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2.4.5 Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)


In April 2018 the references and links in this chapter to the MAPPA statutory guidance were updated to link to the 2017 edition of the guidance.


  1. Requirement for MAPPA
  2. Purpose of MAPPA
  3. MAPPA Levels of Management
  4. MAPPA Relevant Offenders
  5. Identification of MAPPA Offenders
  6. MAPPA Co-ordination
  7. Structure of MAPPA
  8. Agencies Involved in MAPPA
  9. Sharing Information
  10. Referral Process
  11. Level 2 and Level 3 Meetings (including Reviews)
  12. Agency Attendance at MAPPA
  13. Disclosure of MAPPA Minutes
  14. Additional Local Procedures

1. Requirement for MAPPA

The following procedures take full account of the requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, Criminal Justice Act 2003, the Human Rights Act 1998, the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the MAPPA Statutory Guidance (2017).

MAPPA are the statutory arrangements for managing sexual and violent offenders. MAPPA is not a statutory body in itself but is a mechanism through which agencies can better discharge their statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a co-ordinated manner. Agencies at all times retain their full statutory responsibilities and obligations.

The MAPPA Responsible Authority (RA) consists of the Police, Prison and Probation Services. They are charged with the duty and responsibility to ensure that MAPPA is established in their area and for the ongoing assessment and management of risk of all identified MAPPA offenders.

Under section 325(3) of the Criminal Justice Act (2003) other agencies have a “duty to co-operate” with the MAPPA RA. They are:

  • Local Authority Social Care Services;
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups, other NHS Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities;
  • Jobcentre Plus;
  • Youth Offending Teams;
  • Registered Social Landlords which accommodate MAPPA offenders;
  • Local Housing Authorities;
  • Local Education Authorities; and
  • Electronic Monitoring Providers.

2. Purpose of MAPPA

The purpose of MAPPA is to help to reduce the re-offending behaviour of sexual and violent offenders in order to protect the public, including previous victims, from serious harm. It aims to do this by ensuring that all relevant agencies work together effectively to:

  • Identify all relevant offenders;
  • Complete comprehensive risk assessments that take advantage of co-ordinated information sharing across the agencies;
  • Devise, implement and review robust Risk Management Plans; and
  • Focus the available resources in a way which best protects the public from serious harm.

3. MAPPA Levels of Management

MAPPA require the Responsible Authority (RA) to threshold cases to ensure they are managed at the correct level for the necessary length of time. Offenders falling within the remit of MAPPA are categorised as follows:

  • Level 1: Ordinary Agency Management (Information Exchange / Risk Assessment Meeting);
  • Level 2: Active Multi-Agency Management; and
  • Level 3: Active Multi-Agency Management where the attendance of Senior Managers is required for the commitment of exceptional resources as the individuals are considered by the responsible authority to pose a serious risk to the public.

The three different levels enable resources to be deployed to manage identified risk in the most efficient and effective manner. Whilst there is a correlation between the level of risk and level of MAPPA management (the higher the risk, the higher the level), the levels of risk do not equate directly to the levels of MAPPA management.

4. MAPPA Relevant Offenders

MAPPA Relevant Offenders fall into one of three categories:

  • Category 1 offenders: Registered Sexual Offenders (RSOs);
  • Category 2 offenders: In the main, violent offenders sentenced to 12 months custody or more or subject to a Hospital order or young offenders sentenced to a Detention and Training Order of 12 months or more;
  • Category 3 offenders: Other dangerous offenders – these could be persons who, by reason of offences committed by them (wherever committed), are considered by the RA to be persons who may cause serious harm to the public e.g. high risk convicted domestic abuse perpetrators.

It should be noted that MAPPA cannot be used for cases that have no formal convictions e.g. a non convicted domestic abuse perpetrator.

In such cases consideration should be given to arranging a meeting of professionals or referring the victim to the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference arrangements (MARAC).

5. Identification of MAPPA Offenders

The responsibility for identifying MAPPA eligible offenders falls to each agency that has a statutory role in their supervision or care, i.e. Police, the Probation Service, the Prison Service, Youth Offending Teams, Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Kent and Medway Social Care Partnership Trust. Each of these agencies have robust internal procedures in place to identify all MAPPA eligible offenders under their supervision or care so that they can manage the offenders most effectively and contribute to management information.

6. MAPPA Co-ordination

Kent and Medway MAPPA is co-ordinated and managed by the MAPPA manager, a post jointly funded by Kent Police and Kent Probation Service. The post holder is based at Kent Police Force Headquarters in Maidstone.

