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5.1 Managing Individuals who Pose a Risk of Harm to Children

AMENDMENT

Please note: in December 2012 definitions to categories and levels of risk were added in Section 6, Isle of Man Public Protection Arrangements (PPA).


Contents

1. Identification of Individuals who Pose a Risk to Children
2. Action when an Individual is Known to Present a Risk to Children
3. Action when an Individual has no Relevant Conviction but is Regarded as Posing a Risk
4. Communication between Agencies Regarding Individuals who Pose a Risk to Children
5. Legal and Other Mechanisms for Managing Risk
6. Isle of Man Public Protection Arrangements (PPA)
7. Civil Orders for the Management of Offenders who Pose a Risk to Children
  7.1 Sex Offender Registration and Sex Offender Orders
  7.2 Travel Notification
  7.3 Sex Offenders Act 2006


1. Identification of Individuals who Pose a Risk to Children

1.1

In order to protect children from adults who threaten their safety and well-being it is necessary to ensure that:

  • Agencies who work primarily with adults (for example, Police and Probation), including those who present an ongoing risk to children, understand the circumstances in which they must make a referral to Social Services in order that these child protection procedures can be implemented and contribute their knowledge and expertise to assessment and decision making – see Referral to Social Services Procedure for more information
  • Agencies who work primarily with children access the information and knowledge held within the above agencies and include them in inter-agency decision making, planning and action to protect children.
1.2 The term ‘a person who poses a risk to children’ has replaced the term Schedule One Offender.
1.3 The management of a person who poses a risk to children will be based upon an appropriate risk assessment within the context of the Public Protection Arrangements (PPA) and the Isle of Man Offender and Potential Offender Management programme.
1.4 When someone has been identified as presenting a risk to children there needs to be an inter-agency meeting to share information and agree who will do what. There will need to be subsequent reviews to re-evaluate the risks posed.
1.5 In situations where the adult is known to have contact with children this should be via a Strategy Meeting. There will need to be subsequent reviews to re-evaluate the risks posed.
1.6 Where the adult poses a risk but is not currently in contact with children they will need monitoring to ensure the child protection system is alerted where necessary. There will need to be subsequent reviews to re-evaluate the risks posed.
1.7

The UK Home Office provides guidance on offences which would identify an offender as someone who poses a potential risk of harm to children. (These offences are not Manx legislation, but the list provides a general overview as to what may indicate a risk. The list can be found in Home Office Circular 16/2005). Some individuals who pose a risk to children will not have a criminal offending history. However, their history may include:

  • A finding of fact in a civil court that an individual poses a risk to a child;
  • Registration of a child at a Child Protection Conference which concluded that they posed a risk to a child;
  • Being subject to a Risk of Sexual Harm Order;
  • Other non-offence related information that they present a risk to children.
1.8

Effective assessment of risk must be based in inter-agency working. Different agencies have different responsibilities in this area:

  • Social Services is responsible for assessing whether or not a child is in need of protection and is the lead agency in respect of the child protection procedures;
  • Police are responsible for investigating if a crime has been committed and taking action if this is the case;
  • The Probation Service is responsible for undertaking assessments of individuals, making recommendations to the court and providing supervision and treatment services – see Section 6, Isle of Man Public Protection Arrangements (PPA) for more information;
  • The Prison Service is responsible for accommodating individuals during remand and sentence and providing treatment and support;
  • The Youth Justice Team is responsible for undertaking assessment of young people under 18, providing reports to the court and post-sentence support.
1.9 It is incumbent upon all agencies to share information to protect children in line with the SCB Information Sharing guidance (see the Isle of Man SCB website).


2. Action when an Individual is known to Present a Risk to Children

2.1 When a worker in any agency receives information that an individual who is known to present a risk to children has moved into a household with children or formed a close relationship with the parent of children a Referral (Referral to Social Services Procedure) must be made to Social Services.
2.2 If a child is in immediate danger urgent action must be agreed between Police and Social Services to protect the child – see Action to be Taken Following a Referral to Social Services Procedure, Immediate Protection of a Child.
2.3

In other circumstances Social Services will convene an inter-agency Strategy Meeting (see Strategy Discussions/Meetings Procedure), to be arranged at a time when services with knowledge about the adult (e.g. Police, Probation, Prison and Youth Justice Team) are able to attend. The Strategy Meeting will consider:

