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
9. MAPPA In Operation: Other Risk Of Serious Harm Offenders

9. MAPPA In Operation: Other Risk Of Serious Harm Offenders

9.1 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 of Offenders

9.2 The identification of the offenders who fall within the MAPPA is the critical first stage. This chapter sets out the legislative framework and model to assist the responsible authorities to identify relevant risk of serious harm offenders.

9.3 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. Other risk of serious harm offenders are detailed under section 10(1)(e) as those who, by reason of their conviction, are considered to pose a risk of serious harm to the public.

9.4 This category may include:

  • offenders who are not required to comply with the SONR or those who are not mentally disordered restricted patients and;
  • who have been convicted of an offence, and by reason of that conviction are required to be subject to supervision in the community by any enactment, order or licence and;
  • are assessed by the responsible authorities as posing a high or very high risk of serious harm [4] to the public at large and;
  • the risk [5] is assessed as requiring active multi-agency management at MAPPA level 2 or 3.

Stage 2: MAPPA Referral

Referral to multi-agency risk management - Level 2 or Level 3

9.6 A referral to MAPPA Levels 2 or 3 must be informed by evidence and reflected by the current risk assessment and, if formulated, a risk management plan.

9.7 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

9.8 Where it is assessed that the above criteria is met and that the case requires to be managed at MAPPA Level 2 or 3, then a referral must be submitted to the MAPPA Coordinator within five working days of the assessment being made.

9.9 For those offenders subject to a community disposal, or under supervision in the community, a referral will be made by Criminal Justice Social Work ( CJSW) as lead agency 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 or supervision where the level of risk appears to have significantly increased to the level of the criteria detailed above

Referrals from custody

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

9.11 When an offender is considered to meet the criteria for inclusion as an other risk of serious harm offender, SPS must send the MAPPA Coordinator a referral as soon as possible and not less than ten weeks prior to release following the pre-release ICM case conference unless there are extenuating circumstances.

9.12 Where offenders are considered for progression to the open estate with potential access to the community, a MAPPA referral should be made to the MAPPA Coordinators of the home local authority and the location of HMP Open Estate (Tayside) as soon as possible in the planning process.

9.13 See Chapter 15 for further detail on MAPPA and offenders within the prison system.

Practical considerations for MAPPA referrals

9.14 A form for the purposes of referral is contained within the MAPPA document set attached to this guidance.

9.15 The responsible authority will complete and submit the referral form providing all relevant information within the timescales laid out in paragraphs 9.8 and 9.11 to the MAPPA Coordinator to allow them to make an informed decision.

9.16 On receipt the MAPPA Coordinator will accept the referral if evidence provided appears to them to meet the criteria for inclusion in MAPPA Level 2 or Level 3 as detailed at paragraphs 9.2- 9.4 above.

9.17 On being 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 below at paragraphs 9.26 and 9.27.

9.18 Should the Coordinator not accept the referral then this should be notified to the referring responsible authority, outlining the reasons, as soon as possible.

9.19 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.

9.20 Where there is disagreement as to the acceptance of a referral which 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 documented in the meeting minutes.

9.21 In cases where, after resolution, it is decided that the matter does not meet the threshold for referral to MAPPA Level 2 or 3, then the rationale for the decision will be recorded locally by the Coordinator and notified to the referring responsible authority.

Stage 3: Pre-meeting Information Sharing

9.22 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).

9.23 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) 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

9.24 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.

9.25 The receiving agency will search their agency records for all relevant information about the offender, or victim, or potential victims. [6] 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.

Stage 4: MAPPA Meeting

Initial Level 2 and Level 3 Meetings

9.26 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.

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

9.28 A summary of pre-meeting information exchanges should be compiled and provided in advance of the MAPPA 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 evidenced analysis of the risk of serious harm has identified the risks and;
    • That the identified risk management strategies and activities are implemented in line with professional role and competence and;
    • 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 (and, should the offender not meet the criteria detailed in sections 9.3 and 9.4 above, if the offender should be subject to MAPPA)
  • set a formal review date for the risk management plan.

Organising appropriate attendance at Level 2 or Level 3 meetings

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

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

9.31 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.

9.32 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.

9.33 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.

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

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

Stage 5: Exit from MAPPA

9.36 An offender managed within the other risk of serious harm offender category will exit the MAPPA arrangements when a change in circumstances results in the relevant offender no longer meeting the criteria detailed at sections 9.3 and 9.4 above.

9.37 When an offender is nearing the end of their supervision or order and about to exit the arrangements, a review of the circumstances to consider whether continued management of the offender through local non- MAPPA processes is necessary.