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External agencies

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) support the assessment and management of the most serious sexual and violent offenders.

The aim of MAPPA is to ensure that a risk management plan drawn up for the most serious offenders benefits from the information, skills and resources provided by the individual agencies being co-ordinated through MAPPA.

MAPPA were introduced in 2001 and bring together the police, probation and prison services into what is known as the MAPPA Responsible Authority.

Other agencies, including social care, health, housing and education services, have a duty to co-operate with the responsible authority.

Each MAPPA area produces an annual report which details performance, statistics, future developments and MAPPA team contact details.

How does MAPPA work?

There are four key features within MAPPA:

Identifying offenders to be supervised under MAPPA

This is generally determined by the offender's offence and sentence, but is also by assessed risk.

There are three formal categories:

Category One: Registered Sex Offenders

Category Two: Violent or other sex offenders

Category Three: Other offenders

Sharing of information about offenders

MAPPA promotes information sharing between all the agencies, resulting in more effective supervision and better public protection.

For example:

police will share information with offender managers that they have gathered about an offender's behaviour from surveillance or intelligence gathering

local authorities will help find offenders suitable accommodation where they can be effectively managed

It is very important that victims' needs are represented in MAPPA, with the result that additional measures can be put into place to manage the risks posed to known victims.

Assessing the risks posed by offenders

Most MAPPA offenders do not present a risk of serious harm to the public. The MAPPA enable resources and attention to be focused on those who present the highest risks.

Managing the risk posed by individual offenders

MAPPA offenders should be managed at one of three levels. While the assessed level of risk is an important factor, it is the degree of management intervention required which determines the level.

Level One: involves normal agency management
Generally offenders managed at this level will be assessed as presenting a low or medium risk of serious harm to others. In 2004/05 just more than 71% of MAPPA offenders were managed at this level.

Level Two: often called local inter-risk agency management
Most offenders assessed as high or very high risk of harm.

Level Three: known as Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (or MAPPPs). Appropriate for those offenders who pose the highest risk of causing serious harm or whose management is so problematic that multi-agency co-operation and oversight at a senior level is required with the authority to commit exceptional resources.

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