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
MAPPA Annex 4

MAPPA Annex 4

Model Memorandum of Understanding

Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements ( MAPPA)

Model Memorandum of Understanding between the Responsible Authorities and the Duty to Cooperate Agencies within the Area of (xx) Community Justice Authority

Statutory Basis

1 Sections 10 and 11 of the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 (see Annex to this Model Memorandum) require the Scottish Prison Service, local authorities and the Police as responsible authorities in the area of a local authority to jointly establish arrangements for the assessment and management of risks posed by categories of offender detailed by this legislation.

2 In addition, the legislation also provides health boards and Special Health Boards with statutory functions as responsible authorities to establish joint arrangements for the assessment and management of risk posed by mentally disordered offenders who are restricted patients.

Duty to Cooperate ( DTC)

3 Sections 10(3) and (4) of the Act provide that in establishing and implementing the joint arrangements, the responsible authorities must act in cooperation with such persons as Scottish Ministers specify by Order. As a result it will be the duty of those persons and authorities specified in the Order to cooperate with the responsible authorities. Cooperation must be compatible with the exercise by those persons and authorities of their other statutory functions. It is intended as a means of enabling different agencies to work together but within their legitimate role whilst retaining their responsibility for action. The Act also provides that the DTC is reciprocal and requires agencies to cooperate with each other. The definition of 'cooperate' includes the exchange of information. Both public and other agencies are required to act responsibly and jointly to deliver the requirements of the law and compliance with the DTC will be reinforced through regulation and inspection regimes.

4 Section 10(5) of the Act requires the responsible authorities and the DTC agencies to develop a memorandum such as this, enabling the practicalities of cooperation to be agreed locally.

5 Section 10(7) of the Act defines the ' responsible authorities' who are required by section 10(1) to work together to establish joint arrangements for the assessment and management of risks posed by sex offenders and restricted patients. One of the 'responsible authorities' is the local authority. The primary responsibility for working on the joint arrangements will lie with the Chief Social Work Officer. However, other local authority services, such as

education and housing services, will also be required to discharge the corporate responsibility under this function.

6 The following agencies/ bodies in [xx] area with a DTC are signatories to this Memorandum of Understanding and include : Example G4S (delivering electronic monitoring services) (XX) Health Board, Scottish Children's Reporter Administration ( SCRA).

Principles and Purpose of the DTC

7 This memorandum has been prepared by the responsible authorities and the duty to cooperate agencies. It is founded on the principles of the MAPPA Guidance and sets out the purpose of the DTC and how that duty will be delivered by the agencies party to the memorandum.

8 All agencies involved with sex offenders and restricted patents and party to this memorandum are committed to working on a reciprocal basis by:

  • sharing relevant information within agreed protocols and the development of good practice in relation to the assessment and management of MAPPA offenders within the area of the CJA;
  • the effective use of resources to manage those offenders; and
  • cooperating in order to develop and sustain public confidence in the multi-agency public protection arrangements.

9 The purposes of cooperation are to coordinate the involvement of different agencies in assessing and managing risk to enable every agency which has a legitimate interest, to contribute as fully as its existing statutory role and functions require in a way that complements the work of other agencies.

10 The DTC relates only to the operational, case-related work involved in assessing and managing the risks posed by sex offenders and restricted patients as defined by section 10 of the Management of Offenders, etc. (Scotland) Act 2005.

11 As previously stated the DTC is reciprocal. It requires the responsible authorities to cooperate with the DTC agencies, and those agencies to cooperate with the responsible authorities in assessing and managing the risks posed by sex offenders and restricted patients.

12 DTC agencies cooperate only in so far as this is compatible with their existing statutory responsibilities. Therefore, the duty does not require the agencies on which it is imposed to do anything other than what they are already required to do. It does require them to carry out their responsibilities, where these relate to sex offenders and restricted patients, however to do so collaboratively with the responsible authorities and the other DTC agencies.

