The Care Inspectorate and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland are carrying out a review into how well the public is protected by arrangements for assessing and managing sex offenders, it has been announced.

 The two bodies will be looking at the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements, or MAPPA, which allow police, local authorities, the prison service and health boards to jointly assess and manage the way the risks posed by sex offenders are managed after release from a custodial sentence or a community-based disposal.

This will be the first national review of MAPPA.

The Care Inspectorate and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland are chairing the joint thematic review to ensure procedures are fully operational and that lessons learned from reviews, including Significant Case Reviews, are being shared and implemented.

In Scotland there are currently about 3,500 sex offenders being managed in communities, with around a further 1,000 in custody.

The Care Inspectorate is responsible for scrutinising the performance of criminal justice social work in Scotland and HMICS looks into the state, effectiveness and efficiency of Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. The preparation and planning for the review process has started now and fieldwork will start in April 2015.

The year-long analysis will focus on those sex offenders who are subject to the Sex Offender Notification Requirements.

Annette Bruton, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said:

'Where a sex offender is on licence or being supervised, there is, rightly, intense public interest in what is happening. The public rightly expects to be protected from risk and wants to know that all the agencies are working properly together.

A large number of offenders are managed through these multi-agency arrangements but, fortunately, the number of serious incidents is relatively low. 

'If things do go wrong, the Care Inspectorate plays an important role in making sure local authorities and their partners learn the right lessons.

'Now is a good time to examine how well the arrangements are working, to ensure that the correct processes are being followed, and that lessons are learned if things go wrong.

'We are now working with partners to develop a detailed methodology for this review and fieldwork is expected to begin in April.'

Derek Penman QPM, HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland, said:

'The MAPPA have been in place for seven years, and it is timely that they are to be reviewed. We will scrutinise them to ensure our local communities are safer as a result of them being in place and that the risk posed by sex offenders is being managed appropriately.

'The outcome of this review with the Care Inspectorate will be the identification of good practice and potential areas for improvement. We will examine adherence by all authorities to the relevant guidance and discharge of their statutory duties.

'When the review is completed, we will publish a report along with any appropriate recommendations.'


Notes to Editors

The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) were introduced in Scotland in 2007, by virtue of the Management of Offenders etc.(Scotland) Act 2005, placing a statutory duty on Scottish local authorities, the police, prisons and health to establish joint arrangements for the assessment and management of risk posed by sex offenders.

Since then a range of local and national governance arrangements have been introduced including MAPPA National Guidance produced by Scottish Government and partners. Local governance arrangements are administered by Strategic Oversight Groups established in each Community Justice Authority. They are responsible for performance monitoring and the quality assurance of MAPPA. A key role is the MAPPA coordinator, a dedicated function undertaken on behalf of the ‘responsible authorities’, accountable to the MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group.

The 2005 Act sets out three broad categories of offender who can be subject to MAPPA:

  • Category 1 Offenders subject to the Sex Offender Notification Requirements
  • Category 2 Violent offenders
  • Category 3 Other offenders

The last review of high risk offenders was carried out in 2009, when the then Social Work Inspection Agency (now part of the Care Inspectorate), HMICS and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) published a joint report on the management of high risk of harm offenders with a background of serious violent or sex offending. Since publication of this report there have been a small number of high profile significant case reviews.

For more information contact the Care Inspectorate, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Ewan Fergus on 01382 207171 or for HM Inspectorate of Constabulary Scotland please contact: Susan Lumsden, 0131 244 5698 / 0777 359 1168 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.