Publication - Advice and guidance

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

Published: 3 Mar 2016
Safer Communities Directorate
Part of:
Law and order

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

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA):national guidance 2016
2. The Responsible Authorities

2. The Responsible Authorities

2.1 Sections 10 and 11 of the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 place 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.

2.2 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).

2.3 Detail on the categories of offenders covered by this guidance can be found in chapter 1, 5, 9 and 10.

The Responsible Authorities and Identification of Primary Roles

2.4 The primary role of each responsible authority in the MAPPA is summarised as follows:

Local authority

2.5 The local authority is the responsible authority with primary responsibility for the management of offenders subject to statutory supervision in the community. The responsibility for the joint arrangements within a local authority lies primarily with the Chief Social Work Officer, however, other local authority services, such as education and housing, also have key responsibilities in relation to this function.

2.6 The National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System (NOS) set the minimum standards which local authorities are required to meet in respect of these services.

2.7 Where the offender is also a registered sex offender ( RSO) the responsibility for the case is shared between the relevant local authority and the police who must assume joint responsibility for the management of risk under MAPPA.

2.8 Additionally there are occasions when an RSO being managed by the police under MAPPA is convicted of another crime or offence, and the sentence includes statutory supervision on release for that offence. This change in status should be considered and an agreement reached on which authority has primary responsibility for the case.

The police

2.9 The Police Service of Scotland is responsible for the operation of the Sex Offender Notification Requirements ( SONR). They will normally be the responsible authority for those RSOs, who are not subject to statutory supervision by the local authority. In cases where the statutory supervision ends, but the RSO is still subject to SONR, the police will become the lead responsible authority. There are a small number of cases where an RSO receives a community sentence disposal, but there are no licence conditions and no involvement by local authority criminal justice social work. In such cases the police will be the responsible authority.

The Scottish Prison Service ( SPS)

2.10 The SPS is the responsible authority for relevant offenders whilst they are in custody and during periods of home leave.


2.11 Health boards and Special Health Boards are a responsible authority in relation to the assessment and management of mentally disordered offenders and restricted patients who meet the criteria in section 10(1) of the 2005 Act. The roles and responsibilities of Health boards and Special Health Boards in relation to mentally disordered offenders (restricted patients) are detailed at chapter 14.

Residency principles

2.12 Identification of the relevant local authority area and therefore the lead responsible authority is a priority, particularly in cases where offenders are itinerant or have no fixed residence. Where it is not immediately clear which local authority area has responsibility and the offender is, or will be, subject to supervision by a local authority, the ordinary residence principles apply.

Cases concerning more than one area

2.13 There are cases where an offender may legitimately be of concern, or interest, to responsible authorities in more than one area, for example, where an offender regularly visits an address in another area. In these circumstances the police will ensure that all relevant information concerning risk assessment and management is shared between the appropriate divisional offender management units and updated regularly. This level of information sharing should be reflected when required between the relevant local authorities.

2.14 Similar issues of coordination may arise where a known victim lives in a different area to the home area of the offender. In such circumstances similarly clear lines of communication must be established. It is vital that there is joint planning, risk management and intervention planning. The level, nature and duration of any actions will vary depending on the needs of each individual case.