies are increasingly robust in dealing with non-compliance by these offenders, many of whom pose the highest risk of harm of all offenders under supervision. Offenders managed at MAPPA levels 2 and 3 are increasing likely to be recalled to prison for breaching sexual offences prevention orders, and registered sexual offenders more likely to be charged or cautioned for breaching the notification requirements.

These are the headlines but a great deal of work has gone on in the past 12 months to improve the way we manage dangerous offenders. Immediately after last year’s reports were published in October 2007, revised national MAPPA guidance was published. The new guidance incorporated the learning from the previous three years of research, case review and inspection findings and implemented seven of the recommendations of last year’s child sex offender review.

These included changes to formalise procedures for disclosing information about dangerous offenders to people outside of MAPPA where this is necessary to improve risk management plans. Section 140 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which came into force in July, supports these procedural changes by requiring all 42 MAPPA responsible authorities to consider disclosure in all cases involving child sex offenders.

The annual reports describe how the arrangements work locally and include key public protection achievements in each of the 42 police and probation areas of England and Wales. They report on progress against local business plans, outline next year’s plans, and provide contact points for further information. They also provide statistical information on the number of offenders eligible for the MAPPA and how they are managed.

Copies of every area report are being made available to the Libraries of both Houses.