Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) were introduced in 2007 following implementation of the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act 2005.  The Act places statutory obligations on Responsible Authorities to co-operate in respect of Registered Sex Offenders and Restricted Patients.

Responsible Authorities

Local Authorities
Scottish Prison Service
Health, in relation to mentally disordered offenders (restricted patients)

  • It is a model of organising information and creating and reviewing risk management plans within the above legislative framework. MAPPA identifies “responsible authorities” that will be nominated lead agencies responsible for a particular offender in custody, the community or in hospital.

  • MAPPA also introduces a “duty to co-operate.”  This duty extends to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, Registered Social Landlords, Job Centre Plus and may include voluntary organisations should they be involved in risk management arrangements.

  • MAPPA applies to offenders subject to notification requirements under Part 2 of the Sex Offenders Act 2003.   (Registered Sex Offenders) and persons suffering from a mental disorder and subject to restriction under Sections 57 or 59 of the Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995 or Section 136 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.


Key Principles of MAPPA

  • Identify those who pose a risk
  • Share relevant information about them
  • Assess the nature and extent of that risk
  • Find ways to manage the risk effectively
  • Protect victims and seek to reduce harm
  • Make the public aware of the process and improve public confidence 

"Since April 2016 MAPPA is also applied to offenders who through the nature of their conviction are assessed as presenting a high or very high risk of serious harm to the public (referred as category 3).  It is important to note that the threshold for inclusion in MAPPA is set at a high level and is substantially based upon the application and interpretation of formal risk assessment undertaken by Criminal Justice Social Work.  Typically these will be offenders convicted of serious violent offences.  

Category 3 cases have to fulfill the following criteria for inclusion in MAPPA.

  • Subject to statutory Social Work Supervision in the community


  • Assessed through the application for the risk of serious harm assessment within LSCMI (Level of Service Case Management Inventory) as presenting a high or very high risk of serious harm


  • The risk requires multi agency risk management  and level 2 or 3 

The definition of risk of serious harm is the likelihood of harmful behaviour of a violent or sexual nature which is life threatening and/or traumatic, and from which recovery, whether physical or psychological, may reasonably be expected to be difficult or impossible."