  • What is already known about the individual who poses a potential risk;
  • The outcome of any assessments undertaken by Police, Probation, Prison or the Youth Justice Team;
  • Making a judgement about the level of risk the adult poses and what that judgement is based upon (including where it is judged that the individual does not pose a risk);
  • The need to continue dealing with the case under the child protection procedures, and take any immediate protective action;
  • Commission a full Core Assessment;
  • Commission any necessary assessment of the adult (e.g. via Police, Probation or Youth Justice Team);
  • Set the date for a Child Protection Conference – or in some instances a follow-up Strategy Meeting;
  • Agree the circumstances where it would be necessary to meet urgently (e.g. if a known sex offender was befriending a lone parent then a move into the household would trigger an immediate review of the current arrangements and timescales).
2.4 Probation, Prison and Police Services are required to employ specific assessment tools in respect of individuals who pose a risk to children. These tools use a range of static criteria (e.g. age at first offence) and dynamic ones (e.g. level of substance misuse) to reach a judgement on their risk. This judgement will include evidence of a pattern of behaviour, similarity between the current context and the context of the offence/s, and the presence of any contextual factor such as isolation, stress, or substance misuse. For example, any evidence of grooming behaviour would immediately increase the assessed level of risk. This is invaluable information to inform the child protection process and, if not immediately available to inform judgements, such an assessment should be commissioned wherever possible.
2.5 A full record must be kept of the Strategy Meeting discussion and decisions in line with SCB requirements.


3. Action when an Individual has no Relevant Conviction but is Regarded as Posing a Risk

3.1 In some circumstances, an individual might reasonably be regarded as posing a risk to children without a conviction. For example, where there have been a number of allegations from unconnected victims, or repeated acquittals, particularly for reasons of legal procedure or where the vulnerability of the victim might reduce their credibility as a witness. In these circumstances considerable care needs to be exercised but reasonable actions can be taken to protect children and the inter-agency child protection procedures should be initiated via Referral to Social Services and a Strategy Meeting.


4. Communication between Agencies Regarding Individuals who Pose a Risk to Children

4.1 The SCB requires that agencies share information to minimise the possibility of a child being harmed by an adult known to pose a risk to children. See the Isle of Man SCB website - Information Sharing guidance for more information.
4.2

The following arrangements should be in place:

  • Social Services routinely contacts Police and Probation to seek their views on individuals about whom they are concerned;
  • Social Services actively participate in Public Protection Arrangements to identify individuals who pose a risk to children and have access to them;
  • Police and Probation routinely advise Social Services when they are concerned that an individually who is likely to pose a risk to children has access to them.


5. Legal and Other Mechanisms for Managing Risk

5.1 There are a number of other arrangements that exist alongside the Child Protection process. 
5.2 Where an offender is subject to a community sentence or post release licence, the Probation Service has a series of powers and responsibilities in managing an individual's risk. 
5.3

Where there is no such statutory supervision a number of other legal mechanisms are available, for example:

  • Sex Offender Register and Notification Orders;
  • Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO);
  • Risk of Sexual Harm Orders (RoSHO);
  • Criminal Records Bureau Disclosures;
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO);
  • Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC).
5.4 It is estimated that from July 2010, List 99 (which the Department of Education uses for pre-employment vetting checks), POCA and POVA lists will no longer be available in their current format in the UK, as these lists are soon to be consolidated within one scheme which will be operated by the UK Disclsoure and Barring Service (DBS).
5.5 The Isle of Man Department of Home Affairs is the approved Registered Body for the Isle of Man and the conduit through whom Isle of Man employers can apply to access Disclsoure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records checks.
5.6 Certificates issued by the CRB have previously contained conviction history.  However, the ISA (now the Disclosure and Barring Service), the CRB criminal record certificates will indicate whether or not an individual is “barred by the ISA” from working with children and vulnerable adults in the United Kingdom.


