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Protocol between the Greater Manchester (GM) MAPPA Strategic Management Board (SMB) and the GM Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP)

Scope of this chapter

Greater Manchester’s operational management of MAPPA is outlined in this GM Protocol under the heading ‘Local Operational Management Arrangements’, these are quite broad bullet points which leave some flexibility as to how areas comply with them. Also see MAPPA Guidance (MoJ) for additional MAPPA guidance at a national level.

Related guidance

The SMB and the GM LSCPs have agreed this protocol to ensure there is effective cooperation and communication between the SMB and LSCPs and a clear understanding of responsibilities in respect of MAPPA.

The Statutory Basis and Purpose of MAPPA

Section 325 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 ("CJA 2003") imposes a statutory duty on the Police, Probation and Prison Services in the 42 MAPPA areas in England and Wales to establish arrangements to assess and manage the risks posed by:

  1. Relevant sexual and violent offenders; and
  2. Other persons who, by reason of offence(s) they have committed, are considered by the Responsible Authority to be persons who may cause serious harm to the public.

The statutory framework which has been established for the assessment and management of sexual and violent offenders is usually referred to as MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements). Rather than being a statutory body in itself, MAPPA exists as a statutory framework within which participating agencies operate. All agencies participating in MAPPA therefore retain their full statutory responsibilities and obligations at all times.

In addition to the participation of the Responsible Authority (“RA”) agencies in MAPPA, Section 325(3) of the CJA 2003 establishes that other agencies have a “duty to co-operate” (“DTC”) with the RA within the MAPPA framework. Agencies currently specified to participate within MAPPA include:

  • Local Authority Children’s Services Departments;
  • Local Education Authorities;
  • Local Authority Social Services Departments;
  • Youth Offending Teams;
  • Local Health Board(s);
  • Jobcentre Plus;
  • Local Housing Authorities;
  • Registered Social Landlords which accommodate MAPPA offenders;
  • Electronic Monitoring providers;
  • UK Visas and Immigration.

Section 325(4A)(c) also states that any other person the Responsible Authority considers could contribute to the achievement of the purpose of MAPPA may also share information with the named partners, essentially extending the “Duty to Cooperate” to anyone needed on a case-by-case basis.

The Duty to Cooperate established under s.325 expressly permits the sharing of information between partner agencies, and ss. 4B(a) and (b) state that any such information sharing does not breach any obligation of confidence owed by the person making the disclosure or any other restriction on the disclosure of information (however imposed).

Under Section 325(8) of the CJA 2003, the Secretary of State has issued national MAPPA Guidance. Being public bodies, all RA and DTC agencies have a duty imposed by public law to have regard to this guidance in exercising their functions under MAPPA.

The primary purpose of MAPPA is to co-ordinate the involvement of different agencies in assessing the risk presented by offenders and ensures that any risk is managed effectively for the protection of the public. Participation in the MAPPA framework enables RA and DTC agencies to undertake more effectively their work in reducing the risk of serious harm presented by offenders.

The MAPPA SMB is the means by which the RA fulfils its duties under section 326 (1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 to:

‘Keep the arrangements (i.e. MAPPA) under review with a view to monitoring their effectiveness and making any changes to them that appear necessary or expedient.’

The SMB is therefore responsible for managing MAPPA activity in its area. This will include reviewing its operations for quality and effectiveness and planning how to accommodate any changes as a result of legislative changes, national guidance or wider criminal justice changes. The Secretary of State retains the power to issue guidance to the RA on the discharge of its functions under MAPPA. The SMB are responsible for the implementation of the MAPPA Guidance in their area, in line with local initiatives and priorities.

The Children Act 2004 requires each local authority to establish a LSCP. Section 14(1) of the Children Act 2004 defines the statutory objectives of a LSCP as to:

  1. Co-ordinate what is done by each person or body represented on the LSCP for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority; and
  2. Ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each person or body for that purpose.

Under the Local Safeguarding Children Regulations 2006 gives the statutory functions of a LSCP are to:

  • Develop local policies and procedures as specified in the regulations for how the different organisations will work together on safeguarding;
  • Communicate the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and participate in local planning;
  • Undertake a Child Safeguarding Practice Review where a child has died or been seriously harmed, and abuse or neglect is known or suspected;
  • Review the deaths of all children who are normally resident in their area and put in place procedures to ensure that there is a coordinated response by relevant organisations to an unexpected death of a child;
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of what is done by partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advise them on ways to improve;
  • Produce and publish an annual report on the effectiveness of safeguarding in the local area.

