12.2 MAPPA

Please note this policy is under review following the publication of Working together to safeguard children, 2023.


Last updated September 2022

Next review September 2025

See also MAPPA Guidance Updated May 2022

National MAPPA website for practitioners: https://mappa.justice.gov.uk/connect.ti/MAPPA/groupHome


The Criminal Justice Act 2003 provides for the establishment of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) in each of the 42 criminal justice areas in England and Wales. These are designed to protect the public, including previous victims of crime, from serious harm by sexual and violent offenders. They require the local criminal justice agencies and other bodies dealing with offenders to work together in partnership in dealing with these offenders.


The Responsible Authority is the primary agency for MAPPA. This is the Police, Prison and Probation Service in each area, working together. The Responsible Authority has a duty to ensure that the risks posed by specified sexual and violent offenders are assessed and managed appropriately.

Other bodies have a duty to co-operate with the Responsible Authority in this task. These duty to co-operate agencies (DTC agencies) will need to work with the Responsible Authority on particular aspects of an offender's life (e.g. education, employment, housing, social care).   DTC agencies include Children Social Care, Adult Social Care, Youth Offending Team, Housing Departments and Mental Health Teams amongst others.


In accordance with the National MAPPA Guidance, each MAPPA is required to:

  • Assess and manage all MAPPA offenders;
  • Monitor and review the effectiveness of the arrangements and make any necessary or expedient changes;
  • Publish an Annual Report detailing the arrangements.

MAPPA works on a clear offender categorisation process:   

  • Category 1: Registered Sexual Offenders;
  • Category 2: Violent Offenders who have received a sentence of 12 months imprisonment or more and sex offenders who fall outside the terms of registration. Category 2 also includes offenders who received a “Hospital Order” under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act;
  • Category 3: Other Offenders who have a previous conviction which shows they can cause serious harm AND who the Responsible Authority consider is currently capable of causing serious harm to the public.
  • Category 4:  Terrorist or terrorist risk offender

Criteria for Referral into MAPPA


Offenders who are subject to MAPPA will be:

  • Offenders who receive one of the relevant sentences defined in schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Acts 2003:
  • Offenders cautioned in respect of an offence under Schedule 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or an offender found not guilty of such an offence, by reason of insanity or who is found to be under a disability and to have done the act charged;
  • An offender who fulfils the MAPPA criteria for Category 3 Offender and who is referred into MAPPA by one of the partner agencies;
  • Existing MAPPA Offenders who are transferring from another area;
  • Relevant offenders arriving in England and Wales from overseas where a “Notification Order” has been sought by the Police.

Criteria for Referral out of MAPPA


Offenders will be removed from MAPPA when:

  • Offenders from Categories 1 or 2 (above) whose licence has expired or whose period of Sex Offender Registration has come to an end. (Whilst some offenders will still pose a risk of harm at the point at which they would normally leave MAPPA, it is not possible to extend their inclusion within MAPPA, unless they fulfil the MAPPA Category 3 criteria);
  • Offenders/Patients discharged from Section 37 Mental Health Act;
  • Those Category 3 Offenders, who the Responsible Authority no longer consider to pose a risk of serious of harm to the public;
  • Offenders transferring to another MAPPA area.

Risk Management


There are three levels under which all MAPPA offenders, depending on their current risk levels, are managed. Should an offender’s risk level increase or decrease, then the management level can be amended accordingly:

Level 1: Ordinary Agency Management


Level 1 management is where the risks posed by the offender are manageable by the lead agency without the need for formal multi agency meetings.  This does not mean that other agencies will not be involved, only that once the formal screening process is complete, the lead agency is confident that their Risk Management Plan is sufficiently robust to manage the identified risks through the sharing of information and that there are no barriers to the implementation of agreed multi-agency actions, and therefore it is not considered necessary to refer the case to a Level 2 or 3 MAPPA meeting.


This level can only be used for Category 1 and 2 offenders (RSOs and violent offenders), because by definition, Category 3 offenders pose a serious risk of harm to the public and would therefore require active inter-agency management.

Level 2: Local Inter-Agency Risk Management Meeting


MAPPA Level 2 management and oversight is where:

  • Formal multi-agency meetings would add value to the lead agency's management of the risk of serious harm posed; and where one or more, of the following applies:
  • The offender is assessed as posing a high or very high risk of serious harm;
  • Exceptionally, the risk level is lower but the case requires the active involvement and co-ordination of interventions from other agencies to manage the presenting risks of serious harm;
  • The case has been previously managed at Level 3 but no longer requires Level 3 management.

A referral at this level must be based upon information that demonstrates that the offender poses a high to very high risk of serious harm to others and that the delivery of an effective risk management plan requires the active collaboration of a number of agencies.


Cases are reviewed and a risk management plan is agreed at MAPP Level 2 meetings, which are held monthly. There are 5 meetings across Sussex, two in East Sussex, two in West Sussex and one in Brighton and Hove.

Level 3: Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP)


MAPPA Level 3 management is for cases that meet the criteria for Level 2, but where management issues require senior representation from the Responsible Authority and Duty-to-Co-operate agencies.  This may be when there is a perceived need to commit significant resources at short notice or where, although not assessed as high or very high risk of serious harm, there is a high likelihood of media scrutiny or public interest in the management of the case and there is a need to ensure that public confidence in the criminal justice system is maintained.  Formal multi-agency MAPPA panels meetings are held monthly (as with those offenders managed under MAPPA Level 2 arrangements), although the seniority of chairing is higher at MAPPA Level 3 panel meetings.


A referral to this level must be based upon information that demonstrates that the offender poses a high to very high risk of serious harm to others and that the risks posed can only be managed by a plan which requires the close co-operation at a senior level due to the complexity of the case and/or because of the unusual resource commitments. This Level of management can be used where there is a high degree of media interest in the case.


Cases are reviewed at Multi Agency Public Protection Meetings (MAPPPs), which are held monthly in East and West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

This page is correct as printed on Thursday 18th of April 2024 02:32:46 AM please refer back to this website (http://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk) for updates.