MAPPA is the process through which the police, probation and prison services work together with other agencies to manage violent and sexual offenders and protect the public from harm. It is a system of sharing information and combining resources to maximise the risk management in place for each individual offender.
Within MAPPA, there are a number of means available to protect the public, depending on the sentence the offender receives. This might include prohibiting offenders from going to specified public places, such as areas around schools or parks, from engaging in certain activities or from contacting certain people.
There are three categories of violent and sexual offenders that are managed through MAPPA:
Registered Sex Offenders, who are required to notify the police of their name, address and other personal details, under the terms of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The length of the registration period is set by the courts when the offender is sentenced. It might be for anything from 12 months to life, depending on the age of the offender, the age of the victim and the nature of the offence.
Violent offenders and some sex offenders who are not required to register. They will all have served 12 months or more in custody and are now living in the community subject to licence conditions, supervised by probation.
Other dangerous offenders who pose a risk of serious harm to the public. They will have committed an offence in the past which shows they are capable of causing serious harm and also their current behaviour gives cause for concern.
Offenders who come under MAPPA are managed at one of three levels, depending on the level of risk the offender poses and the amount of multi agency involvement needed to manage than risk. A risk management plan is specifically designed to manage each individual.
Level 1: ordinary agency management – for offenders who can be managed by one or two agencies, usually police and/or probation. This will involve sharing information about the offender with other agencies if necessary and appropriate.
Level 2: active multi agency management – for offenders where the involvement of several agencies is needed to manage the offender. Regular meetings are held between the agencies involved to discuss the offenders risk and formulate a plan to manage that risk.
Level 3: senior active multi agency management – for offenders where the involvement of several agencies is needed at a senior level because special arrangements may be required to manage the risk. Senior officers need to attend meetings to authorise the use of special resources, such as police surveillance or specialised accommodation, or to provide ongoing oversight of the case at a senior management level.
At each level, the risk posed by an individual offender is discussed and risk management plans are specifically designed to manage each individual. Offenders can be moved up and down the levels of management as the risk they pose is reassessed.
Realistically, we can never completely eliminate risk and sadly there will always be some offenders who continue to pose a threat. Through these arrangements we can take every action which is legally possible to manage and reduce risk.