A LSCP can also require a person or body to comply with a request for information when this is essential to carrying out LSCP statutory functions.

Information will be shared in a necessary and proportionate manner with lawful authority. Timely and confident information sharing is critical to both public protection and children’s safeguarding.

The SMB and the Partnerships will ensure:

  • Relevant information is freely shared within the above context in the interests of public protection and the safeguarding of children and the statutory responsibility of bodies;
  • Information will be marked and securely stored in line with Government Security Classifications;
  • The LSCP Business Managers will ensure that relevant strategic information from the SMB is presented to the LSCP and ensure that any relevant information from the LSCP is taken to the Board via the representative;
  • Strategic information can be shared with MAPPA via the SMB secretariat or the central MAPPA Co-ordination unit or local Chairs;
  • There will normally be little difficulty sharing strategic information under an ‘Official Sensitive’ marker;
  • MAPPA has a responsibility for disclosure and bodies will be aware of responsibilities under the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme. There will be a clear audit trail where disclosure has been agreed as necessary;
  • Each body should consider the role of the other when reviewing individual cases.

The MAPPA SMB will:

  1. Share relevant data with the LSCP representative so that it can be sent to all LSCP Business Managers and Chairs;
  2. Share learning from any case reviews undertaken by the SMB that have any child safeguarding issues so that all LSCPs can be made aware;
  3. Ensure that, where possible, duplication of Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews is avoided by identifying whether an LSCP Review is taking place;
  4. Ensure that, when a MAPPA SCR has been agreed, timescales are considered and agreed with the relevant LSCP where there may be two separate Reviews taking place;
  5. Provide training opportunities for Duty to Co-operate agencies;
  6. Ensure that safeguarding needs of children are kept as a priority both for the SMB and MAPPA Chairs;
  7. The SMB will ensure that it fulfils its responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and manages the risk of harm young offenders present to others;
  8. Ensure that strategic safeguarding issues brought to their attention are communicated to the LSCP through the representative.

The Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships will:

The LSCPs within the MAPPA area will collectively appoint one representative and one substitute who will between them sit on the SMB and act as liaison with all LSCPs to ensure that there are effective lines of interaction in relation to:

  1. Representing the views of LSCPs at the SMB meetings;
  2. Communicating any relevant issues back to LSCP Business Managers or Chairs;
  3. Liaise as required in relation to any new guidance or training that should be developed in light of Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews or Government publications for either LSCPs or the SMB;
  4. Escalate any strategic issues identified by either LSCPs or the SMB.

LSCP have a function of strategic oversight, therefore direct referrals into MAPPA will not occur. Local safeguarding agencies are responsible for referring cases into multi-agency process in a timely manner and attending/co-operating appropriately in line with statutory functions.

The LSCP is responsible for ensuring overall effectiveness of those agencies in safeguarding children and promoting their welfare.

It is the responsibility of each LSCP within Greater Manchester to ensure:

  • There are systems in place to keep MAPPA Chairs informed of staffing and contact details within CSC to assist in the invitation process;
  • The CSC representative who attends MAPPA meetings is of sufficient seniority to make decisions at the meeting;
  • The CSC representative who attends MAPPA meetings is sufficiently briefed on the case and the MAPPA process;
  • The CSC representative who attends MAPPA meetings has sufficient knowledge of resources related to complex families and other initiatives to enable cases to be referred from MAPPA as appropriate;
  • The CSC representative who attends MAPPA meetings takes ownership and responsibility for actions arising from the MAPPA meeting relating to CSC, for example, referrals to other CSC areas and clarifying issues relating to CSC cases;
  • A CSC representative will attend a MAPPA meeting, if invited, even if the case is currently closed. This would include, for example, offenders who are in custody, when a MAPPA meeting may be required a number of months in advance of their release in order to assess risk and put protective measures in place prior to their release. Such cases may require allocation to ensure timely release planning takes place as the offender may need notifying of future contact arrangements

This protocol will be reviewed by the SMB and LSCP within 2 years of being formally adopted. The review will take into account any legislative changes, any changes in MAPPA guidance or documentation as well as key performance information from both MAPPA and LSCPs.

Thereafter, review will be undertaken every 3 years unless there are significant legislative or guidance changes that require adoption and/or key performance information that indicates earlier review is necessary.

Last Updated: January 8, 2024