13 The responsible authorities and the DTC agencies must set out the ways in which they are to cooperate in this Memorandum. This document constitutes this agreement.

Practicalities of Cooperation (example can be added to or amended locally)

14 Agencies involved in the process agree to work together. Representatives will:

  • be in a position to make decisions which will commit appropriate resources based on agreed levels of risk assessment and management;
  • participate in the assessment and management of sex offenders and restricted patients, for the effective protection of the public;
  • develop an understanding and respect for the differences in agency role and service provision;
  • cooperate within their agency's role and statutory power. It should be noted that the arrangements do not aggregate the responsibility and authority of the agencies involved, it clarifies the role each agency is to play;
  • carry out confident, appropriate and effective information sharing in accordance with the law and in line with local Information Sharing Protocols;
  • ensure that diversity issues/equal opportunities for both members of the public and offenders are taken into consideration when assessing risk and formulating risk management plans. Equality before the law is an essential principle in the area of criminal justice and it is important therefore that legal obligations in relation to race, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender and disabilities are recognised;
  • attend, where appropriate, MAPPA and other meetings in the delivery of public protection. (In relation to Level 2 and 3 meetings, each agency will provide appropriate representation in line with the MAPPA guidance.)

Disclosure of Information

15 Disclosure of information relating to a registered sex offender can take place in three ways in Scotland, namely;

  • The sex offender can self-disclose;
  • A disclosure can be made by social workers;
  • A formal disclosure can be made by a Chief Constable.

16 The signatories to this memorandum agree that in any situation where the issue of disclosure is a possibility, the case must be discussed with the Police.

17 Issues around disclosure are also covered within the MAPPA Guidance and in the National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders.

18 Disclosure of information on other offenders subject to the MAPPA should only be undertaken following discussion with the responsible authorities and other DTC agencies involved.

Information Sharing

19 The signatories to this memorandum agree to work to the principles of the Concordat on Information Sharing for Sex Offenders including:

  • the implementation and review of national standards (Annex 2 of the Concordat) and;
  • the adoption and use of the definitions agreed (Annex 3 of the Concordat).

20 The protocols appended to this memorandum provide the basis of the information to be shared between each agency which is a signatory to this memorandum. ( N.B. the responsible authorities and DTC agencies should develop protocols on information sharing).

Dispute Resolution

21 The primary objective of the MAPPA is public protection. There will be occasions when the responsible authorities and/or the DTC agencies cannot reach agreement. The memorandum should therefore contain an agreed protocol for speedy dispute resolution. It should be noted however that the responsible authorities and DTC agencies still retain statutory responsibility for discharge of their statutory function.

Annual Report

22 The agencies party to this memorandum agree to cooperate with the responsible authorities in the preparation of the annual report under section 11 of the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005, e.g. in the provision of statistics, case studies etc.

Risk-Proofing and Quality Assurance

23 Agencies involved in MAPPA should agree to ensure that they have processes in place for risk-proofing and quality assurance of their functions and duties.

Media Handling Strategy (Example)

24 The management of MAPPA offenders requires effective partnerships between all agencies. This includes a joint approach to the media and handling of publicity.

25 The agencies party to this memorandum agree to the following media strategy in relation to the provision of information on individual cases and on the operation of the MAPPA arrangements.

26 The strategy should include but is not limited to the following:

  • The responsible authorities, i.e. Police, local authority, Scottish Prison Service ( SPS) and health board will designate a senior member of staff as a communications or media spokesperson to whom all routine and emergency enquiries or concerns can be referred by the DTC agencies;
  • The responsible authorities will liaise with DTC agencies to ensure that they are aware of media attention or impending media reports.

Status of the Memorandum of Understanding

27 This memorandum is a working document and subject to review and may be altered at any time to reflect changing circumstances. Such changes will be subject to the agreement of all parties.

28 The review of this document will take place on: [Set date for review].

29 The parties to this Memorandum are: [List parties].