Criminal justice services

High risk offenders

Sex offenders

Sex offenders subject to statutory supervision, for example, a Community Payback Order or prison licence, are managed through the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). 

This is a process that brings the responsible authorities - Police Scotland, Local Authority, Scottish Prison Service and NHS - together to jointly plan and manage these offenders in partnership with other agencies that might be working with the person. These agencies are known as duty to co-operate agencies. 

The principles governing MAPPA are:

  • Identify who may pose a risk of harm
  • Share relevant information about them
  • Assess the nature and extent of that risk
  • Manage the risk to protect victims and reduce further harm

There are 3 levels of risk management:

  • Level 1 is used in the majority of cases where risk is low and can be managed by one agency
  • Level 2 is used for high risk cases where the active involvement of more than one agency is required
  • Level 3 is used for very high risk cases. Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels (MAPPA) are convened. These are for the critical few and require close co-operation at a senior level

Once a sex offender has been assessed, a joint risk management plan will be developed, which is regularly reviewed.

MAPPA has been extended to cover other dangerous offenders who may cause serious harm to the public. These offenders are managed in the same way as sex offenders. MAPPA also includes Mentally Disordered Offenders usually referred to as Restricted Patients.