National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders in Scotland

The National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders (NASSO) forms part of the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and sets out how housing contributes to those arrangements.

Annex 3: Glossary of Terms 

Choice based lettings – Is a type of housing allocation system where applicants bid on available properties rather than waiting on an offer being made to them. Once the bidding closes, the applicant with the highest priority out of all those who made a bid is offered the property.

Common Housing Register – A single register that can be accessed by a number of landlords who have stock in an area. Usually applicants only have to complete one application form to join the register.

Community Justice Partners – Community Justice Partners provide at a local level, strategic planning and service delivery of offender services in Scotland.

CJSW – Criminal Justice Social Work services are responsible for the management of offender services within local authorities which includes the assessment and supervision of registered sex offenders subject to statutory supervision in the community.

Disclosure The sharing of specific information about a MAPPA offender with a third party (not involved in MAPPA) for the purposes of protecting the public. There are various methods of disclosure.

Duty to Co-operate – persons or bodies in Scotland listed within The Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 (Specification of Persons) Order 2007. They include registered social landlords, the Principal Reporter to the Children’s Panel, electronic monitoring providers, and any persons/organisations providing services to, or on behalf of, a responsible authority in connection with the assessment and management of the risks posed in a relevant area by any person to whom Section 10(1)(a) of the 2005 Act applies.

NHS is a DTC partner in respect of registered sex offenders. Health Boards are a Responsible Authority in relation to restricted patients who are subject of the sex offender notification requirements.

ERA – Environmental Risk Assessment is a process used to identify housing related risk and informs decisions on the most suitable accommodation for use by registered sex offenders in order to minimise risk towards the community.

Information Sharing Protocols – are documents which set out the principles by which information can be shared between agencies involved in the management of registered sex offenders.

MAPPA – Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements are a set of arrangements which the police service, Local Authority, prison service, health service and others are statutorily obliged to operate, with the objective of protecting the public from the risks that may be posed by registered sex offenders.

MAPPA National Strategic Group – has responsibility for the strategic oversight and development of MAPPA in Scotland. It includes the Scottish Government, Strategic Oversight Groups chairs, Police Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service.

NASSO – The National Accommodation Strategy for Sex Offenders in Scotland is the national framework for housing sex offenders in the community.

Responsible Authorities – The responsible authorities are the police, local authorities, health boards or Special Health Boards and the Scottish Prison Service ( SPS) (acting on behalf of Scottish Ministers).

Restricted Patient – This is an offender defined under the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 Section 10, 11 (a) to (d).

RSL – Registered Social Landlords are independent landlords (including housing associations, housing cooperatives, Abbeyfield societies and co-ownership societies) registered with the Scottish Housing Regulator which own and manage houses on a not for profit basis.

RSL Link Officer – staff in a housing association who will liaise with the Sex Offender Liaison Officer and Responsible Authorities in respect of the housing of registered sex offenders.

RSO – Registered Sex Offender. This is an offender convicted of an offence specified in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and therefore subject to the notification requirements of this Act.

Risk of Sexual Harm Order – Place restrictions and obligations on someone who is behaving in such a way which suggests that they pose a risk of sexual harm to a particular child or to children generally. The person’s behaviour need not constitute a criminal offence, and s/he need not have any previous convictions. If the person fails to comply with (i.e. breaches) the requirements of the order, he can be taken back to Court and may be liable to up to 5 years’ imprisonment. A conviction for breach of the order also renders the person subject to the sex offender notification requirements.

Section 5 Referrals – Section 5 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 places a statutory duty on registered social landlords to provide accommodation to homeless people referred to them by the local authority.

Sex Offender Register – see ViSOR.

SHORE – Sustainable Housing on Release for Everyone – standards to ensure that the housing needs of individuals in prison are handled at an early stage, in a consistent way across Scotland, regardless of where they come from, their housing status and how long they have been in prison or young offenders’ institution.

Significant Case Review – The MAPPA National Guidance (2014) advises that each Strategic Oversight Group must have a process to examine incidents which may lead to a Significant Case Review.

SOG (Strategic Oversight Groups) – operate in each Community Justice Partners area and are responsible for the development of planning, policy and operational delivery of MAPPA.

SOLO – Sex Offender Liaison Officers are staff, usually within housing, who provide a single point of contact for accommodation requests from Responsible Authorities in respect of the housing of Registered Sex Offenders.

SONR – The Sex Offender Notification Requirements are set out in legislation and identify certain requirements, in terms of notification, that all Registered Sex Offenders must comply with when placed on the ‘sex offenders register.’

SOPO – Sexual Offences Prevention Order. A Court may make a SOPO at the time of dealing with certain sexual offenders or when the police make a special application on account of the offender’s behaviour in the community. A SOPO can place restrictions and obligations on the offender and will require the subject to register as a sexual offender. If the offender fails to comply with (i.e. breaches) the requirements of the order, he can be taken back to Court and may be liable to up to 5 years’ imprisonment.

SPS – The Scottish Prison Service is an agency of the Scottish Government which is legally required to deliver custodial and rehabilitation services for those sent to prison by the courts.

ViSOR – The Violent and Sex Offender Register is the agreed system used by MAPPA to facilitate the secure exchange and storage of information. ViSOR is a Home Office system used across the UK and records the details and ongoing management of RSOs and other MAPPA offenders. Additionally, ViSOR provides what is publicly referred to as the Sex Offenders Register. ViSOR is used by all Responsible Authorities in Scotland as well as the police, National Probation Service and Prison Service in England and Wales.



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