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7.2 Processes for Managing Risk


Multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) (GOV.UK) Statutory Guidance - Updated December 2019


MAPPA Referral Form (for use throughout Lancashire)

MAPPA Leaflet - Keeping Our Communities Safe

MAPPA Leaflet - Information for Offenders

MAPPA Leaflet - Disclosure of Information

Local contacts for MAPPA

Blackburn with Darwen MAPPA Referral form

Blackpool MARAC referral form


Domestic Abuse Procedure

Information Sharing Procedure


In May 2017, an updated MAPPA Referral Form and a link to the updated Multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) (GOV.UK) Statutory Guidance was added.


Caption: contents table
  MAPPA - Introduction
    Criteria for Referral into MAPPA
    Criteria for Referral out of MAPPA
    Assessment of the Risk of Serious Harm
    Risk Management via MAPPA
  Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)
  Disclosure and Barring Scheme
  Offending Behaviour Schemes
  The Sex Offender's Register
  Risk of Sexual Harm Orders (RSHOs)
  Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs)

MAPPA - Introduction

  1. The MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) is a national framework to assess and manage the risk posed by serious and violent offenders. The MAPPA cannot address the risks posed by all potential perpetrators of abuse, its focus is convicted violent and sexual offenders living in, or returning to the community;
  2. The Police, the Prison Service and National Probation Service (The Responsible Authority) have statutory responsibilities under Sections 67 and 68 Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 to establish in consultation with partner agencies, 'multi-agency public protection arrangements' (MAPPA);
  3. Section 67 requires the Responsible Authority to:
    • Establish arrangements for the assessment and management of risks posed by relevant sexual and violent offenders and other persons who, by reasons of offences committed by them are considered to be persons who may cause serious hard to the public;
    • Monitor and review the arrangements made and make any necessary or expedient changes;
    • Publish an annual report.

Criteria for Referral into MAPPA

  1. Sections 67 and 68 also define those offenders in respect of whom arrangements must be made. There are three categories of offenders eligible for MAPPA:
    • Registered sexual offenders (category 1);
    • Violent offenders (category 2);
    • Other dangerous offenders (category 3).
  2. Offenders entering MAPPA as new cases will be:
    • Offenders who receive one of the relevant sentences defined in Section 68 Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000;
    • Offenders already subject to MAPPA elsewhere who transfer into the area;
    • Relevant offenders arriving in England and Wales from overseas;
    • Persons who may be referred into the arrangements at any time by one of the local agencies or by the public;
    • Persons referred into the arrangements under mental health legislation.

Criteria for Referral out of MAPPA

  1. Offenders leaving MAPPA will be:
    • Offenders from categories 1 or 2 (above) whose licence, supervision or period of sex offender registration comes to an end. In circumstances where they continue to be considered high or very high risk they would then become offenders under category 3 and managed accordingly;
    • Transfers out;
    • In category 3 but the responsible authority (usually determined by residence) is satisfied that the offender no longer poses a risk of serious harm to the public.

Assessment of the Risk of Serious Harm

  1. His Majesty's Prison and Probation Service assess risk of harm using the Offender Assessment System (OASs). The Youth Justice Board use ASSET for under 18 year olds. The following describe each level of risk:
    • Low: no significant, current indicators of risk of harm;
    • Medium: there are identifiable indicators of risk of harm. The offender has the potential to cause harm but is unlikely to do so unless there is a change in circumstances, e.g. failure to take medication, loss of accommodation, relationship breakdown, drug or alcohol misuse;
    • High: there are identifiable indicators of risk of serious harm. The potential event could happen at any time and the impact would be serious;
    • Very high: there is an imminent risk of harm. The potential event is more likely than not to happen imminently and the impact would be serious.
  2. Risk is categorised by reference to who may be the subject of that harm. This includes children who may be vulnerable to harm of various kinds, including violent or sexual behaviour, emotional harm or neglect. In this context, MAPPA will work closely with the Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool and Lancashire Children's Safeguarding Assurance Partnership (CSAP) to ensure the best, local joint arrangements can be made for any individual child being considered by either setting.

