MAPPA stands for Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements. It is the process through which the Police, Probation and Prison Services work together with other agencies to manage the risks posed by violent and sexual offenders living in the community in order to protect the public.
MAPPA is not a statutory body in itself but is a mechanism through which agencies can better discharge their statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a co-ordinated manner. Agencies at all times retain their full statutory responsibilities and obligations. The public should be reassured that agencies involved in MAPPA are working closely together to ensure that resources are best directed to protect the public and to reduce reoffending.
MAPPA brings together the Police, Probation and Prison Service into what is known as the MAPPA Responsible Authority for each MAPPA Area. MAPPA areas are aligned with police force areas.
A number of other agencies are under a duty to co-operate with the Responsible Authority. These include Children's Services, Adult Social Services, Health Trusts and Authorities, Youth Offending Teams, Local Housing Authorities, Job Centre Plus and certain registered social landlords and electronic monitoring providers. These are known as Duty to Co-operate (DTC) agencies.
The purpose of Duty to Co-operate agencies is to help strengthen MAPPA.
This will allow MAPPA to make defensible decisions about the management of offenders and to acknowledge their crucial role in the resettlement and rehabilitation.
This is in order to reduce the risk of harm posed and risk of reoffending.
The key roles of any agency operating within MAPPA are to:
- Provide a point of contact for other agencies
- Provide specific advice about the risk assessment and management of a particular offender
- Provide general advice about an agency's role and its services
- Co-ordinate its approach as well as possible with other agencies
- Share information in the interest of public protection.
How does MAPPA work?
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides for the establishment of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements ("MAPPA") in each of the 42 criminal justice areas in England and Wales.
MAPPA is not a statutory body in itself but is a mechanism through which agencies can better discharge their statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a co-ordinated manner. MAPPA allows agencies to assess and manage offenders on a multi-agency basis by working together, sharing information and meeting to ensure that effective plans are put in place. Agencies retain their full statutory responsibilities and obligations at all times.
All MAPPA offenders are assessed to establish the level of risk of harm they pose to the public. Risk management plans are then worked out for each offender to manage those risks. These set out the action that needs to be taken to minimise the risk. Some measures that can be considered are:
- Ensuring offenders have suitable accommodation, which can include requiring the offender to reside at a probation run Approved Premises on release.
- Placing controls on the offender's behaviour through strict licence conditions which can include not to have contact with a named individual or not to enter a defined exclusion zone
- Intensive supervision by a probation officer offender manager and/or community public protection police
- Ensure the offender attends identified accredited programmes and other interventions (such as drug and alcohol programmes) aimed at reducing further offending.
A strategic Management Board (SMB) meets regularly in each area to oversee the operation of MAPPA in that area. The SMB is responsible for the implementation of the MAPPA Guidance in line with local initiatives and priorities. The SMB consists of senior members of the police, probation and prison service and also includes senior representatives from key and specialist services.
Each Board is supported by two Lay Advisers who provide a local perspective and reflect the views of the public. The SMB is responsible for:
- Producing an annual business plan
- Producing and publishing the MAPPA Annual Report
- Links with local Safeguarding Children and Adults Boards, Local Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships and Local Criminal Justice Boards
- Ensuring there is a system in place to review and monitor serious further offending by MAPPA offenders and, where required, to conduct MAPPA serious case reviews for those offenders who have gone on to commit serious further offences whilst being managed under MAPPA.
- Measuring performance against a national set of key performance indicators
- Planning the local longer term development of MAPPA
- Training agencies involved within MAPPA
Serious Case Reviews
The risk presented by offenders can never be fully eliminated and, on occasions, offenders managed under MAPPA will commit, or attempt to commit, serious further offences. When this happens, a Serious Case Review (SCR) may be held to examine whether the policies, processes and actions employed by all agencies were appropriate and to identify where they could be improved. Plans are then put in place to make these improvements.
The strategic Management Board will decide whether a serious case review is warranted using the criteria specified in the MAPPA guidance.
The strategic Management Board will establish the remit of the review and then either undertake the review itself or commission a qualified external report writer to complete the review.
Each SCR involves a MAPPA Lay Adviser to represent the views of the public and to scrutinise the findings of the report.