Publication - Guidance

National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders: guidance on environmental risk assessments

The document provides additional guidance on conducting an environmental risk assessment to identify any housing-related risks with a particular offender.

18 page PDF

342.5 kB

18 page PDF

342.5 kB

National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders: guidance on environmental risk assessments
5.0 Minimum Data Standards

18 page PDF

342.5 kB

5.0 Minimum Data Standards

5.1 Partner Agency Involvement


Contact (Recommended)

Local Authority:

  • Criminal Justice Social Work
  • Children and Families Social Work
  • Vulnerable Adults
  • Education

Team Manager ( CJSW)

Local Authority Housing Service

Sex Offender Liaison Officer ( SOLO)

Registered Social Landlord

Link Officer

National Health Service

Liaison Officers / Designated Area MAPPA Lead


Detective Sergeant – Offender Management Unit

Scottish Prison Service

MAPPA Integrated Case Management Coordinator

Safeguarding Communities – Reducing Offending (or other organisations providing support where an offender has an intensive support package being provided)

Support Worker

5.2 Database Checks

These checks are recommended. Not all these databases will need to be checked in every case but will be dependent on the offender and the property being considered. Which agency carries out the checks will depend on access to systems and agreement locally.


Database Checks

Local Authority Criminal Justice Social Work

  • Internal Case Management Systems

(including children and Families Social work checks)

  • Adult Protection

Local Authority Housing ( SOLO)

  • Council Tax
  • Housing Benefit Data
  • Electoral Register
  • Housing Management / Homeless systems
  • Private Landlord Registration
  • Care Inspectorate Website
  • Accommodation Information including; type, size, tenure type, entrance/door entry, room location and floor plans if available, any general location information considered relevant
  • Map


  • Violent and Sex Offender Register ( ViSOR)
  • STORM CALL Management System or equivalent
  • Criminal History System ( CHS)
  • Police National Computer ( PNC)
  • Scottish Intelligence Database ( SID)
  • Vulnerable Persons Database ( VPD)
  • Mapping
  • Community Officer Local Knowledge
  • Crime Recording Systems

Local Authority Education

  • School Management Information System ( SEEMIS)


  • Internal Case Management Systems

Scottish Prison Service

  • Prisoner Records Database
  • Prison Based Social Work File

5.3 Physical Checks

Once a potential property has been identified for an offender, a physical check must be carried out to identify any potential risk to the community and to the offender. Any concerns must be documented in ViSOR and any other relevant internal management systems. The checks undertaken should take account of any risks that are identified and the specific victim profile. Checks should include the following:

Play Parks
Community Centres
Sheltered housing developments
CCTV Location
Licensed Premises
Children’s toys / equipment within gardens
Children’s window dressings
Any other significant evidence of a person fitting the victim profile

The majority of cases will be completed by Police Offender Management Unit in collaboration with Local Community Policing. These checks can be carried out by the best placed agency depending on the offender.

5.4 Minimum Parameters

When completing an Environmental Risk Assessment ( ERA), the minimum requirement of the properties that should be included as part of the assessment are as follows:

  • For multi-story properties; all the properties on the same floor as the address being reviewed.
  • For tenement properties; all properties within the same tenement close as the address being reviewed.
  • For shared accommodation – all occupants must be checked
  • For cottage flats, semi-detached & detached properties; this will be determined on a case by case basis but should include all adjacent properties and may include properties where the garden boundaries border each other.

Depending on the risk the offender poses and taking account of the physical checks the RAs will need to consider on a case by case basis whether the parameters need to be extended beyond the minimum requirement.

5.5 Victims

As highlighted in the MAPPA guidance the RAs must satisfy themselves that they have thoroughly considered the potential risks to which any victim of the offender may be exposed and put in place appropriate robust plans to minimise the likelihood of the offender causing further serious harm. By adhering to these minimum practice guidelines when completing an ERA the RAs will minimise the likelihood of an offender being accommodated within the same neighbourhood locality as a victim.

5.6 Completion of ERA

Before proceeding with an allocation of a property or the annual review process individual agencies are required to sign off their agreement of the ERA. The lead agency will sign off the final decision. The lead agency in each case must thoroughly consider the views and comments provided by all agencies throughout the ERA process, take cognizance of any concerns raised, and fully document their conclusion and reasons for the decisions they have made. On occasions where there is disagreement, a meeting, if required will be called by the RAs and a decision will be reached.