Background This paper summarises the main findings from a study of multi-agency risk assessment and risk management procedures aimed at protecting the public from sexual, violent and other potentially dangerous offenders (PDOs). The main aims of the study were to examine the range of practice between areas; to evaluate working practices and multi- agency co-operation; to illustrate good practice; and to recommend improvements. The study also incorporated a comprehensive literature review which is published separately (Kemshall, 2001). Public Protection Panels (PPPs), or similarly named bodies, play the key role in this area by allowing representatives of the police, probation service and other local agencies to exchange information and formulate risk management plans in relation to individual offenders. In most cases these are people leaving prison after sentences for serious violent or sexual offences. Some police areas have operated such panels on a voluntary basis for several years. Others have set up new partnerships and panels in response to the Sex Offenders Act 1997 and associated Home Office circulars, which required all police forces to become responsible for maintaining registers of convicted sex offenders resident in their area and, in consultation with the probation service, to assess and manage the risk they posed. In areas with newly created panels, the dominant focus of work tended to be on sex offenders, for whom a statutory response was required. Areas with pre-existing voluntary arrangements, by contrast, continued dealing with PDOs of all kinds, adapting their procedures to accommodate the new statutory work. However, this difference may disappear as a result of new legislation covering dangerous as well as sexual offenders. The research was undertaken in six force areas and took place at a time of rapid change, when many areas had still not fully adjusted to the new requirements. Furthermore, the field work took place before the introduction of legislation which has now placed a statutory duty jointly on police and probation to establish arrangements for assessing and managing the risks posed by both sexual and violent offenders in the community (the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000).
|Name||Police Research Series Paper|
|Publisher||Policing and Reducing Crime Unit|