Risk Management via MAPPA

  1. The national framework for MAPPA identified the following three separate though connected mechanisms by which protection can be most efficiently managed:
    • Level 1: Ordinary Risk Management
      • An agency identifying an offender accepts responsibility for the management of risks posed and is confident that in the light of the risk assessment, the normal agency risk management regime is sufficient to address those needs effectively for public protection.
    • Level 2: Local Inter-Agency Risk Management Meeting
      • Where the public protection needs in respect of an offender cannot be adequately met or sustained through normal agency management, the agency identifying the offender is required to make a referral. The agency must detail what the public protection needs are for effective risk management, either at the local inter-agency risk management meeting or the multi-agency public protection panel (MAPPP);
      • The local inter-agency risk management meeting comprises local practitioners who are regularly engaged with managing the risk posed by local offenders. The purpose of referring cases to this panel will be for the public protection needs presented by the offender to be examined, agreed and a multi-agency public protection plan to be agreed and implemented;
      • Whilst each agency retains responsibility and accountability for its own practice, there is an expectation that agencies will contribute to the agreed plan. In exceptional circumstances, where agreement cannot be reached and the public protection needs remain critical to public safety, the case will be referred to the MAPPP;
      • The local inter-agency risk management meeting is likely to have a significant caseload that it is actively managing and reviewing. The size of the caseload will require effective management and where the public protection needs of a case have been addressed sufficiently for normal agency management to resume, the local inter-agency risk management meeting should refer the case back to that agency;
      • Conversely, where the circumstances of a case indicate that the public protection needs requires either exceptional resources or raise an exceptional public profile, the case must immediately be referred to the MAPPP.
    • Level 3: Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP)
      • The MAPPP will be responsible for the management of offenders where the public protection needs require either exceptional resources or professional practice, or where the public profile of the case is such that failure to manage the offender robustly would seriously threaten the public credibility of either the responsible authority or other agencies within MAPPA;
      • The MAPPP should therefore, deal only with the 'critical few' and is likely to be convened on a case by case basis as opposed to a regular caseload;
      • The principle of referring cases to the appropriate panel for management applies; where the public protection needs are most efficiently addressed, and cases should return to local inter agency risk management meetings or normal agency management as soon as the exceptional nature of these cases has been addressed;
      • Any professional who is of the view that a person is a serious risk to the public, and their behaviour cannot be managed within their agency's normal risk management regime, should consult with their manager and if agreed make a referral under the agreed procedures. This will require electronic completion of the referral form by the referring officer.
  2. A Referral Form for Level 2 or Level 3 Meeting is available.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

  1. A MARAC is a multi-agency meeting, which has the safety of high risk victims of domestic abuse as its focus. The MARAC is a process involving the participation of all the key statutory and voluntary agencies who might be involved in supporting victims of domestic abuse. The objective of the MARAC is to share information and establish a simple multi-agency action plan to support the victim and make links with other public protection procedures, particularly safeguarding children, vulnerable adults and the management of offenders;
  2. The MARAC meeting is a part of a wider process which hinges on the early involvement and support from an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) and continued specialist case management, both before and after the meeting. The MARAC should combine the best of both specialist supports, together with the co-ordination of generic agencies whose resources and involvement will be needed to keep victims and their children safe;
  3. Where an offender is being managed at MAPPA level 2 or level 3, the MAPP meeting should take the lead, as the MAPPA is a statutory set of arrangements and takes precedence over MARAC.

Outline of Service & Expectations for MARAC for Children's Services, Health and Police

  • Representation - Agencies are required to nominate a MARAC Core Representative and a Deputy MARAC Core Representative who takes responsibility for:
    • Taking ownership of confidential information;
    • Researching MARAC cases;
    • Attending MARAC meetings;
    • Sharing relevant information at MARAC;
    • Being dynamic in offering up actions to safeguard victim and children;
    • Be accountable for actions raised for their agency;
    • Be a proactive member of a multi-agency team;
    • Flagging/tagging/putting alerts on systems.
  • Identity - Agencies should have systems in place to identify victims of Domestic Abuse. Many services now have some form of routine enquiry questions at point of assessment that are agreed for use with all service users;
  • Risk Assess - Agencies should adopt a consistent approach to risk assessing to ensure all evidence based risk factors are taken into consideration and avoid duplication. Therefore, the CAADA-DASH risk identification checklist should be used by all agencies to establish the victim's level of risk. Once completed, any immediate safety measures required should be implemented to safeguard victim and children, i.e. target hardening (see Make a Referral to Children's Social Care Procedure);
  • Referral - Agencies who have identified a victim as being at high risk of further serious harm or homicide should complete a MARAC Referral Form and forward it to the MARAC Coordinator and the IDVA Service. The IDVA Service will make contact with the victim prior to MARAC to offer support and identify key risk and fears;
  • Research - All agencies receive a MARAC Case Summary List from the MARAC Coordinator 7 days prior to the MARAC meeting. This summary list should clearly identify the known risks posed to the children and victim to assist the health decision making in respect of disclosing confidential client information. All agencies are required to research all cases and flag and tag their systems (put alerts on) to note that it is a MARAC case and any further information required from professionals/colleagues should be sought from the MARAC Core Representative for that agency;
  • MARAC Meeting - All agencies should present relevant information at MARAC and assist with the implementation of an effective risk management plan ensuring that actions raised are SMART;
  • Follow up - All agencies have a duty to share MARAC actions with relevant colleagues and inform the MARAC Coordinator once actions are completed.

