HL Deb 15 September 2003 vol 652 cc153-4WA
Lord Tomlinson

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they plan to publish the annual reports of the Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements (the MAPPA). [HL4476]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal)

I am pleased to announce the publication today of the second annual report of the Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements (the MAPPA) of the 42 police and probation areas in England and Wales.

The MAPPA have made a significant difference to the way the police and probation services protect the public from the risks posed by sexual and other violent offenders. The MAPPA were established by the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and introduced in April 2001. As a direct result there is now greater consistency and robustness in arrangements to manage these offenders and an increasing involvement of other agencies.

I am very pleased that the statutory arrangements we introduced are proving to be so effective. However, there is no room for complacency: to consolidate good practice we have included provision in the Criminal Justice Bill to formalise the involvement of other agencies in this very important area of public protection. I congratulate the police and probation services for their commitment and achievement in developing the MAPPA.

Each annual report contains the number of MAPPA offenders in that area. The total number has increased. As expected, some offenders remain within the MAPPA longer than a year, some for life or for as long as they present a serious risk of harm to the public. The total number of MAPPA offenders increased 12 per cent to 52,809, of which 21,413 are registered sex offenders.

For the first time annual reports contain information about the number of MAPPA offenders referred to the highest level of MAPPA activity—the multi-agency public protection panels (MAPPPs). Offenders are referred to a MAPPP because they present a particularly high risk or difficulties. In England and Wales 2,843 offenders (5 per cent of the total) were managed through referral to a MAPPP. Early indications are that the recidivism of offenders managed through MAPPPs is significantly reduced.

Public protection is one of this government's highest priorities and the excellent work the police and probation services have done to improve it through the MAPPA deserves to be widely acknowledged.

I have placed in the Library a copy of each area report together with other background information about the operation of the MAPPA.