6. Isle of Man Public Protection Arrangements (PPA)

6.1 Public Protection Arrangements were introduced in the Isle of Man in 2002. Their purpose is to ensure that those offenders who pose the greatest risk of harm to the public are properly managed so that the risk they pose can be mitigated.
6.2 They are agreed between the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Education and Children, the Department of Health and the Department of Social Care. This is because there are many different aspects to safety and the arrangements aimed to mitigate the risk whatever it is, to whoever the risk presents and to manage it in the most effective way possible.
6.3 By identifying the individuals who pose a risk, the risk that they pose and who is likely to be exposed to the risk, interventions can be agreed to manage and minimise the risk.
6.4

The offenders who are subject to the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) are categorised into three levels:

  • Category 1: Registered sex offenders;
  • Category 2: Violent offenders;
  • Category 3: Other dangerous Offenders.
6.5 In addition they are extended to Potentially Dangerous People (PDP) where it is assessed that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is a present likelihood of them committing an offence or offences that will cause serious harm.
6.6

For each person in these categories there are 3 levels of management based on an assessment of risk:

  • Level 1: These are low risk offenders managed by a single agency (usually Prison and Probation, The Youth Justice Team or Social Care);
  • Level 2: These offenders are assessed as a higher risk than level one offenders and management of the case is undertaken on a multi-agency basis;
  • Level 3: These offenders are the most risky and are assessed as likely to cause serious harm should they offend and as such they are managed by high ranking Multi Agency staff to ensure that all steps assessed as necessary to manage the risk can be mobilised.
6.7 Management plans i.e. those arrangements put in place to manage the risk, are victim focussed and will be designed to protect known or unknown potential victims.
6.8 Information is shared between agencies and in the case of the higher risk offenders (levels 2 and 3) Multi agency meeting will consider if anyone else needs to be informed about the risk. Where assessed as necessary, to protect potential victims, this information will be shared with those in a position to protect the potential victims.
6.9 These review meetings are held every four weeks in the cases of level 2 and 3 offenders and every 4 months in respect of level 1 offenders. However if assessed as required additional meetings can be arranged in response to a change in circumstances or the receipt of new information. For this reason that it is important that members of the public bring to the attention concerns they may have in respect of serious and dangerous crime.
6.10

The following guidelines support good practice:

  • Only a small minority of people who pose a risk of harm to children will be covered by PPA;
  • Individuals need not have committed an offence to be considered for a multi-agency response under the PPA;
  • Most individuals will not be assessed as posing sufficient risk to warrant multi-agency action planning through a MARM (Multi-Agency Risk Management) or MAPPP (Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel);
  • A MARM involves multi agency risk management through formal co-operation of two or more agencies;
  • A MAPPP is where an individual is identified as being currently one of the critical few who pose an immediate risk of serious harm to another that requires considerable resource deployment;
  • PPA will be involved with an individual who presents a risk for as long as it is assessed as being necessary. Over time this may involve a number of potential or real victims;
  • PPA will not necessarily protect an identified victim or potential victim if the risk is posed by anyone other than the person registered under PPA.  It is therefore important that individuals and the agencies they work for understand what constitutes an ‘evident vulnerability’ in protecting children from others, to be proactive in identifying such vulnerability and to ensure that such vulnerability, when it exists, is communicated to other relevant organisations likely to be able to assist in managing that evident vulnerability;
  • An ‘evident vulnerability’ would relate to an individual who it is known has been the subject of Significant Harm by another, who it is suspected may become subject of such harm or where circumstances would ordinarily indicate that they are at significant risk of suffering Significant Harm by whatever means.


7. Civil Orders for the Management of Offenders who Pose a Risk to Children

7.1

Sex Offender Registration and Sex Offender Orders

  7.1.1 The notification requirements on sex offenders (or “sex offender registration”) were introduced in Part 1 (Sexual Offences) of the Criminal Justice Act 2001.
  7.1.2

The 2001 Criminal Justice Act established that offenders convicted of certain sexual offences (listed in Schedule 1 of the Act) may have to notify certain personal details to the Police and any subsequent changes to those details if they are subject to notification requirements.

“Home address” in relation to any person, means the address of his home; that is to say, his sole or main residence in the Island or, where he has no such residence, premises in the Island which he regularly visits.

“Qualifying Period” means:

  1. A period of 14 days; or
  2. Two or more periods, in any period of 12 months, which (taken together) amount to 14 days.
  7.1.3 Sentencing thresholds must be met to trigger the notification requirements, i.e. liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £5000, or to custody for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to both.
  7.1.4 Where there are uncertainties as to whether any registration or Order applies, or whether one should be sought, the Detective Inspector responsible for Multi-Agency Public Protection should be contacted.
  7.1.5 Following conviction and if they are subject to notification requirements, or following release from imprisonment, offenders have two days to register with the Police as sex offenders. They have to detail their name or any other name they may use, date of birth, employment details and their place of residence. If there is any change at any time to the offender’s personal circumstances, they have two days to notify the Police of that change. Notification can be either in person, verbally to any police officer, or by post.

