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Police watchdog warns on violent offenders

7 October 2010

Bill Skelly, HM Inspector of Constabulary for Scotland, has used his second and final annual report in the role to praise the efficiency of the nation’s policing, in what he describes as “an unsettling year” of cutbacks and other budgetary pressures.

However, he went on to warn that more can and should be done to protect the public from serious, violent and sexual offenders who are not in prison. Skelly called on not only the criminal justice system, but also other providers of public services such as housing, health and the voluntary sector, to improve the assesment and management of risks posed by such individuals.

“Even when these services work well, it is possible for determined offenders to commit serious offences,” said the report.

“It is clear that the multi-agency public protection arrangements ( MAPPA) for managing ex-offenders in the community have improved how agencies work together and make joint decisions about this aspect of their work.

“Furthermore, police and other services are generally committed to this joint work and where necessary to sharing information with each other. Nevertheless, there remains considerable scope to improve the practices underpinning this commitment, particularly around conducting risk assessments, risk management planning and information-sharing.”

The full text of the report can be downloaded here.

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