Multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) in Scotland: national overview report 2018 to 2019

Operation of multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) in Scotland 2018 to 2019.

Appendix B: MAPPA National Data

This Appendix outlines patterns in information on Registered Sex Offenders (RSO) extracted from the ViSOR database on 31st March of each year.

Numbers of Registered Sex Offenders in Scotland, 2018 to 2019

Category 2018 2019
RSOs in custody and at liberty on 31 March 5,371 5,629
RSOs at liberty on 31 March 4,101 4,218
RSOs at liberty managed at Level 1 on 31 March 3,951 4104
RSOs at liberty managed at Level 2 on 31 March 149 112
RSOs at liberty managed at Level 3 on 31 March 1 2
RSOs reported for breaches of notification 314 303
RSOs convicted of a further group 1 or 2 crime* 51 112
RSOs wanted on 31 March 12 15
RSOs missing on 31 March 0 0

*Group 1 and 2 crimes - Group 1 relates to non-sexual crimes of violence and group 2 relates to sexual crimes.

On 31 March 2019, there were 5,629 RSOs in Scotland who were either in custody or at liberty and being managed in the community. The total number of RSOs has increased by 5% compared with 2018 when there were 5,371 recorded.

The National Statistics on Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2018-19, published in September 2019, illustrated that sexual crimes accounted for 5% of all crimes recorded in Scotland in 2018-19. The report states that the number of sexual crimes recorded by the police in Scotland continued to increase in 2018-19, up by 1,060 (8%) from 12,487 crimes in 2017-18 to 13,547 in 2018-19. This follows an increase of 1,395 (13%) between 2016-17 and 2017-18. Also, part of this increase includes 596 new crimes of disclosing or threatening to disclose an intimate image following the enactment of The Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 (the first full reporting year following implementation). The increase in recorded sexual crimes may provide a partial explanation for the rise in RSO numbers, and why this rise was slightly larger than that seen in the previous year (4% compared to 3%). There was a fall in clear up rates for sexual crimes from 60.0% in 2017-18 to 58.1% in 2018-19 and the full recorded crime bulletin can be accessed via the following link:

On 31st March 2019 over three quarters of RSOs (75% or 4,218 RSOs) were in the community being managed, with the vast majority (97% or 4,104 RSOs) of these being managed at Level 1. The remaining 114, or 3%, were being managed at level 2 or level 3.

The proportion of RSOs who have been convicted of a further Group 1 or 2 crime has increased in the last year (1.9% in 2018-19 compared to 0.9% in 2017-18). These convictions include offences detected as a result of proactive management and effective policing by the partner agencies. When offenders managed under the MAPPA commit further serious crimes, the significant case review process remains in place, which examines the management arrangements for the offender and identifies areas of learning and improvement for future policy and practice.

The proportion of offenders who failed to comply with their notification requirements under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 has fluctuated at around 6% for the last five years. In 2018-19, 5.6% of offenders (303 RSOs) were reported for failing to comply, compared to 5.8% (314 RSOs) the previous year. This means that 94.4% of RSOs complied with the notification requirements.

Sex Offender Notification Requirements are robustly policed so that those who breach their terms are identified at the earliest opportunity. The RSO can receive a maximum penalty of 5 years' imprisonment for failing to comply with notification requirements.

Wanted and Missing Registered Sex Offenders:

A Missing person is defined as anyone whose whereabouts is unknown and:

  • where the circumstances are out of character; or
  • the context suggests the person may be subject to crime; or
  • the person is at risk of harm to themselves or another.

A Wanted Registered Sex Offender is defined as those who are subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and who have a live warrant in force.

In March 2019 14 of the 15 Wanted RSOs were assessed as having left the UK with no indication they have returned. Police Scotland treat all missing and wanted RSOs with the utmost seriousness and will carry out thorough enquiries to trace their whereabouts and to re-establish the management required to protect the public. On all occasions a Senior Investigating Officer of a rank no less than Inspector will be appointed to lead these investigations. Up to date figures are available via the Police Scotland website.



Back to top