7.2

Travel Notification

  7.2.1 On 19 October 2007 the Sex Offender (Travel Notification Requirements) Regulations 2007 paragraph 3A (1) of Schedule 1 to the Criminal Justice Act 2001 came into operation.
  7.2.2 Before leaving the Island a relevant offender who intends to leave the Isle of Man for a period of three days or longer must give a notification under paragraph 3A(2) of the CJA 2001. This has to be done in person at a Police Station.
  7.2.3

Information to be disclosed in a notification under paragraph 3A(2):

  • If travelling to more than one country outside the Isle of Man, the intended point of arrival in each such additional country;
  • The identity of any carrier or carriers intended to use for the purpose of departure from and return to the Isle of Man, and of travelling to any other point of arrival;
  • Details of accommodation arrangements for each night outside the Isle of Man;
  • In a case when the intention is to return to the Isle of Man on a particular date, that date;
  • In a case where a return is to a particular point of arrival, that point.
  7.2.4 Under paragraph 3A(2) (a) of the regulations it states that when a relevant offender knows the information required he cannot give less than 7 days notice of departure; or as soon as reasonably practicable but not less than 24 hours before that date, if and only if the relevant offender has a reasonable excuse for not complying with the seven day notification requirement.
  7.2.5 If a relevant offender does not know the information required to be disclosed before seven days of the intended departure, they cannot give less than 24 hours notice of travel.
  7.2.6 An offender is liable on conviction on information to a fine not exceeding £5000 or to custody not exceeding 5 years, or to both.

7.3

Sex Offenders Act 2006

 

7.3.1

Sex Offender Prevention Order (SOPO)

Part 1 of the Act introduced Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO’s), which are intended to protect the public from risks posed by sex offenders and prohibits the defendant from doing anything described in the Order. An Order has effect for a fixed period (not less than 5 years) specified in the Order or until a further Order is made. An Interim Order can also be applied for.
  7.3.2

A SOPO can either be made:

  • By a court when it deals with the defendant following a conviction for an offence listed in Schedule 1 of the CJA 2001 or a finding that the person is guilty of such an offence by reason of insanity or they are under a disability but have done the Act charged in respect of the offence;
  • On application made to the magistrates court by a chief officer of police;
  • In both cases, the court must be satisfied that an Order is necessary to protect the public or any particular members of the public from serious sexual harm;
  • An Order can be applied for if an offender is believed to be in or intending to come to the Island;
  • Where there are uncertainties as to whether an Order applies or whether one should be sought the Detective Inspector responsible for Multi-Agency Public Protection should be contacted.
 

7.3.3

Risk of Sexual Harm Order (ROSHO)

Part 2 of the Act – Risk of Sexual Harm Order (ROSHO). Similar to SOPO the aim of this Order is to restrict the activities of those involved in grooming children for sexual activity and protecting children generally from harm.

A previous conviction, caution etc for a sexual offence is NOT a prerequisite in applying for a ROSHO. An Interim Order can be applied for.

The High Court may make an Order under this section in respect of a person if the Court is satisfied that a person has on at least two occasions done an act of:

  • Engaging in sexual activity involving a child or in the presence of a child;
  • Causing or inciting a child to watch a person engaging in sexual activity or to look at a moving or still image that is sexual;
  • Giving a child anything that relates to sexual activity or contains a reference to such activity;
  • Communicating with a child, where any part of the communication is sexual;
  • Such other act as may be prescribed by order made by the Department of Home Affairs.

A Risk of Sexual Harm Order has effect for a fixed period (not more than 2 years) specified in the Order or until a further Order is made. Breach of a ROSHO incurs the same penalties as a SOPO.

Where there are uncertainties as to whether an Order applies or whether one should be sought the Detective Inspector responsible for Multi-Agency Public Protection should be contacted.

 

7.3.4

Criminal Justice Act 2001

  • The notification period for a caution is five years: This is likely to be amended to 2 years by the Criminal Justice Bill 2010;
  • Offenders will have to notify any address at which they reside for 14 days or more, whether that is 14 days consecutive or 14 days within any 12 month period;
  • In the UK all notifications will have to be made in person and the Police may take fingerprints and photographs at initial notification, whenever an offender notifies any changes to his details and at periodic notification. This is not currently applicable in the Isle of Man;
  • Offenders will have to notify their National Insurance numbers at initial notification.

End