23 March 2021
MAPPA stands for Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements. It is the process through which the Police, Probation and Prison Services work together with other agencies to manage the risks posed by violent and sexual offenders living in the community, in order to protect the public.
MAPPA is not itself a statutory body but is a mechanism through which agencies can better discharge their statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a co-ordinated manner. Agencies at all times retain their full statutory responsibilities and obligations.
The Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides for the establishment of these Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements in each of the 42 criminal justice areas in England and Wales. MAPPA allows agencies to assess and manage offenders on a multi-agency basis by working together, sharing information and meeting to ensure that effective plans are put in place. All MAPPA offenders are assessed to establish the level of risk of harm they pose to the public. Risk management plans are then worked out for each offender to manage those risks. These plans set out the actions that needs to be taken to minimise the risk. Some measures that can be considered are:
- Ensuring offenders have suitable accommodation, which can include requiring the offender to reside at a probation–run Approved Premises on release [from prison].
- Placing controls on the offender’s behaviour through strict licence conditions which can include not having contact with a named individual or not entering a defined exclusion zone.
- Intensive supervision by a probation officer offender manager and/or community public protection police.
- Ensuring the offender attends identified accredited programmes and other interventions (such as drug and alcohol programmes) aimed at reducing further offending.
All offenders supervised by probation must comply with the conditions of their order or licence. Any failure to comply will result in action being taken. For those on licence, this could mean a return to prison. A failure to comply does not necessarily mean that an offence has been committed; it could be the result of a missed appointment or any behaviour which gives cause for concern.
Registered sexual offenders who do not comply with the notification requirements can be taken to court by the police and could face a fine and/or up to five years in prison.