Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) in Scotland: national overview report 2022-2023

The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), are a set of statutory partnership working arrangements introduced in 2007. This report provides an overview of the main national developments in relation to MAPPA during the reporting period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

3. National MAPPA Developments

Nationally MAPPA has seen a number of developments in the past 12 months and work continues to deliver future improvements to the multi-agency working arrangements. A summary of the work over the reporting period includes:

MAPPS Development

As part of supporting joint working across the UK for the purposes of public protection, the Home Office is developing an enhanced system to replace the existing ViSOR system in conjunction with UK partners (including Scotland’s MAPPA Responsible Authorities). It will be called the Multi-Agency Public Protection System (MAPPS).

Once introduced, MAPPS will enhance existing public protection partnerships as well as delivering wider public protection benefits and MAPPA benefits including accurate and timely sign-posting between all Responsible Authorities of those managed under MAPPA and greater facilitation of cross-border information sharing.

For the period of this MAPPA annual overview report, the UK Government (UKG) MAPPS Programme led 10 multi-agency MAPPS specific groups/committees – listed below. Scottish MAPPA Responsible Authorities have contributed and supported the development of the process not least by their representation across all 10 Groups, listed below:

  • Executive Committee
  • Steering Committee
  • National Data Controllers Group
  • Executive Training Group
  • Innovation, Technology and Security Group
  • Operational Training Group (closed 9 March 2023 and replaced with 1-2-1 sessions)
  • Business Standards Group
  • Product Owners Working Group
  • Operational Users Group
  • Scottish Users Group

In addition to this, a specific Scottish Government (SG) led Scottish MAPPS Group evolved from earlier discussions led by SG on multi-agency information sharing. This Group met initially in February 2023 with an original aim to provide a forum to discuss Scottish specific aspects of the UKG led MAPPS Groups. It also aimed to help collate and connect the work of the Groups for Scottish representatives to discuss and disseminate. In addition, and where necessary, the Group sought to agree a Scottish position on issues to be fed back into MAPPS governance (particularly to the Executive Committee which provides sign-off on MAPPS Programme key decisions).

Scottish partners continue to work closely with UKG, and a further update will be provided in the next reporting period.

MAPPA and Terrorism

Individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offences can be managed under the MAPPA framework where they meet the relevant criteria relating to the level of risk of serious harm they present to the public.

The Scottish Government chaired MAPPA Development Group continues to work with the Responsible Authorities in considering the existing and future role of MAPPA in the risk assessment and risk management arrangements for individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offences.

For the period of this report, work has focussed on improving connections between terrorism policy and MAPPA, including considering case studies and exploring the need for updates to tools and/or guidance.

The Scottish CONTEST Delivery Group, chaired by the Deputy Chief Constable, is responsible for oversight of the delivery of the CONTEST Strategy[4] (the UK Government’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy) in Scotland. The MAPPA Development Group was tasked with exploring specific questions for the Scottish CONTEST Delivery Group in relation to links to MAPPA. An update was provided to the Scottish CONTEST Delivery Group in February. Work continues on the development of a bespoke chapter of the MAPPA National Guidance covering MAPPA and terrorism offending.

Moving Forward 2 Change (MF2C)

The Moving Forward: Making Changes (MF:MC) programme was designed jointly by the Scottish Prison Service and the Community Justice Division of the Scottish Government, with the aim of reducing the risk of sexual offending recidivism. National programmes are one of the suite of tools available as part of a rounded approach to protection interventions which align with the Scottish Government’s focus on reducing reoffending and rehabilitating offenders, while at the same time protecting the public.

The programme was introduced in Scotland in 2014 following accreditation by the Scottish Advisory Panel on Offender Rehabilitation (SAPOR) and though accreditation has now lapsed there was agreement amongst partners that the programme should continue to be delivered to accredited standards. A National Advisory Board, set up in May 2019, unanimously concluded that a revision (not a replacement) of the programme was required. The re-designed programme, called Moving Forward 2 Change (MF2C), reflects a developing evidence base, advice from SAPOR, evaluation recommendations[5], and stakeholder consultations.

The pilot of MF2C launched on 1 July 2022 in two custodial sites – HMP Edinburgh, and HMP Barlinnie; and three community sites – East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire. There is a regular reporting requirement to the National Design Lead to ensure the safety of the staff and participants. Where feedback indicates any risk of harm to either a participant or staff member, the Steering Group will be convened and make a recommendation of how to manage that risk.

Changes will be made as necessary (and with approval of the MF2C Steering Group) to ensure that the pilot participants receive an appropriate level of service and that the pilots inform the ongoing development of MF2C.

The initial design phase of the project will be completed by the end of 2023 and it is hoped that the roll out and accreditation process will begin in 2024. MF2C interim training is being delivered (September – November 2023) so that pilot sites can continue to deliver MF2C. All MF:MC sites were offered critical needs training should they be unable to continue delivery until MF2C is rolled out. Critical need sites will also be included in the MF2C interim training.

New Behavioural Orders

On the 31 March 2023 sections 10 to 40 of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 (“the 2016 Act”) came into force.

These sections introduced two preventative orders which can be applied to relevant sex offenders and those who pose a risk of harm: Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs), and Sexual Risk Orders (SROs) respectively. These new orders replaced Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPOs), Foreign Travel Orders (FTOs) and Risk of Sexual Harm Orders (RSHOs).

The new orders are designed to protect the public from sexual harm and contain a lower threshold than the previous orders. For instance, they can be used to manage risk to vulnerable adults, as well as children, protecting them from sexual harm outside of the UK. Also, their remit is wider, enabling, for example, foreign travel restrictions to be applied under either type of order.



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