The MAPPA manager’s role is to demonstrate public accountability, consistency in assessment and adherence to government expectations in relation to MAPPA. It is also to quality assure the MAPPA process by confirming that assessments are supported by appropriate evidence and are defensible and proportionate. This role is important both for the appropriate level of supervision of dangerous offenders and the probity of MAPPA statistics and Key Performance Indicators.

7. Structure of MAPPA

The Kent and Medway MAPPA structure consists of three different levels of meetings in line with the three Levels of Management as previously identified in MAPPA Levels of Management.

All MAPPA referrals are initially discussed at a Level 1 Information Exchange / Risk Assessment Meeting. Where an offender is identified at a Level 1 meeting as posing a significant risk of harm and the risk management plan requires the active involvement of more than one agency, a Level 2 or Level 3 meeting is arranged at the relevant Probation Office / Police Station.

Additional Level 2 or Level 3 meetings may be convened at short notice in response to events or receipt of information about risk which requires urgent attention.

8. Agencies Involved in MAPPA

A number of agencies under section 325(3) of the Criminal Justice Act (2003) have a ‘duty to co-operate’ with the MAPPA RA and this duty extends to permitting the sharing of relevant information in order to identify and manage the risks posed by offenders. The agencies are:

  • Local Authority Children and Adult Social Services;
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups, other NHS Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities;
  • Youth Offending Teams;
  • Registered Social Landlords which accommodate MAPPA offenders;
  • Housing Authorities;
  • Education Authorities;
  • Jobcentre plus; and
  • Electronic Monitoring Providers.

Duty to Co-operate

The purpose of the ‘Duty to Co-operate’ agencies is to help strengthen the MAPPA to make defensible decisions about the management of offenders and to acknowledge the crucial role in the resettlement and rehabilitation of offenders played by various governmental and other organisations.

The MAPPA in itself is not a legal entity but rather a set of administrative arrangements – authority and professional responsibility for action remains with the agencies involved and to this end MAPPA aims at ‘co-ordination not conglomeration’.

The legislation does not define the activities that the duty to co-operate involves but provides guidance to this effect. It requires ‘duty-to-co-operate agencies’ to co-operate only insofar as this is compatible with their existing statutory responsibilities.

It is vital different agencies respect the role provided by each other and respective professional responsibilities and limitations.

The four key roles of any agency operating within MAPPA are to:

  • Provide a point of contact for other agencies;
  • Provide specific advice about the risk assessment and management of a particular offender;
  • Provide general advice about an agency’s role and its services;
  • Co-ordinate its approach as best as possible with other agencies.

9. Sharing Information

Exchange of information is essential for effective public protection. The MAPPA guidance clarifies how MAPPA agencies may exchange information amongst themselves and with other people or organisations outside MAPP. Multi Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs) can recommend that agencies disclose information about offenders to a number of organisations, including schools and voluntary groups.

Critical concepts in terms of information sharing are those of ‘necessity’ and ‘proportionality’. There must be a pressing public need for the information and the amount of information shared must only be that necessary to achieve the purpose for which it is being shared.

Different MAPPA agencies may have different policies about sharing of information about offenders involved in the MAPPA process. This may especially be the case for health professionals constrained by confidentiality requirements of their professional role. The duty imposed by Section 325 does not create a requirement to disclose in all cases but does provide a statutory gateway that permits disclosure when it is necessary.

It should be noted that Section 96 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 contains specific provision to allow the Home Secretary to make regulations on the sharing of information on registered sex offenders including those held in hospital settings.

Further guidance from Annex B of the NHS code of practice states that information about a patient should not be used for any purpose ‘except as originally understood by the confider’.

There are some cases where breach of confidentiality is justified i.e. ‘where there is an overriding public interest’ e.g. to prevent and support detection, investigation and punishment of serious crime – defined as murder, manslaughter, rape, treason, serious public disorder, kidnapping and child abuse.

This can be achieved under Section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 so long as whoever authorises disclosure makes a record of it, providing clear evidence of reasoning used and circumstances prevailing. Where possible, the patient should be informed if such a procedure has taken place although in some cases such disclosure might not be considered safe.

Information-sharing should be in accordance with the:

  • Human Rights Act 1998, specifically where it refers to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which qualifies the right to respect for private and family life as follows –‘there shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of …public safety… for the prevention or detection of crime for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others’;
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Section 17) which places a duty on every local authority to ‘exercise its various functions….with due regard to… the need to do all that it reasonably can to prevent… crime and disorder in its area’; s.115 of the above Act provides legal authority for those agencies involved in MAPPA to share information for the above purpose;
  • Data Protection Act 1998 which allows agencies to process data held by them for their lawful purposes and duty; the assessment and management of the risk posed by sexual and violent offenders is part of that duty.

