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Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) National Guidance 2012 Version 1 and Covering Justice and Communities Circular JD/01/2012



1 The fundamental purpose of MAPPA is public protection and managing the risk of serious harm posed by certain groups of offenders. It is understood that the responsible authorities and their partners involved in the management of offenders cannot eliminate risk - they can only do their best to minimise that risk.

2 It is recognised that, on occasions, offenders managed under the MAPPA will commit, or attempt to commit, further serious crimes and, when this happens, the MAPPA processes must be examined to, firstly, ensure that the actions or processes employed by the responsible authorities are not flawed and, secondly, where it has been identified that practice could have been strengthened, plans are put in place promptly to do so.

Who is this guidance for?

3 Managing offenders subject to the Sex Offenders Notification Requirements ( SONR), through MAPPA, is an interagency and interdisciplinary statutory responsibility for the responsible authorities. They have a specific duty to report incidents which fall within the criteria of this guidance. That said, any agency (including the third sector), profession, or individual can report incidents which meet the criteria for a Significant Case Review ( SCR).

4 In every case, it is the local MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group ( SOG) which has overall responsibility for the formal review of a significant case. The SOG will decide whether a SCR is warranted in terms of the criteria specified in this guidance; the remit of the review; and the undertaking, or commissioning of the review. This guidance is therefore targeted at SOGs.

5 The full guidance in relation to SCRs in contained within Annex 9. The overarching objectives of SCRs are to:

  • Establish whether there are lessons to be learnt about how to improve public protection. Reviews should be understood as a process for learning and improving service;
  • When appropriate, make recommendations for action (albeit that immediate action to improve service or professional shortcomings need not await the outcome of a formal review);
  • Address accountability, both at the level of the responsible authorities and the professional groups involved;
  • Provide public reassurance in relation to the actions of the responsible authorities in the specific circumstances; and
  • Identify good practice.

6 A significant case need not comprise just one significant incident.

7 In any of the circumstances below a SCR may be required. An Initial Case Review should first determine whether a SCR is merited. The detail, level and experience of the author of any review will depend on, and be proportionate to, the individual case and circumstances. A review should not be escalated beyond what is proportionate taking account of the severity and complexity of the case.

8 The list should not be seen to exclude cases that may not precisely fit the criteria but which have nevertheless triggered significant professional concerns. It is the responsibility of the SOG to decide how to proceed in such cases.

9 The criteria which must be met for the instigation of a MAPPASCR are:

  • When an offender managed under MAPPA is charged with murder, attempted murder or a crime of serious sexual harm 6 ;
  • Significant concern has been raised in respect of the management of a MAPPA offender which gives rise to serious concerns about professional and/or service involvement;
  • Where it appears that an offender managed under MAPPA is killed or seriously injured as a direct result of his/her status as a sex offender becoming known.

Full guidance can be found at Annex 9.