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
5. MAPPA In Operation: Offenders Subject to The SONR

5. MAPPA In Operation: Offenders Subject to The SONR

5.1 There are five key stages to the MAPPA process:

Stage 1 Identification of offender and notification

Stage 2 MAPPA referral

Stage 3 Pre-meeting information sharing

Stage 4 MAPPA meeting

Stage 5 Exit from MAPPA

Stage 1: Identification and Notification of Offenders

5.2 The identification of the offenders who fall within the MAPPA is the critical first stage. It relates to all offenders subject to SONR who fall within the remit of the MAPPA at any particular time, regardless of the level at which they will be managed.

5.3 This chapter establishes the statutory requirements for each responsible authority to identify all MAPPA offenders subject to the SONR and to make the necessary notification.

5.4 Section 10 (1) (a-e) of the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 sets out the categories of offender who can be subject to MAPPA. This includes Offenders subject to the Sex Offender Notification Requirements ( SONR)

5.5 This category relates to offenders who are required to comply with the SONR set out in Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (the 2003 Act). When a person is convicted of an offence listed in Schedule 3 of the 2003 Act, they automatically become subject to the SONR. Those made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order ( SOPO) or are convicted of a breach of a Risk of Sexual Harm Order ( RSHO), are automatically required to comply with the SONR.

5.6 The SONR are set out fully in Part 2 of the 2003 Act and the regulations made thereunder.

5.7 Section 82 of the 2003 Act sets out the period of time an offender is required to comply with the notification requirements.

5.8 Identification of offenders subject to the SONR and the role of the Scottish Court Service:

  • When an offender is subject to the SONR, the Court is required to issue the offender with a certificate of conviction or finding and a notice of requirement to register.
  • A copy of both the certificate of conviction and the notice of requirement to register must be copied to the police and also the relevant local authority, and must be attached to any extract warrant for imprisonment or detention in hospital.

5.9 Charts 1 and 2 at the end of this chapter demonstrate the sex offender notification process.

Notification of Offenders Required to Comply with the SONR

5.10 The following paragraphs outline the notification process for custodial and non-custodial cases and the timescales in which such notifications should take place.

5.11 When identified the details of all relevant offenders must be notified to the Coordinator by the lead responsible authority for recording, regardless of the level at which they will be managed, and regardless of whether they are serving a custodial sentence, or a community based sentence. The MAPPA Coordinator will maintain an accurate record of the numbers of offenders being managed by the responsible authorities in that area.

5.12 Notification will be made using the notification form contained in the document set to this guidance. The notification should be recorded on the Violent and Sex Offender Register (ViSOR) within an activity log. The form should contain sufficient information to support the rationale for management at the suggested MAPPA Level.

Custodial sentences

5.13 Many notifications result from a sentence of imprisonment. The SPS Integrated Case Management system ( ICM) helps to ensure that offenders who will be subject to MAPPA are more readily identified at the point of sentence.

5.14 For those prisoners subject to SONR, but not to statutory supervision by CJSW in the community following release, or serving a custodial sentence for a non-sexual offence, SPS should make an immediate notification to the MAPPA Coordinator at the point of imprisonment. SPS must also notify the police of the prisoner's impending release.

5.15 For those prisoners subject to statutory supervision by CJSW upon release into the community, SPS will give a notification (and/or referral where appropriate) to the MAPPA Coordinator. This will be done within ten working days of the annual ICM case conference preceding the prisoner's Parole Qualifying Date. A confirmed notification/referral will be sent to the MAPPA Coordinator within ten working days of SPS having received notification of the Parole Board's decision. Further information on the Parole Board is available at chapter 16. For those who are not granted parole, SPS will send the Coordinator confirmation of the decision as soon as possible following the pre-release ICM case conference.

Community sentence and other notifications

5.16 To ensure that all identified offenders are included within MAPPA, the lead responsible authority with knowledge of the relevant offender, must make a notification to the relevant MAPPA Coordinator for the owning CJA area, not later than three working days of the community disposal being determined by the Court.

5.17 For those subject to statutory supervision, notification should be made by the local authority ( CJSW) to the MAPPA Coordinator. For those offenders receiving a community disposal but there is no active management by CJSW, then the police are the responsible authority.

5.18 For offenders whose risks are likely to be managed at Level 1 the notification should be made not later than three working days from the receipt of the community disposal.

5.19 Notifications for those who are deemed to fall into Level 2 or 3 should be made as a matter of urgency to allow arrangements to be made for MAPPA involvement, but in any case not later than three working days from the receipt of the disposal.

