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MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO MANAGE OFFENDERS IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES

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Members of the public are being invited to play a part in overseeing ...
Members of the public are being invited to play a part in overseeing

the management and monitoring of sexual and violent offenders in

their communities.

For the first time, lay members are to be invited to sit on the

strategic boards overseeing the Multi Agency Public Protection Panels

(MAPPPs) which monitor and manage dangerous and high profile

offenders in local communities across England and Wales.

From 1 April, 2001, the probation services and police have had a duty

to work together to protect the public from sexual, violent and other

potentially dangerous offenders. These two agencies have primary

responsibility under the Court Services and Criminal Justice Act, but

work closely with social services, health and local authority housing

as well as the prison service.

Initially five probation/police areas will each invite two members of

the public to apply to sit on the boards overseeing these panels.

Meeting quarterly, they will oversee the work of the panel in

managing offenders in their area and contribute to work on the level

of risk they pose and action necessary to safeguard their community.

The five areas are Cumbria, Durham, South Wales, Surrey and the West

Midlands.

No formal educational qualifications are necessary, although

candidates will need to be able to understand complex information,

make sensible decisions and have an interest in community and social

issues. While no payment to lay members will be made, their expenses

will be met and they can claim compensation for loss of earnings.

Home office minister Hilary Benn said:

'We all want to make our communities safe places to live in for

ourselves and our loved ones. Managing the risk posed by potentially

dangerous offenders in our communities is a key part of achieving

this. 'It is a fact that there are potentially dangerous offenders in

every community in England and Wales. In July, each MAPPP will

publish a report on the work it is doing in its area. This will give

the public unprecedented access to information on what is happening

in their communities.

'By facing up to reality and working in a coherent and intelligent

way we can do a huge amount to minimise these risks, and to make our

communities safer places in which to live. I look forward to meeting

the first lay MAPPA members shortly.'

Notes

1. The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 set up the

multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA). It made it a

statutory duty for the first time for police and probation services

to make joint arrangements for the assessment and management of

sexual, violent and other offenders who may cause serious harm.

2. There are 42 sets of multi-agency public protection arrangements

(MAPPA), one in each Probation/ Police area across England and Wales.

3. The minimum requirements that each area must meet in

setting up its MAPPA are set out in the Act as:

- to establish strategic management arrangements in each area

for reviewing and monitoring the effectiveness of the

arrangements made in respect of the statutory duty and for

revising them as necessary or expedient

- to establish and agree systems and processes for sharing

information and for inter-agency working on all relevant

offenders

- to establish and agree systems and processes that only those

critical few that require additional consideration are

referred to a MAPPP

- to establish and agree systems and processes for a MAPPP for

the highest risk cases, including young offenders

- to consider resource allocation and multi-agency training

- to consider community and media communication

- to agree the Annual Report and Statistics

4. Adverts inviting members of the public to apply to sit on the

boards overseeing their local Multi Agency Public Protection Panel

will appear in the local and regional press from 21st June.

Interested people in the first five areas should contact their local

probation office.

Cumbria 01228 560057

Durham 0191 383 9083

South Wales 02920 232999

Surrey 01483 860191

West Midlands 0121 248 6666

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