Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA):national guidance 2016

Ministerial guidance to responsible authorities on the discharge of their obligations under section 10 of the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005.

1. Introduction

1.1 The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements ( MAPPA), are a set of statutory partnership working arrangements introduced in 2007 by virtue of Sections 10 and 11 of The Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 (the 2005 Act).

1.2 This places a statutory duty on the responsible authorities in a local authority area to jointly establish arrangements for assessing and managing the risk posed by certain categories of offenders.

1.3 This national guidance is issued under section 10(6) of the 2005 Act and provides the responsible authorities with Ministerial guidance on the discharge of their functions. This updated version reflects changes to MAPPA as a consequence of the commencement of section 10(1)(e) which from 31 March 2016 will provide for the inclusion of certain high risk offenders who are assessed by the responsible authorities as posing a risk of serious harm by reason of their conviction.

1.4 This guidance relates to the operation of the provisions for the following categories of offenders:

  • Registered Sex Offenders ( RSOs) - those offenders convicted of an offence listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and required to comply with the sex offender notification requirements ( SONR) set out in Part 2 of the 2003 Act. Those made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order ( SOPO), or are convicted of a breach of a Risk of Sexual Harm Order ( RSHO). Details on the MAPPA process for this category of offender can be found in chapter 5.
  • Mentally Disordered Restricted Patients - this category of offender is detailed in chapter 10 and comprises those subject to any of the following orders or directions:
    • Patients who are detained following conviction under section 57A and section 59 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995;
    • Patients who are detained under section 57(2)(a) and (b) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 Compulsion order with a Restriction Order following a finding of unfitness for trial or acquittal by reason of mental disorder; and
    • Prisoners detained in hospital on a Hospital Direction under section 59A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 or a transferred prisoner on a Transfer for Treatment Direction under section 136 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.
  • Other Risk of Serious Harm Offenders - offenders not required to comply with the SONR or are a mentally disordered restricted patient; who by reason of their conviction are subject to supervision in the community by any enactment, order or licence; are assessed by the responsible authorities as posing a high or very high risk of serious harm to the public, which requires active multi-agency management at MAPPA level 2 or 3. This category is detailed further in Chapter 9.

1.5 Section 10(7) of the 2005 Act details the responsible authorities for the area of a local authority as:

(a) The chief constable of the Police Service of Scotland;
(b) The local authority;
(c) A Health Board or Special Health Board for an area any part of which is comprised within the area of the local authority; and
(d) Scottish Prison Service ( SPS) (acting on behalf of the Scottish Ministers).

Further information on the responsible authorities is available in chapter 2.

1.6 The 2005 Act also provides for agencies who have a duty to co-operate (DTC) with the responsible authorities in relation to the management of offenders. Further information on the duty to cooperate is detailed in chapter 3.

1.7 The fundamental purpose of MAPPA is public protection and managing the risk of serious harm. MAPPA is not a statutory body in itself but is a mechanism through which the responsible authorities discharge their statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a coordinated manner.

1.8 The MAPPA reflect the Human Rights Act 1998 principles of necessity and proportionality and this must be considered in all actions carried out by the responsible authorities and DTC agencies in their plans to manage offenders.


1.9 The MAPPA agencies must be free from discrimination and committed to equal access to services for all groups, particularly in relation to race, gender, gender identity, age, religious belief, sexual orientation and disability. This means that all actions undertaken or recommended by the MAPPA agencies, and all policies and procedures, will be based on assessments of risks and needs. They will not draw on stereotypical assumptions about groups that will be discriminatory in outcome.

1.10 In undertaking their work, the MAPPA agencies will be sensitive and responsive to individual differences and needs. They will integrate this understanding into the delivery of their functions to ensure that nobody is disadvantaged as a result of belonging to a specific social group. To assist in achieving this, each of the responsible authorities must have in place plans to ensure that issues of diversity are addressed. An equality impact assessment in respect of MAPPA was completed in 2015.


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