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The purpose of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) is public protection and the reduction of serious harm.

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In Scotland the MAPPA brings together the Police, Scottish Prison Service (SPS), Health and the Local Authorities, in partnership as the Responsible Authorities, to assess and manage the risk posed for certain categories of offender:

  • Sex offenders who are subject to notification requirements under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
  • Mentally disordered restricted patients.
  • Other offenders who are assessed by the Responsible Authorities as posing a risk of serious harm by reason of their conviction.

What is MAPPA?

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) requires the Police, the Prison Service, Health and Local Authorities to work together, along with other agencies where necessary, to protect the public by managing risks to the community.

The main priority for MAPPA is always to protect the public. The best way to achieve this is by helping people become more settled, stable and safe. As every individual has different needs, this can involve a number of agencies working together. This partnership working is organised under the MAPPA arrangements.


Why are individuals subject of MAPPA?

MAPPA manages and supports people who have been sentenced in relation to certain categories of crimes that are concern to public protection.

Depending on the category of conviction, people will be required to notify Police of their name, where they live and other personal details - the Police will discuss these requirements, including what contact they will have with individuals, and how long this will last.

An allocated Social Worker discusses with those subject to supervision (as part of Licence conditions or some other Community Order),
what this means and how they will be managed through the MAPPA process.

How does MAPPA work?

Through specified levels of contact the Social Worker, and, if applicable, the Police, will monitor and assess the level of risk of harm posed to the public and the type of support required for people to remain safely in the community.

Agencies working with or supervising individuals in the community develop plans to manage the assessed risk and needs. These plans form part of the overall risk management plan overseen by MAPPA.

As part of MAPPA the agencies involved work together to assess and manage risk to the public. To do this, they share appropriate risk-relevant information. This information sharing is subject to very strict rules about the security of that information.

MAPPA meetings are held regularly between agencies to ensure that management plans are agreed, in place and effective.

MAPPA levels

There are three levels of MAPPA management, and where individuals sit within them depends on a number of factors.

Level 1
The agencies and services communicate with people subject to MAPPA and each other. They make and monitor plans for how they work with those people and manage the risk to the public.

Level 2
In addition to sharing information, at Level 2, the staff that visit or work with those subject to MAPPA attend formal multi-agency meetings, called MAPPA Level 2 Reviews, along with their supervisors, and discuss how they work together to manage the risk to the public.

Individuals cannot attend these MAPPA Level 2 Reviews, but they will be told that they are taking place. If the person subject to MAPPA has any information or concerns that they want the meeting to consider, they can ask the Social Worker or Police to take that to the meeting.

Level 3
At Level 3, meetings are called Multi Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs). These are similar to Level 2 Meetings but Senior Managers of the agencies involved attend. These meetings are held where a high level of resources is necessary to manage the particular risk to the public, or where specific circumstances mean this is needed.

Individuals cannot attend these meetings but will be advised that they are taking place.

Changing MAPPA levels

The MAPPA level that people are managed at canchange, this can be due to a change in:

  • circumstances
  • the risk that they present to the public
  • the information that is available to agencies about current behaviours.

At every MAPPA level, the staff consider a wide range of matters that may affect the current risk.

These could include:

  • where people are housed
  • where any past victims or vulnerable persons live
  • where people need help from the drug, alcohol or mental health services
  • where individuals are assessed as being a risk to children, any contact with family, friends or others with children is considered to make sure children are kept safe.

It is important that individuals who are subject to MAPPA, co-operate with all of the agencies they have contact with in order to reduce the risk to the public. At the same time it is equally important that those subject to MAPPA are also kept safe to reduce the potential for further offending.

How long are people in MAPPA?

Depending upon the nature and length of sentence, the allocated Social Worker or Police officer explains to each individual how long they will maintain contact with them. People are subject to MAPPA for the same period of time as they are on Social Work Supervision, Licence, or for the time that they are required to notify to the Police.

Further Information

To find out more about MAPPA and what it means for those subject to these arrangements you can ask:

For further information, please contact:

MAPPA Co-ordinators
South West Scotland
01292 664069

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