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Is there a sex offender near your child?


4:06pm 27th October 2011
(Updated 4:08pm 27th October 2011)

58 calls have been made to North Yorkshire Police in the last eight months from worried parents concerned that sex offenders might be near their kids.

Research by MAPPA's now revealed, that in 38 cases detailed checks were carried out.

On three occasions the police informed parents, carers or guardians that "Yes" a convicted sex offender was near their children.

The details have emerged following a study in to North Yorkshire's police, probation and prison services.

Key extracts from the North Yorkshire and the City of York annual report

North Yorkshire Probation achieves Trust status
In April 2010, North Yorkshire Probation Area became a Trust. This change enables greater partnership working and allows for resources to be focused more efficiently on local needs. National performance figures for 2010-11 show that the Trust was joint first overall, through direct comparison with others trusts. This shows exceptional performance for protecting the public and reducing crime.

Safeguarding our children
In the eight months that the Child Sex Offender Disclosure scheme has been operating in North Yorkshire, a total of 58 enquiries have been received - most from concerned parents/carers and guardians. 38 enquiries led to detailed checks taking place, resulting in 3 disclosures being made.

H MP Northallerton: 'safe and purposeful'
H MP Northallerton's role change to a community prison for offenders, aged 18 and over, has been endorsed by Her Majesty's Inspectorate as 'safe and purposeful'.

The role change allows for North Yorkshire offenders to be managed nearer to home, which strengthens family ties. In addition offenders, supported by the local community and businesses, get the opportunity to work in the community. To date over 4000 hours of voluntary work has been completed. Offenders also get to learn essential work/life skills - all of which contribute to the aim of reducing reoffending.

Circles recognised at Charity Awards 2011
Circles of Support and Accountability is now well established in North Yorkshire. Circles works to help some sex offenders reintegrate back into the community. This community based programme was recognised for its contribution made to reducing sexual offending and creating safer communities at the recent Charity Awards 2011.

North Yorkshire leads the way for Domestic Abuse convictions
During 2010-11 domestic abuse accounted for 5.3% of all recorded crime in York and North Yorkshire. The figures show a slight drop from previous years.

Further, Crown Prosecution Service conviction rates show that North Yorkshire is top in the country for bringing those guilty of domestic abuse to justice, with convictions being recorded in more than 82% of such cases (the national average is 72%).

Top marks for South view
South view, North Yorkshire approved premises, has seen continued improvement in the work it does with offenders. This resulted in the highest possible audit scores being achieved in 2010-11.

An independent view
Lay Advisers are an important part of the audit procedures of MAPPA cases. The audit tool provides a well tested procedure of checks. The 2010-11 round of audits was well supported by all agencies involved in MAPPA, and more than 60 cases were examined and reviewed.

The audits confirm confidence in the MAPPA arrangements and are invaluable in ensuring that the conduct of MAPPA meetings is thorough, timely and meeting the national standards and deadlines required.

Chairman of MAPPA North Yorkshire and the City of York, Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, said:

"The partnership arrangements under MAPPA North Yorkshire and the City of York continue to go from strength to strength in protecting our communities from the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders.

“The strong links which have developed between the various agencies since the introduction of MAPPA , and the use of the various tools available to us such as the Child Sex Offenders Disclosure scheme and Sexual Offences Prevention Orders, enhances public safety even further.

“While the reality is that the risks posed to the public by such individuals  can never be completely eliminated, the report provides evidence that MAPPA successfully keeps them to a minimum.

“North Yorkshire remains the safest place in the country to live, work and visit, and we will do everything in our power to keep it that way.“

Crispin Blunt, Minister for Prisons and Probation, said:

"These figures show that Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) are a very effective way of protecting communities from known sexual and violent offenders.

"When criminal justice agencies work together, we are not only able to deliver more effective punishment with a greater focus on rehabilitation but also better protect the public than if agencies were working in isolation.

"Keeping our communities safe is the Government's priority and our proposals in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill will provide a determined programme for effective rehabilitation and breaking the cycle of reoffending."

To see the full report by MAPPA for North Yorkshire click on the link below:

mappa-north-yorkshire-2011 (pdf)

MAPPA background

(a) MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) are a set of arrangements to manage the risk posed by the most serious sexual and violent offenders (MAPPA-eligible offenders) under the provisions of sections 325 to 327B of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

(b) They bring together the Police, Probation and Prison Services in each of the 42 Areas in England and Wales into what is known as the MAPPA Responsible Authority.

(c) A number of other agencies are under a Duty To Co-operate (D TC) with the Responsible Authority. These include Social Services, Health Trusts, Youth Offending Teams, Jobcentre Plus and Local Housing and Education Authorities.

(d) The Responsible Authority is required to appoint two Lay Advisers to sit on each MAPPA area Strategic Management Board (SMB) alongside senior representatives from each of the Responsible Authority and duty to co-operate agencies.

(e) Lay Advisers are members of the public with no links to the business of managing MAPPA offenders and act as independent, yet informed, observers; able to pose questions which the professionals closely involved in the work might not think of asking. They also bring to the SMB their understanding and perspective of the local community (where they must reside and have strong links).

How MAPPA works

MAPPA-eligible offenders are identified and information about them is shared in order to inform the risk assessments and risk management plans of those managing or supervising them.

ŸIn the majority of cases that is as far as MAPPA extends but in some cases, it is determined that active multi-agency management is required. In such cases there will be regular MAPPA meetings attended by relevant agency practitioners.

ŸThere are 3 categories of MAPPA-eligible offender: Category 1 - registered sexual offenders; Category 2 - (in the main) violent offenders sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months or more; and Category 3 - offenders who do not qualify under categories 1 or 2 but who currently pose a risk of serious harm.

ŸThere are three management levels intended to ensure that resources are focused upon the cases where they are most needed; generally those involving the higher risks of serious harm. Level 1 involves ordinary agency management (i.e. no MAPPA meetings or resources); Level 2 is where the active involvement of more than one agency is required to manage the offender but the risk management plans do not require the attendance and commitment of resources at a senior level. Where senior oversight is required the case would be managed at Level 3.

MAPPA is supported by ViSOR. This is a national IT system for the management of people who pose a serious risk of harm to the public. The police have been using ViSOR since 2005 but, since June 2008, ViSOR has been fully operational allowing, for the first time, key staff from the Police, Probation and Prison Services to work on the same IT system, thus improving the quality and timeliness of risk assessments and of interventions to prevent offending. The combined use of ViSOR increases the ability to share intelligence across organisations and enable the safe transfer of key information when these high risk offenders move, enhancing public protection measures. All MAPPA reports from England and Wales are published online at: www.justice.gov.uk

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