5.20 The MAPPA Coordinator for the area of the CJA is the Single Point of Contact ( SPOC) for all notifications. They must place an entry on ViSOR within an activity log and include the MAPPA level at which the offender will be managed.

Chart 1: Sexual Offences Act 2003 Notification Process

Chart 1: Sexual Offences Act 2003 Notification Process

Chart 2: Sex Offender Registration Process

Chart 2: Sex Offender Registration Process

Stage 2: MAPPA Referral

Referral to Multi-Agency Risk Management - Level 2 or Level 3

5.21 A referral to MAPPA Levels 2 or 3 must be informed by the current risk assessment and the proposed risk management plan.

5.22 Multi-agency risk management can require a significant resource and should only be used where this level of collaboration and coordination is necessary and proportionate to the management of the specific risk of serious harm posed. Any decision to refer an offender into Level 2 or Level 3 must be on the basis that a coordinated multi-agency response by senior staff is required, and is proportionate to protect the public.

Community sentence and other types of referral

5.23 As outlined previously the lead responsible authority must submit a notification form to the MAPPA Coordinator within three workings days of being notified of a community sentence disposal. The form must contain sufficient information to support the rationale for management at the recommended MAPPA Level. Should a decision be made to manage the offender at MAPPA Level 2 or 3 then a referral must be submitted to the MAPPA Coordinator within five working days of submission of the notification form.

5.24 For those offenders subject to a community disposal, or under supervision or notification requirements in the community, a referral may be made either by the police or CJSW at one of the two following points:

  • at the time of the first risk assessment and development of the management plan; or
  • at any point during the period of the order, supervision or notification requirement where the level of risk appears to have significantly increased.

Referrals from custody

5.25 The decision to refer to the MAPPA process at Level 2 or 3 will be discussed and agreed at the pre-release ICM case conference as part of the risk assessment and risk management process. The police and other agencies can be invited to attend ICM meetings where appropriate.

5.26 SPS must send the MAPPA Coordinator a notification/referral as soon as possible and not less than ten weeks prior to release, unless there are extenuating circumstances, following the pre-release ICM case conference. See Chapter 15 for further detail on ICM and offenders within the prison system.

5.27 A referral form is contained within the MAPPA document set attached to this guidance.

Practical considerations for MAPPA referrals

5.28 The responsible authority will complete the referral form providing all relevant information and submit, within the timescales laid out in paragraphs 6 and 9, to the Coordinator to allow them to make an informed decision.

5.29 On receipt the MAPPA Coordinator will accept the referral if the evidence provided appears to them to meet the criteria for inclusion in MAPPA Level 2 or Level 3.

5.30 If the referral is accepted, the Coordinator will confirm this to the responsible authority and arrangements will be made by the Coordinator to progress the case to the initial Level 2 meeting/Level 3 ( MAPPP). Timescales for this are provided at paragraphs 22 and 23.

5.31 If the Coordinator does not accept the referral then as soon as possible this should be notified to the referring responsible authority outlining the reasons.

5.32 In the absence of the Coordinator ( e.g. on annual leave), the responsible authorities will ensure that there are mechanisms in place for such decisions to be made.

5.33 Where there is disagreement as to the MAPPA level and this cannot be resolved the final decision will be made by the local MAPPP designated leads from the local authority, police and health, and their rationale will be accurately reflected in the minutes. In cases where, after resolution, it is decided that the matter should be managed at Level 1, then the rationale for the decision will be recorded on ViSOR by the Coordinator.

5.34 It should be noted that those offenders who are subject to both the SONR and statutory supervision do not necessarily require management at MAPPA Level 2 or 3, although good Level 1 practice would require the police and CJSW to coordinate their respective activities via an agreed risk management plan.

Stage 3: Pre-meeting Information Sharing

5.35 Prior to Level 2 and 3 meetings the agencies will share information held about the offender and complete the risk assessment and risk management planning templates included in the MAPPA document set included in this guidance. The information sharing process is managed by the Coordinator (for further details see chapter 11 and annex 5).

5.36 Pre-meeting information sharing makes certain that:

  • all responsible authorities and relevant Duty to Cooperate ( DTC) agencies are aware of the referral;
  • all agencies have an opportunity to identify and share relevant information that they hold;
  • it reduces the amount of time spent exchanging information at Level 2/Level 3 ( MAPPP) at the meeting allowing the focus to be on the issues of risk assessment and risk management; and
  • there is clarification of the threshold for Level 3 ( MAPPP).

