Anniversary marks success of protection scheme

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A PARTNERSHIP scheme to help protect the public in the Northumbria Police sector has been hailed a success as officials mark its 10th anniversary.

Since it was introduced, the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) framework has managed thousands of offenders and the majority of them are complying with the restrictions placed on them.

During 2011/12, only 18 cases managed at levels two and three, the highest reporting levels, were returned to custody for breach of licence.

For the small number who break the conditions, which does not necessarily mean a further offence has been committed, swift action is taken and they are promptly returned to prison.

Police, probation and prisons have a statutory role to play to assess and manage risk working alongside other agencies, including housing, social services and mental health organisations, who were included in the process in 2003.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Ashman, Chair of Northumbria’s MAPPA Strategic Management Board, said: “Since MAPPA was introduced, it’s proven to be a highly-effective means of ensuring public safety.

“We are always looking to improve and over the past year we introduced new arrangements for protecting vulnerable people within the framework. This allows for more proactive monitoring of licence conditions, meaning we can work more closely with our partners and take a more proactive approach to offender management.”

In 2005/06, MAPPA got more local control as six strategy groups were set up across Northumbria and in 2008, two lay advisers – members of the public who represent the views and concerns of their community – were appointed.

Over the past year, a new MAPPA housing protocol has been introduced, linking in with local housing providers to ensure MAPPA offenders are housed appropriately and safely.

As at March 31, 1,538 violent and sexual offenders were being managed within the framework.