Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements

This is the name for the “responsible authorities” in an area tasked with the management of registered sex offenders, violent and other types of sexual offenders, and offenders who pose a serious risk of harm to the public. The “responsible authorities” of the MAPPA include the National Probation Directorate, HM Prison Service and England and Wales Police Forces.

MAPPA is coordinated and supported nationally by the Public Protection Unit within the National Offender Management Service.

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The MAPPA Process. . .

Offenders are put into three categories by the above authorities, in conjunction with other agencies, such as health providers and social services:

  • Category 1: Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs), Sentence and age thresholds apply, length of time on the register may vary
  • Category 2: All offenders who have received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more in prison for a  violent offence or other sexual offence as listed in Schedule 15 and whilst they remain under Probation supervision.
  • Category 3: Other Dangerous Offenders Anyone else who poses a “risk of serious harm to the public” who has received a conviction and whose risk would be better managed in a multi-agency setting.

Offenders not in Cat 1 or 2 but who are considered by the Responsible Authority to pose a risk of serious harm to the public (could include staff) and who require active inter agency management.

Legislation requires that the agencies conduct a formal risk assessment of each offender and allocate them to a tier of multi-agency management ¯ known as level one, two or three.

  • Level One represents the normal inter-agency management of the offender in the community by one agency, with some liaison.
  • Level Two means that Multi Agency Public Protection meetings (MAPPs) will be held where the offender’s management will be discussed between various parties involved in their case.
  • Level Three is essentially the same as Level Two, except that senior management representatives will be in attendance and greater resources are expected to be used in the management of the offender.  Level Three offenders posing the highest possible level of risk to the public normally necessitates a specific case conference to pool unusual agency resources and ensure a strategically coordinated risk management plan.

Before a management plan is put in place a detailed risk assessment will take place to identify the circumstances and opportunities that are most likely to lead to a further serious offence in this particular offender and the steps that can help reduce this risk. This will study the offender’s previous offending history, life circumstances, include psychological assessments (where relevant) and any work in prison that the offender has completed.

A management plan is highly specific to each offender and their offending history but may include:

  • Accommodation at an Approved Premises (AP) where the offender can be monitored.
  • Conditions regarding contact with children, or going within an exclusion zone in a town/city etc.
  • Civil Order such as a Sex Offender Prevention Order (SOPO) to prevent the offender doing certain activities, such as not entering a town where a victim resides.
  • Duty to report to an Offender Manager every week.
  • In some very extreme cases there may be covert monitoring of offenders to protect the public.
  • A disclosure of information to a member of the public for their protection.

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Guidance on adding information to a patients record in relation to them being on the sex offenders register

This information may be relevant to the provision of care and has potential implications in terms of staff vulnerability and lone working. It does however need to be handled sensitively. It may be that the information has been volunteered by the patient or there is information from a third party. If information is from a third party it is essential to verify the validity of the information before considering recording it.

If the information is recorded then there is clear GMC guidance on releasing information to third parties and this should be followed closely should there be any requests for access to medical records/information from third parties.

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With the advent of patient online access to records, it is important to consider redaction and removing from online visibility.

There is a read code SNOMED 41608100 indicates that they are On sex offenders register and this can be used to record this information. It is important that this read code is removed from view when they are no longer on the register.

There are also a number of read codes for ‘confidential data held’ that might also be useful.

The book ‘Medical Ethics Today : The BMA’s Handbook of ethics and law’ states ‘should the GP choose to record a particular piece of information, this should be done using the correct ‘read code’. For example, while a patient is on the sex offenders register, the appropriate code should be in the record. After the patient has been removed from the register, the record should reflect this change has occurred by removal of the code from display(although it will be retained in the audit trail) and replaced with a code to indicate that the patient has a criminal record.’

How long is someone on the sex offenders register?

The full details are set out in s82 Sexual Offences Act 2003. In essence, it is as follows:

Prison sentence of over 30 months (including life sentence) Lifetime
Prison sentence of 6-30 months 10 years
Prison sentence of 6 months of less 7 years
Community Order 5 years
For someone cautioned for a relevant offence 2 years
Conditional Discharge the period of the discharge

If the person is aged 18 when he is convicted (including on his plea of guilty) or cautioned, then the periods above are halved. If the sentence is over 30 months however then there is still a requirement for lifetime registration.

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