This chapter provides information for multi-agency practitioners about Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) which are the statutory processes for managing violent and sexual offenders living in the community, with the aim of reducing offending and protecting the public.


MAPPA Guidance (Ministry of Justice)

1. Introduction

Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) was introduced in 2001 as the statutory arrangements for managing sexual and violent offenders. It is a process through which the police, probation and prison services work together, with other agencies, to help reduce the re-offending behaviour of violent and sexual offenders living in the community, in order to protect the public.

The purpose of the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) framework is to reduce the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders in order to protect the public, including previous victims, from serious harm. The responsible authorities in respect of MAPPA are the police, prison and the probation service who have a duty to ensure that MAPPA is established in each of their geographic areas and to undertake the risk assessment and management of all identified MAPPA offenders (primarily violent offenders on licence or mental health orders and all registered sex offenders).

MAPPA is not a statutory body in itself but is a mechanism through which agencies can better discharge their statutory responsibilities and protect the public in a coordinated way. The police, prison and the probation service have a clear statutory duty to share information for MAPPA purposes (see also Information Sharing chapter).

2. Responsible Authorities and Duty to Cooperate Agencies

The Responsible Authority is the primary agency for MAPPA. This is the police, prison and the probation service in each area, working together. The Responsible Authority has a duty to ensure that the risks posed by specified sexual and violent offenders are assessed and managed appropriately.

Other bodies have a duty to cooperate with the Responsible Authority in this task. These duty to cooperate agencies (DTC agencies) will need to work with the Responsible Authority on particular aspects of an offender’s life, for example education, employment, housing, social care. These agencies include:

  • adult and children’s social care services;
  • local education authorities;
  • youth offending teams;
  • National Health Service providers;
  • local housing authorities;
  • registered social landlords who accommodate MAPPA offenders;
  • Jobcentre Plus;
  • electronic monitoring providers;
  • UK Visas and Immigration.

3. Identification and Notification

The first stages of the process are to identify offenders who may be liable to management under MAPPA as a consequence of their caution or conviction and sentence. This responsibility falls to the agency that has the leading statutory responsibility for each offender. Offenders are placed into one of three MAPPA categories according to their offence and sentence:

  • category 1: registered sexual offenders;
  • category 2: violent and other sexual offenders (violent – 12 months or more sentence of imprisonment for violent offence, other sexual offenders and those subject to hospital orders with restrictions);
  • category 3: other dangerous offenders – a person who has been cautioned for or convicted of an offence which indicates that he or she is capable of causing serious harm and which requires multi-agency management. It could also include those offenders on a community order who are, therefore, under the supervision of the probation service.

4. Levels of Management

MAPPA offenders are managed at one of three levels according to the extent of agency involvement needed and the number of different agencies involved.

Level 1: ordinary agency management – ordinary agency management level 1 is where the risks posed by the offender can be managed by the agency responsible for the supervision or case management of the offender. The majority of offenders are managed at level 1. This involves the sharing of information but does not require multi-agency meetings.

Level 2: active multi-agency management – cases should be managed at level 2 where the offender:

  • is assessed as posing a high or very high risk of serious harm; or
  • the risk level is lower but the case requires the active involvement and co-ordination of interventions from other agencies to manage the presenting risks of serious harm; or
  • the case has been previously managed at level 3 but no longer meets the criteria for level 3; or
  • multi-agency management adds value to the lead agency’s management of the risk of serious harm posed;

Level 3: active enhanced multi-agency management – level 3 management should be used for cases that meet the criteria for level 2 but where it is determined that the management issues require senior representation from the Responsible Authority and DTC agencies. This may be when there is a perceived need to commit significant resources at short notice or where, although not assessed as high or very high risk of serious harm, there is a high likelihood of media scrutiny or public interest in the management of the case and there is a need to ensure that public confidence in the criminal justice system is maintained.

5. MAPPA Meetings

The vast majority of MAPPA offenders will be managed through the ordinary management of one agency, although this will usually involve the sharing of information with other relevant agencies.

The structural basis for the discussion of MAPPA offenders who need active interagency management, including their risk assessment and risk management, is the MAPP meeting.

The Responsible Authority agencies and the MAPPA Coordinator are permanent members of these meetings. The DTC agencies should be invited to attend for any offender in respect of whom they can provide additional support and management. The frequency of meetings depends on the level of management deemed appropriate for each offender.