Disclosure and Barring Scheme

The Disclosure and Barring Service maintains lists of persons barred from working with children and Vulnerable Adults.

  1. A person who is barred from working with children or Vulnerable Adults will be breaking the law if they work or volunteer, or try to work or volunteer with those groups;

    An organisation which knowingly employs someone who is barred to work with those groups will also be breaking the law.

If your organisation works with children or Vulnerable Adults and you dismiss a member of staff or a volunteer because they have harmed a child or Vulnerable Adult, or you would have done so if they had not left, you must tell the Disclosure and Barring Service.

  1. The Disclosure and Barring Service aims to help employers make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain types of work, by way of criminal records checks. These can be standard or enhanced disclosure depending on the duties of a particular position or job. In addition to information about a person's criminal record, an enhanced disclosure contain details of whether a person is recorded as barred from working with children or Adults at Risk; this is not so with a standard disclosure.

There is an Update Service which allows individuals (if they choose to subscribe to it, and pay a small fee) to apply for a criminal record check once and then, if they need a similar sort of check again, to reuse their existing certificate, with their organisation checking online to see if it is still up to date, to avoid many repeat applications. In the meantime, the existing provisions as to Disclosure and Barring Service checks continue to apply.

See also the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

Offending Behaviour Schemes

  1. Rehabilitation of offenders is the best guarantee of long-term public protection. A range of independently accredited treatment programmes, which have been developed or commissioned by His Majesty's Prison and Probation Service, have been tried and tested at national level.

The Sex Offender's Register

  1. The notification requirements of Part 1 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 are an automatic requirement on offenders, including young people, who have offended and who receive a conviction or caution for certain sexual offences;
  2. The notification requirements are intended to ensure that the Police are informed of the whereabouts of offenders in the community. The notification requirements do not bar offenders from certain types of employment or from being alone with children. They must inform the Police of certain personal details within clear time-scales, of changes in these details and reconfirm these details every twelve months. The length of time they remain under these arrangements depends on whether convicted or cautioned and the sentence that they received; failure to comply is a criminal offence.

Risk of Sexual Harm Orders (RSHOs)

  1. Introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003, RSHOs are civil preventative orders used to protect children from the risks posed by individuals who do not necessarily have a previous conviction for a sexual or violent offence but who have, on at least two occasions, engaged in sexually explicit conduct or communication with a child or children and who pose a risk of further such harm. For a RSHO to be made it is not necessary for there to be a risk that the defendant will commit a sexual offence against a child - the risk may be that s/he intends to communicate with children in a sexually explicit way;
  2. The RSHO can contain such prohibitions, as the court considers necessary. For example, an adult could be found regularly communicating with young children in a sexual way in Internet chat rooms. A RSHO could be used to prohibit the person from using the Internet in order to stop him/her from such harmful activity;
  3. RSHOs are made on application from the Police, so any person who is thought to pose a risk of sexual harm to children should be referred to the Police. In an application for an order the Police can set out the prohibitions they would like the court to consider;
  4. Breach of any of the prohibitions in a RSHO is a criminal offence with a maximum punishment of 5 years' imprisonment. It is also an offence, which makes the offender subject to the notification requirements (see above). The Police should be contacted whenever a RSHO is breached.

Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs)

  1. Sexual Harm Prevention Orders were introduced by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. They replace the previous Sexual Offences Prevention Orders, which were introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Sexual Harm Prevention Orders can be applied to anyone convicted or cautioned of a sexual or violent offence, including where offences are committed overseas. The court needs to be satisfied that the order is necessary for protecting the public, or any particular members of the public, from sexual harm, or protecting children from sexual harm from the defendant outside the United Kingdom. The Orders prohibit the defendant from doing anything described in the order, and can include a prohibition on foreign travel (replacing Foreign Travel Orders which were introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003). A prohibition contained in a Sexual Harm Prevention Order has effect for a fixed period, specified in the order, of at least 5 years, or until further order. The Order may specify different periods for different prohibitions. Failure to comply with a requirement imposed under an Order is an offence punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.