Information sharing

5.37 The information included in the referral will be passed to identified contacts within the responsible authorities and relevant DTC agencies directly by the MAPPA Coordinator. This requires the receiving agencies to have a single point through which this information can be securely passed.

5.38 The receiving agency will search their agency records for all relevant information about the offender, or victim, or potential victims. The search should be undertaken and the response completed as a priority task, and in any case, both will be completed and forwarded within five working days to the MAPPA Coordinator, in the following terms:

  • If nothing found - no trace/negative reply.
  • If material found but not relevant - positive trace/negative reply.
  • If material found and relevant - positive trace/positive reply and share the relevant information with either the managing agency or the MAPPA Coordinator (as directed) for the sole purpose of public protection and reducing the likelihood of reoffending.
  • If material found and relevance not clear - positive trace/further consideration required.

5.39 Those operationally responsible for the management of the offender should liaise with the local authority Sex Offender Liaison Officer ( SOLO) in relation to accommodation and environmental scanning arrangements as set out in the National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders ( NASSO).

Stage 4: MAPPA Meeting

Initial Level 2 and Level 3 Meetings

5.40 For those offenders in the community an initial Level 2 meeting must be held within twenty working days of receipt of referral by the MAPPA Coordinator or their administrator.

5.41 An initial Level 3 meeting must be held within five working days of receipt of referral.

5.42 For those offenders in custody or being managed within the Care Programme Approach ( CPA) the initial Level 2 or Level 3 meeting must take place prior to their release/discharge into the community. Further information about the CPA is contained within chapter 14.

5.43 The product of pre-meeting information exchanges should be compiled and provided in advance of the meeting to all agencies attending an initial Level 2 or Level 3 meeting to allow for suitable preparation. The purpose of the meeting is to:

  • bring additional information or assist agencies to assess the relevance of existing information;
  • Review and establish agreement regarding the development and implementation of a Risk Management Plan including ensuring;
    • The analysis of the risk of serious harm has identified the risks;
    • That the identified risk management strategies and activities are implemented in line with professional role and competence;
    • That decisions are taken to address any obstacles to the delivery of the RMP and uninterrupted service provision;
  • consider whether the MAPPA level should increase or decrease;
  • set a formal review date for the risk management plan.

Organising appropriate attendance at Level 2 or Level 3 meetings

5.44 The MAPPA Coordinator will identify which agencies are central to the delivery of the risk management plan and arrange for their attendance.

5.45 As well as senior representatives from the responsible authorities, supervising social workers and police officers can be invited to attend where appropriate.

5.46 The MAPPA Coordinator can maximise agency involvement by organised scheduling of meetings and, where necessary, by the use of video conferencing. All agencies should be represented by senior personnel who understand the strategies for minimising or reducing risk of serious harm, and who have the authority to implement appropriate strategies agreed at the meeting on behalf of their agency.

5.47 The Chair should make sure that the meeting is focused on systematic assessment based on identified risk factors. The Chair should summarise the risk factors and provide direction on the actions and resources required to appropriately manage the case.

5.48 A review meeting should be scheduled to assess progress against the risk management plan. The timing of this review will reflect the individual circumstances of the risk management plan and should be agreed at the initial meeting. There are however minimum standards in respect of review periods as follows;

  • Level 2 cases will be reviewed no less than once every 12 weeks;
  • Level 3 cases will be reviewed no less than once every 6 weeks.

5.49 All agencies have a responsibility to report to the MAPPA Coordinator any information that indicates a change in risk whenever that occurs.

5.50 Further information on Level 2 and Level 3 ( MAPPP) is provided in chapter 4.

Stage 5: Exit from MAPPA

5.51 It is recognised that the notification period has no bearing on the risk presented and the need to manage that risk, however, the exit of an offender from MAPPA is determined by the length of the SONR, or alternatively under the provisions of The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Remedial) (Scotland) Order 2011. More information on the 2011 Order is available in chapter 6.

5.52 The lead agency must notify the MAPPA Coordinator when an offender is nearing the end of their SONR and about to exit the arrangements. This notice should be provided with sufficient time to allow for a review of the circumstances to confirm whether continued management through MAPPA is justified and necessary.

5.53 In a small number of cases the offender may be assessed as still posing a significant risk of serious sexual harm to the public at the point they would normally leave the MAPPA. In these cases consideration should be given for the application of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order under the terms of Section 104 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which carries an automatic SONR provision.

5.54 Where an offender exits the arrangements the Coordinator must update the relevant ViSOR record accordingly.