10. Referral Process

All MAPPA Relevant Offenders falling within the definitions contained in Sections 67 and 68 of the CJCSA 2000 will be notified to the MAPPA manager using the standard notification form.

Where the referring agency considers that the case needs to be managed at Level 2 or Level 3 a MAPPA referral form should be completed and sent to the MAPPA Manager for consideration. It should be noted that referrals to MAPPA can be made by any Responsible Authority or Duty to Co-operate Agency.

Whilst professional judgement remains an essential ingredient in all risk assessments, MAPPA referrals for cases to be managed at Level 2 or Level 3 must be supported by the referring agency’s dynamic risk assessment tool (OASys, SARA, RM 2000, ASSETT etc.)

The MAPPA manager will consider the appropriateness of the referral and thereafter arrange for it to be initially discussed at a Level 1 information exchange meeting. In some instances the initial discussion may be at Level 2 or Level 3. The purpose of the Level 1 meeting is to gather information and intelligence from other agencies so as to fully assess the risks posed by the offender.

To ensure timely planning for release all eligible custodial cases should be referred wherever possible at least six months prior to expected release date.

11. Level 2 and Level 3 Meetings (including Reviews)

The MAPPA Manager or deputy will chair all MAPPA Level 2 and Level 3 meetings. They will ensure that those required to attend are provided with relevant information as far in advance as possible to enable their full participation.

Information copied to agencies prior to and after meetings will be sent using the most secure means available. This requires agencies to identify for the MAPPA manager how this is to be achieved.

For Level 2 and Level 3 cases, discussion will be focused on the development of a strategy to reduce the risk posed and manage the offender in the community. The MAPPA will formulate a Risk Management and Decision Plan which addresses all of the risks identified and tasks agencies with executing their responsibilities.

When an offender is discussed at a MAPPA meeting at any level, there is a presumption in favour of informing her/him of this and its implications.

This should be an open, participative process where the offender is left in no doubt as to the focus of the work and the expectations on her/him for change within it and the sanctions to be applied throughout.

Careful consideration should be given to this disclosure and agreement to withhold it should only be given if the interests of public safety (including the safety of staff in the various agencies with whom the offender is likely to come into contact) or the protection of victims are deemed to override such disclosure. This decision must be clearly recorded in the minutes.

12. Agency Attendance at MAPPA

Numbers involved in meetings arranged under MAPPA should be restricted to those who have a significant contribution to make and / or are at a level / rank to enable them to commit their agency to the agreed involvement in any subsequently determined risk management plan, including, where appropriate, the allocation of specific (additional) resources.

Representatives at meetings should include:

  • Local Probation Manager (Level 2) and/or Director (Level 3);
  • Local Detective Inspector (Level 2) and/or Detective Chief Inspector, Public Protection Unit (Level 3);
  • Prison Service representative in accordance with the prison service protocol (where appropriate);
  • Probation Offender Manager or Referring Officer from other agencies;
  • Local Police Public Protection Officer;
  • The local authority designated safeguarding child protection lead or a representative from Specialist Children’s Services (Kent)/Children’s Social Care Services (Medway);
  • A management representative or other delegated officer from the local authority housing management department (where appropriate);
  • The YOS/YOT Manager (where appropriate);
  • A representative from mental health services e.g. Criminal Justice Mental Health Team;
  • Probation Victim Contact Unit;
  • Probation Housing Liaison Officer.

This list is not exhaustive and other agencies may be invited if they have relevant information to share and are able to take an active part in the agreed risk management plan.

13. Disclosure of MAPPA Minutes

Whilst offenders should be advised that they are subject to MAPPA the MAPPA meeting minutes should remain confidential and are not to be disclosed to any individual or third party without the written authority of the MAPPA Manager. They should only be given to those who attended the meeting and further seen by those with a duty to consider what was discussed and decided.

Any request for disclosure of MAPPA meeting minutes by an offender, his legal representative or the courts should be forwarded to the MAPPA Manager who will consider the request and where appropriate provide an ‘Executive Summary’ of the meeting.

14. Additional Local Procedures

Detailed procedures for Kent and Medway may be accessed at Kent Safeguarding Children Board and Medway Safeguarding Children Board websites.