15/09/2003

Multi-agency approach to dangerous criminals hailed

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) have made a "significant difference" to the way police and probation officers protect the public from the risks posed by dangerous offenders in the community, the Home Office has claimed today.

The department was commenting on the publication today of 42 Police and Probation Areas annual reports detailing the work of their MAPPA to safeguard the public and manage dangerous offenders in the community.

Under the arrangements established by police and probation, agencies share information to ensure accurate assessments of risk are made about potentially dangerous offenders. Plans to manage those risks can then be drawn up and implemented. Some 52,809 offenders are covered by the arrangements, 21,413 of whom are registered sex offenders.

Minister for the Correctional Services Paul Goggins said: "The MAPPA have made a significant difference to the way that the Police and Probation, with the committed involvement of other agencies, protect the public from the risks posed by sex and violent offenders. As a direct result there is now greater consistency and robustness in the way these offenders are managed.

"Public protection is one of this government's highest priorities and the excellent work the Police and Probation services have done to improve it through the MAPPA deserves to be widely acknowledged.

"We can never eliminate the risks posed by dangerous offenders, but we can do a huge amount to minimise them and protect our communities. As a society we have to face up to the fact that there are dangerous offenders in all our communities and manage the risks they pose."

Only a very small proportion of MAPPA offenders pose high risks, and are referred to Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPPs). And only a very small proportion - less than 2% - of offenders referred to the MAPPPs are charged with further serious offences.

Terry Grange, spokesman on child protection at the Association of Chief Police Officers and Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police, said: "This year's reports show that the structures put in place by government are being effectively managed by the Police and Probation Services. With the development of a violent and sex offenders' database over the next 12 months, I believe that the Police will be able to give the public the confidence they need in our management of registered sex offenders."

(gmcg)

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