Multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) Scotland: national overview report 2016 to 2017

Report on the main national developments in relation to MAPPA in Scotland over 2016-17.

Appendix B: MAPPA National Data

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

Numbers of Registered Sex Offenders in Scotland, 2016 to 2017

Category 2016 2017
RSOs - in custody and at Liberty - on 31 March 5,098 5,190
RSOs at liberty in Scotland on 31 March 3,950 3,930
RSOs at liberty managed at Level 1 on 31 March 3,757 3,788
RSOs at liberty managed at Level 2 on 31 March 192 138
RSOs at liberty managed at Level 3 on 31 March 1 4
RSOs reported for breaches of notification 274 308
RSOs convicted of a further group 1 or 2 crime* 72 84
RSOs wanted on 31 March 9 7
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 2017, there were 5,190 Registered Sex Offenders ( RSO) in Scotland who were either in custody or at liberty and being managed in the community. The total number of RSOs has increased by 2% compared with 2016 when there were 5,098 recorded.

The National Statistics on Recorded Crime in Scotland, 2016-17, published in September 2017, illustrated that sexual crimes accounted for 5% of all crimes recorded in Scotland in 2016-17. The report states that the number of sexual crimes recorded by the police in Scotland continued to increase in 2016-17, up by 549 ( 5%) from 10,273 crimes in 2015-16 to 10,822 in 2016-17. This follows an increase of 716 ( 7%) between 2014-15 and 2015-16. This may provide a partial explanation for the rise in RSO numbers, and why this rise was smaller than that seen in the previous year ( 92 compared to 311). There was a fall in clear up rates for sexual crimes from 74.1% in 2015-16 to 62.3% in 2016-17 and the full recorded crime bulletin can be accessed via the following link:

On 31 st March 2017 over three quarters of RSOs ( 76% or 3,930 RSOs ) were in the community being managed, with the vast majority ( 96% or 3,788 RSOs) of these being managed at Level 1. The remaining 142, or 4%, 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 remained relatively constant for the last four years ( 1.6% in 2016-17 compared to 1.4% in 2013-14). 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 2016-17, 5.9% of offenders ( 308 RSOs) were reported for failing to comply, compared to 5.4% ( 274 RSOs) the previous year. This means that 94% of offenders 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.

The 7 Wanted RSOs are 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.


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