Headlines: September 16th, 2003

Collaboration between police and probation services and other agencies such as housing, health and social services, is providing better protection for the public. The collaborators operate under the umbrella of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements. The MPPA panels were set up in 2001 and they operate in each of the 42 police and probation areas.The panels provide mechanisms for sharing information to ensure accurate assessments of risk are made about potentially dangerous offenders so that plans to manage the risks can be drawn up. Currently some 52,000 offenders are covered by the arrangements, about 21,000 of whom are registered sex offenders.

The panels ensure much closer supervision of offenders, which means that earlier pre-emptive action can be taken against them. The few cases in which further serious charges are laid are often the outcome of targeted Police activity that has prevented serious harm.

During the past year a pilot scheme has been launched with lay members serving on eight Areas’ Strategic Management Boards. It is planned to include lay members on all Boards when the Criminal Justice Bill becomes law.