Edinburgh Research Explorer

Child protection and offender management systems across the UK

Project: Research Collaboration with external organisation

StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/01/0931/12/11
Period1/01/0931/12/11

Description

UK-wide comparative analysis of policy relating to vetting and barring systems designed to prevent unsuitable people from working with children and Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) for risk management of sexual and violent offenders.

Layman's description

Comparative study of different offender management systems across the UK.

Key findings

Since the late 1990’s there has been rapid development in mechanisms to protect children and young people from individuals who may pose a risk to them in the community (i.e. vetting, barring and multi-agency public protection systems). The three policy areas across the UK which aims to reduce the risk to children are: 1. Multi-agency management of violent and sexual offenders (There are three separate systems across the UK. These are referred to as: Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) in England, Scotland and Wales and Public Protection Arrangements for Northern Ireland (PPANI)). 2. Criminal records checks (Vetting): where employers use criminal history information to assess an individual’s suitability to work with children in both voluntary and paid positions. (There are three systems and bodies across the UK). 3. Barring systems: procedures under which unsuitable people are legally banned from work with children - two separate systems across the UK. Currently across the UK, all of these systems use an individual’s previous behaviour as one of the indicators of potential future risk. Additionally, they all necessitate the exchange of information between agencies mirroring developments in other aspects of child protection policy where there has been an increasing emphasis on information sharing between agencies. While this policy agenda is (in part) a response to ensuring children are protected from abuse, it has also been subject to the criticism that it is overly focussed on known offenders and on risk to children from strangers.

Project relations

Research outputs