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7.1 Managing Individuals who Pose a Risk of Harm to Children


MAPPA Website / Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements

MAPPA Guidance 2012 (updated November 2017)


In March 2018 the link to National MAPPA Guidance (November 2017) was updated.


  1. Persons Posing a Risk to Children (PPRC)
  2. Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
  3. Assessment of the Risk of Serious Harm
  4. Managing Risk of Serious Harm
  5. The Sex Offenders Register

    Appendix 1: Schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (can be Used to Identify those who Present a Risk, or Potential Risk, to Children)

1. Persons Posing a Risk to Children (PPRC)

The list of offences contained in the circular (see Appendix 1: Schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (can be Used to Identify those who Present a Risk, or Potential Risk, to Children)) should operate as a trigger to a further assessment to determine if an offender should be regarded as presenting a continuing risk of harm to children.

Where a child or young person (under 18 years of age) offends against another child a thorough and specialist assessment should be undertaken to determine the extent to which they continue to pose a risk of harm to other children and young people. An assessment should also be undertaken to deliver services to respond to the needs of the young person who has offended - see Children who Abuse Others Procedure.

Once an individual has been sentenced and identified as presenting a risk to children, agencies have a responsibility to work collaboratively to monitor and manage the risk of harm to others. Where the offender is given a community sentence, offender managers monitor the individual’s risk to others and their behaviour, and liaise with partner agencies as necessary.

Where such an offender is known to be, or is suspected of being, in contact with a child or children, this is managed by the ‘offender manager’ (if an open case) in accordance with the Persons Posing a Risk to Children- West Midlands Regional Multi-Agency Guidance Manual. If the offender is not an open case, the agency concerned should complete a PPRC2 and return it by secure email to or by fax. Consideration will then be given to whether any protective action should be taken.

2. Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

MAPPA provide a statutory national framework in England and Wales for the assessment and management of the risk of serious harm posed by specified sexual and violent offenders (including young people) who are considered to pose a risk, or potential risk, of serious harm to children.

Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 police, prisons and Probation Providers are required to establish and monitor arrangements in their area. Other agencies, including children’s and adult care services, health, housing, YOT’S, Jobcentre Plus and electronic monitoring services are under a statutory duty to co-operate with this task.

MAPPA’s focus is on specified sexual and violent offenders in, and returning to the community. It aims to ensure comprehensive risk assessments using co-ordinated information sharing and through this sharing of information, assess and manage risk and direct available resources in the best way to protect the public from serious harm.

Each area MAPPA has a Strategic Management Board (SMB) whose role is to ensure that the arrangements are working effectively and to establish and maintain working relationships with the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

There are three categories of offenders eligible for MAPPA:

  • Registered sexual offenders (Category 1);
  • Violent offenders (Category 2);
  • Other dangerous offenders (Category 3).

It is expected that there will be an exchange of information between partner agencies to manage the risk of offenders, as well as enabling the sharing of this information with others, such as schools and employers. VISOR is a national database which currently carries details of MAPPA eligible offenders and other potentially dangerous offenders; this is accessible by police, probation service and prisons. This enables the quality and timeliness of risk assessments and interventions to prevent offending.

3. Assessment of the Risk of Serious Harm

The Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service assesses the risk of harm and the Youth Justice Board assesses the risk for under 18 year olds. There are three levels of risk:

  • Low: current evidence does not indicate likelihood of causing serious harm;
  • Medium: identifiable indicators of risk of serious harm. The offender has potential to cause serious harm but is unlikely to do so unless there is a change in circumstances;
  • High: identifiable indicators of risk of serious harm. The potential event could occur at any time an would be serious;
  • Very high: an imminent risk of serious harm. The potential event is more likely than not to happen imminently and the impact would be serious.

Risk is categorised by reference to the potential subject of the harm. The potential subjects may be children, who may be vulnerable to harm of various kinds, including violent or sexual behaviour, emotional harm or neglect. In this context MAPPA works closely with Local Safeguarding Children Boards to ensure the best local joint arrangements can be made for any individual child.

A good indicator of future risk is past behaviour and, therefore, where persons with convictions for offences against children come into contact with children, an assessment should be made of the risk posed. For cases open to offender managers, child/ren should be identified on PPRC notification. For cases identified by any other professionals this should be managed via the referral process under the Persons Posing a Risk to Children- West Midlands Regional Multi-Agency Guidance Manual.

Only an analysis of the context and seriousness of the offence(s) linked to an analysis of the current circumstances will enable professionals to make a valid assessment of risk.

4. Managing Risk of Serious Harm

In most cases, a MAPPA eligible offender will be managed without recourse to MAPPA meetings being managed under the ordinary arrangements by the relevant agency; the police for registered sexual offenders who are not on licence to probation, probation for violent offenders and those on a licence. Youth Offending Teams will lead with young offenders and Mental Health Services with those on hospital orders. A number of offenders require active multi-agency management and monitoring via Multi-Agency Public Protection (MAPP) meetings attended by various agencies.

The levels of management within the MAPPA framework are based on the level of multi-agency co-operation required to implement the risk management plan effectively:

  • Level 1 - Ordinary Management. These offenders are subject to the usual management arrangements applied by whichever agency is supervising them. This does not rule out the sharing of information;
  • Level 2 - Active Multi-Agency Management. The risk management plans for these offenders require the active involvement of several agencies via regular MAPPA meetings;
  • Level 3 - Active Multi-Agency Management. As with Level 2 but these cases require the involvement of senior officers to authorise the use of special resources and/or to provide ongoing senior management oversight.

Offenders will be moved up and down levels as appropriate.

Youth Offending Teams have a duty to identify cases that meet the MAPPA criteria and make appropriate referrals. Guidance emphasises that young people should be assessed and managed differently from adults, using age-appropriate assessment tools and always bearing in mind the need to safeguard the welfare of the young offender as well as protect others from harm. Children’s social care services should always be represented at MAPPA meetings when a young person is being discussed.

The National MAPPA guidance sets out the framework in full on the Ministry of Justice website.

5. The Sex Offenders Register

The notification requirements of Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (known as the Sex Offenders Register) are an automatic requirement on offenders, including young people, who have offended and who receive a conviction or caution for certain sexual offences.

The notification requirements are intended to ensure that the police are informed of the whereabouts of offenders in the community. The notification requirements do not bar offenders from certain types of employment or from being alone with children. They must inform the police of certain personal details within clear time-scales, of changes in these details and reconfirm these details every twelve months. The length of time they remain under these arrangements depends on whether convicted or cautioned and the sentence that they received; failure to comply is a criminal offence.

Failure to comply with these requirements is a criminal offence, with a maximum penalty of five year’s imprisonment. The Police should be contacted if such an offence is committed.

Appendix 1: Schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (can be Used to Identify those who Present a Risk, or Potential Risk, to Children)

Click here to view, MAPPA Guidance, Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements.