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‘Reducing the Risk: Improving the Response to Sex Offending’: the report of the Expert Panel on Sex Offending - PROGRESS REPORT, October 2005

DescriptionExpert Panel on Sex Offending - Progress Report October 2005
ISBN
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateNovember 04, 2005

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    ISBN 0 7559 1262 4 (Web only publication)
    This document is also available in pdf format (216k)

    Contents

    INTRODUCTION
    CHAPTER ONE: COMMUNITY AND PERSONAL SAFETY AND PREVENTION
    CHAPTER TWO: DEVELOPING A RISK ASSESSMENT APPROACH
    CHAPTER THREE: DELIVERING PERSONAL CHANGE PROGRAMMES IN THE COMMUNITY
    CHAPTER FOUR: MONITORING SEX OFFENDERS
    CHAPTER FIVE: MANAGING THE HOUSING NEEDS OF SEX OFFENDERS
    CHAPTER SIX: INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

    INTRODUCTION

    1. This report sets out the progress made on the recommendations made in the report 'Reducing the Risk: Improving the Response to Sex Offending' by the Expert Panel on Sex Offending.

    2. The Expert Panel was established in 1998 and was chaired by the Honourable Lady Cosgrove following the recommendations in the report 'A Commitment to Protect: Supervising Sex Offenders: Proposals for More Effective Practice', by the Chief Inspector of Social Work. The Chief Inspector's report provided an overview of the arrangements for sex offenders in the community and a broad assessment of their strengths and weaknesses together with recommendations for improvements.

    3. The Panel's membership was drawn from a variety of organisations which have dealings with sex offenders. Individual members brought with them expertise from a wide range of disciplines including the judiciary, the prosecution service, the police, the prison service, social work and health, children's and psychological services.

    4. The remit of the panel was to:

    • Take forward work on the recommendations of the report 'A Commitment to Protect' as directed by the Chairman of the Panel;
    • Advise the Secretary of State on any other relevant issues relating to sex offenders;
    • Provide, for the Secretary of State, an annual summary of our past and planned future work.

    5. The Panel's final report 'Reducing the Risk: Improving the Response to Sex Offending', was divided into the following six thematic areas:

    1. Community and personal safety and prevention
    2. Risk assessment
    3. Access to personal change programmes (for both children and adults)
    4. Monitoring sex offenders
    5. Housing provision for sex offenders
    6. Information management

    The recommendations made by the Expert Panel fell into one of these six areas.

    6. The Scottish Executive accepted the majority of the recommendations. Of the 73 recommendations made, 18 have been achieved 54 are on track for completion or have been partially achieved and there has been no progress yet on 1 of the recommendations.

    INFORMATION SHARING STEERING GROUP

    7. The Information Sharing Steering Group ( ISSG), chaired by the Solicitor General, was established to take forward the implementation of recommendations 60 to 70, and related recommendations 7 and 10, in Chapter 6 of the Expert Panel's Report on information management. The Executive recognised the importance of information sharing in embedding the culture and practices which underpin the recommendations from the Expert Panel into the ways in which agencies interact with each other when dealing with the problem of sex offending. It was decided therefore to set up a multi-agency group to agree procedures for the future. The Group included representation from key agencies working in this area, including local authorities representing social work; education and housing; the police; the Health Service; the Scottish Prison Service; the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service; the Scottish Courts Service; the Voluntary Sector; and the Scottish Executive.

    8. The Group met on 12 occasions from 2003-2005 and developed a national Concordat for sharing information on sex offenders. The main agencies dealing with sex offenders in Scotland have all signed up, thereby agreeing to share information within this national framework. The Group has now remitted its outstanding work to the Tripartite Group which will take forward the development of protocols. Guidance will be issued in developing bilateral and multilateral protocols at the local level.

    9. The remit of the ISSG was:

    • to ensure the efficient and effective flow of information between the key agencies involved in the management of sex offenders by developing protocols, guidance and strategies. These will address where necessary, issues of confidentiality and data protection in a way which underpins the improved multi-agency arrangements endorsed by the report of the Expert Panel on Sex -Offending "Reducing the Risk".
    • to achieve agreement of the relevant agencies on the group to implementation of its work through appropriate consultation

    10. The work to reduce the risk from sex offending is not a time limited piece of work. This report shows that good progress has been made across a wide range of subject areas. More is required. Even when the recommendations from the Expert Panel are in place, it will be necessary to continue the work to ensure that as the problem of sex offending changes and finds new ways to target its victims so the agencies which work with sex offenders, must remain vigilant and continue to find new ways to protect the public.

    RISK MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY

    11. The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 provided for the Risk Management Authority ( RMA) to be established as a public body. This implements a recommendation of the MacLean Committee on Serious Violent and Sexual Offenders. The Act gives the RMA a number of statutory functions in relation to risk assessment and minimising risk.

    12. Reliable assessment of risk is crucial in the management of sex offenders and the RMA, as the central body responsible for developing standards for risk assessment, will issue guidance to those involved in the assessment and minimisation of risk. The RMA will be responsible for taking forward two of the recommendations from this report - recommendations 19 and 21.

    13. The Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill, introduced in the Scottish Parliament in March 2005 will strengthen the system further. It contains provisions which provide the police, local authorities, and the Scottish Prison Service with a statutory function to establish joint arrangements for assessing and managing the risk posed by sex offenders and certain violent offenders, including the sharing of information. Health Services will be included as a responsible authority for Mentally Disordered Offenders who also fall within the group of sexual or violent offenders covered by the provisions. In addition, the principle authorities will act in co-operation with other specified agencies in carrying out this function. Subject to Parliamentary approval, this will result in a more formalised and structured approach in line with the commitments set out in the Concordat developed by ISSG.

    PROGRESS AGAINST RECOMMENDATIONS
    CHAPTER ONE: COMMUNITY AND PERSONAL SAFETY AND PREVENTION

    Recommendation 1

    The Scottish Executive, with the local authorities, should issue guidance to ensure that each local authority has in place personal safety programmes that include addressing the risk from sex offending.

    The Scottish Executive & Local Authorities

    Lead department: Education Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The Scottish Executive has issued to all education authorities a Safe and Well handbook (August 2005), which describes good practice on child protection in education. It describes a range of policies and practice in schools, including learning for personal safety, which will help children learn the skills to be safe and well and the steps schools may take to support children when concerns arise.

    Next Steps

    • We are working with the Child Protection Reform Team to consider training and support for the implementation of the guidelines.

    Recommendation 2

    Learning and Teaching Scotland and Community Learning Scotland should prepare comprehensive personal safety materials that are specific to Scotland and include material which addresses issues of child sexual abuse and child safety.

    Learning and Teaching Scotland & Community Learning Scotland

    Lead Department: Education Department / Health Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The Scottish Executive part funded and supported distribution to every secondary pupil, materials of the "Listen Louder" campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence. Accompanying teacher packs provided information on the impact on children of domestic violence and how such children may wish to be supported.
    • The national health demonstration project Healthy Respect (as announced in Towards a Healthier Scotland, 1999) aims to transform teenage attitudes to sexual health and sexual relationships, reduce the level of teenage pregnancies and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections among Lothian's young people.
    • Improving Health in Scotland - The Challenge (March 2003) committed to fund a second phase of Healthy Respect.
    • One of Healthy Respect's 12 projects is "Young People who have Experienced Sexual Abuse and Coercion" - 5 pilot training courses (5 days duration) delivered to 60 multi-agency professionals across Lothian. Guidelines produced for use with young women survivors of sexual abuse/ coercion.
    • "In Confidence" Research completed by Healthy Respect into tensions surrounding confidentiality and child protection in the provision of sexual health education and services to young people - six booklets produced for young people and professionals on confidentiality.
    • In January 2005 the Scottish Executive issued Respect and Responsibility: Strategy and Action Plan for Improving Sexual Health. The strategy reaffirms Scottish Executive guidelines on sex and relationships education as describe above.
    • Learning and Teaching Scotland has a comprehensive searchable database of articles, materials and resources on the subjects of personal safety, child safety and child sexual abuse.

    Next Steps

    • The 'Safe and Well' child protection in education guidelines will encourage schools to provide appropriate personal safety education.
    • Consultation with education practitioners is needed on their potential use of resource materials before assessing what kinds of resources to support personal safety programmes would be useful.
    • "Young People who have Experienced Sexual Abuse and Coercion" Training for Trainers toolkit was piloted and training offered. A number of trainers now exist across Lothian although it was decided not to proceed with the toolkit production due to limited use/demand.
    • Six booklets produced for young people and professionals on confidentiality have been made available to colleagues throughout Scotland and printed copies have been distributed across Lothian.
    • Lessons learned from Healthy Respect to be shared via Sexual Health National Learning Network, based at NHS Health Scotland.
    • Further information available on: www.healthyrespect.co.uk

    Recommendation 3

    As an important preventative measure and to assist early identification of, and intervention with, sexually aggressive behaviour, schools should provide information, education and support to pupils on safe and healthy relationships.

    Local Authorities

    Lead Department: Education Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The Safe and Well handbook (August 2005) contains guidance on special issues including under age sex and emphasises the importance of appropriate sex education for all ages.
    • Guidance on the conduct of sex education was issued to education authorities and schools in March 2001 and includes that sex education should develop understanding and attitudes which will help pupils to form relationships in a responsible and healthy manner. Also included is recognition of the importance of self-restraint, dignity and respect for themselves and the views of others.

    Next Steps

    • Education Department is consulting with the Child Protection Reform Team on support for implementation. The impact of the sex education guidelines will be measured by HMIE in the course of school inspections.

    Recommendations 4, 5 and 6

    Young people looked after by local authorities should receive more targeted support. The Association of Directors of Social Work and the Scottish Institute for Residential Childcare should convene a joint working group to develop a strategy for, and supporting materials on, safe and healthy relationships and assertiveness skills.

    Association of Directors of Social Work & the Scottish Institute for Residential Childcare

    The strategy for early intervention with young sex offenders and those at risk of sex offending should take account of the needs of those young women who are particularly vulnerable to this group of sex offenders. These young women should also be a priority for more targeted intervention. For those vulnerable young women in a care setting, materials and a programme should be developed which promote healthy relationships and provide information about sexual health.

    Association of Directors of Social Work & the Scottish Institute for Residential Childcare ( SIRCC)

    Remedial and more intensive programmes and materials should be developed separately for:

    (i) Children and young people looked after by local authorities
    (ii) Children and young people with special educational needs or in special schools and
    (ii) Children identified as living with or affected by domestic violence.

    Association of Directors of Social Work & Scottish Institute for Residential Childcare

    Lead Department: Education Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Funding for SIRCC was renewed in 2004 by the Scottish Executive with the aim of ensuring that residential child care staff throughout Scotland have access to the skills and knowledge they require to meet the needs of the children and young people in their care. SIRCC continues to work closely with ADSW to ensure these aims are met.
    • SIRCC offer a range of programmes and courses which develop residential child care staff capacity to promote both safe and healthy relationships and assertiveness skills and a range of specific programmes are already available that meet these specific issues.
    • Resources and information offered by SIRCC are regularly taken up by practitioners in the residential child care sector across Scotland and which promote healthy relationships and sexual health. These include materials which can be used directly with children and young people.
    • Regulations on Supporting Young People Leaving Care came into force on 1 April 2004. One of the aims of the Regulations is that young people leaving care will be provided with better support. Local authorities now also have a duty to carry out an assessment of the needs of young people, known as "Pathways". Pathways should include details of the young person's emotional state, day to day activities, personal safety, influences on the young person and the young person's personal identity. It should also cover issues around the young person's health including their emotional and mental well being.
    • Guidance on the conduct of sex education was issued to all schools (including special schools) in March 2001. These materials will benefit all children including those in a care setting or vulnerable to sex offenders.
    • The guidance currently being developed by the Executive on Child Protection, and the comprehensive personal safety materials being developed as part of Recommendation 2, will apply equally to SEN, special schools and children in care settings.
    • Education Department funded production of a CDROM for deaf and visually impaired young people in Scotland to enable them to access information on health, safety and sexuality. This was issued to all schools. We have also funded a number of projects which encourage children with SEN to express their views and share concerns on any matter.
    • Education and Justice colleagues jointly supported distribution of awareness raising materials to every secondary school pupil on the listen louder campaign by Scottish Women's Aid. Every secondary school was provided with an associated teachers information pack on issues experienced by pupils and the kinds of support they require.
    • In July 2003 the Executive published guidance for professionals on tackling young runaways and children abused through prostitution. This guidance will particularly help young people in care settings and vulnerable young women, who are most at risk of these forms of abuse.
    • The Safe and Well handbook (August 2005) encourages staff in schools to be aware of the need for support and learning for children who may be vulnerable because they are looked after, require intimate care, have learning difficulties or are involved in activities which put them at risk of harm.

    Recommendation 7

    The Scottish Executive and the local authorities, in consultation with community organisations, should devise a public information strategy on child sexual abuse and prepare and publish information on the following topics:

    • the incidence of sex offending
    • the behaviour of sex offenders
    • the operation of the Sex Offenders Act 1997
    • the responsibilities of statutory agencies to monitor and supervise offenders
    • government policy on disclosure
    • information about the risks which result from the provision of uncontrolled information to the public about individual sex offenders and their whereabouts.
    • Local authorities and other agencies should draw upon existing expertise in child protection to provide supplementary information.

    Scottish Executive & Local Authorities

    Lead Department: Justice Department/Education Department - Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Guidance on the implementation of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 (reissued 2000) explains the provisions of the Act and respective roles of each agency with responsibility for the management and supervision of sex offenders. This guidance was updated to reflect the provisions in the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which relate to Scotland. Professor Irving has been asked to report on the operation of the registration scheme.
    • New statutory function in Management of Offenders etc (Scotland) Bill for police, local authorities, the Scottish Prison Service and Health Service for mentally disordered offenders to establish joint arrangements for assessment and management of the risk posed by sex offenders - including the effective sharing of information in appropriate circumstances.
    • Requirement for published annual report on the operation and the responsibilities of the agencies in the operation of the joint arrangements under the section 9 of the Management of Offenders (Scotland )Bill, and policy on disclosure and the risks which result from the provision of uncontrolled information, to the public about individual sex offenders and their whereabouts. The report will also include information on the behaviour of sex offenders and the incidence of sex offending in general terms.
    • ISSG agreed with Education Department that this recommendation would be taken forward jointly with JD as part of the Child Protection Reform programme.
    • Education Department launched the Children's Charter and Framework for Standards March 2004.
    • A pilot media campaign to raise awareness of child protection issues generally was undertaken from March - May 2005 in Grampian.
    • The post campaign evaluation research is currently being finalised and will be published shortly. We will then look at how we take forward lessons learnt from the pilot and how we might develop related work across Scotland.
    • An information leaflet " What you can do to help if you are worried about a child or young person" which includes the kinds of things which might alert someone to a concern, such as acting in a sexually inappropriate way, and contact numbers to follow through was published in December 2004. This was developed nationally and stocks supplied to all Child Protection Committees with customised local information for their use.

    Next Steps

    • Develop Model and reporting arrangements under sections 9 & 10 of the management of Offenders etc (Scotland) Bill
    • Evaluation of the pilot media campaign and consideration of a single telephone access point to services as part of that is underway. The post campaign evaluation research is currently being finalised and will be published shortly. We will then look at how we take forward lessons learnt from the pilot and how we might develop related work across Scotland.
    • Proposals were considered by the Child Protection Reform Programme Steering Group in August and it is expected that proposals will be put to Ministers shortly

    Recommendation 8

    As part of the wider information strategy, the Scottish Executive should publish a leaflet, based on the draft text prepared by the Expert Panel on Sex Offending which provides parents with information on which to base decisions about child safety in groups. It should be widely circulated to parents and carers.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Education Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • A Parent Checklist for Youth Activities was published in October 2002.
    • The checklist sets out 15 key questions parents might ask about the status and credentials of clubs and club leaders to enable parents to make informed decisions about whether to allow their children to join a club or group.

    Recommendation 9

    The Scottish Executive should sponsor a national conference and a series of workshops on reducing risk from sex offending. These should help to facilitate discussion between communities and agencies. Workshops might be integrated into existing child safety awareness initiatives and should include providing information about how to keep children safe from sex offenders. Attention should be paid to accessibility, targeted publicity and low-cost admission to enable community participation.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: All Departments

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    This recommendation will follow on from the work of the Information Sharing Steering Group on improving the sharing of information.

    Next Steps

    • Conference will be timed to coincide with commencement of the provisions contained in sections 9&10 of the Management of Offenders etc (Scotland) Bill to establish joint arrangements to manage the risk from sex offenders.

    Recommendation 10

    As part of their community safety plan, each local authority should develop a corporate approach (involving all the relevant departments) to the management of sex offenders in the community. This corporate approach should reflect the particular contribution each council department can make to enhancing public safety through the effective management of sex offenders. The plan should also draw on the skills and expertise of other stakeholders, including registered social landlords, voluntary sector agencies, the police and local people.

    Local Authorities

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Since the Expert Panel's Report a framework for multi-agency working has been provided by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 2003 strengthening the role of community planning as a vehicle to progress Recommendation 10.

    Next Steps

    • The provisions in the Management of Offenders etc (Scotland) Bill to establish joint arrangements to assess and manage the risk posed by sex offenders includes local authorities, corporately, as one of the 3 main responsible authorities. Guidance on the implementation of the provisions will be issued in 2006.

    Recommendation 11

    The Scottish Executive should provide information and guidance about undertaking a police criminal record check on those adults who work with children in either a paid or voluntary capacity. If the proposed Index of adults unsuitable to work with children is compiled, the Scottish Executive should issue accessible information about its use and interpretation. Information should also be given on the link between the Index and the Scottish Criminal Record Office.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department / Education Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • New criminal record checking arrangements provided for under Part V of the Police Act 1997.
    • Disclosure Scotland set up in April 2002.
    • Code of practice and guidance produced, providing advice to employers and the voluntary sector on the procedures to follow when undertaking a police criminal record check on those adults who work with children.
    • Website - www.disclosurescotland.co.uk - and a telephone Helpline - 0870 609 6006 - also available for access to information.
    • Volunteer Development Scotland (funded by the Scottish Executive) acting as the Central Registered Body for the voluntary sector.
    • The Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 provides for the establishment of the Disqualification from Working with Children List which came into operation on 10 January 2005.
    • The 2003 Act also introduced a new offence from 11 April 2005 which organisations commit if they offer work (paid or unpaid) in a child care position to an individual who is disqualified from occupying such a position. A criminal record check (disclosure) for a child care position includes information on disqualifications and organisations are therefore advised to obtain disclosures before appointing individuals to child care positions.
    • The communication strategy for the implementation of the 2003 Act included:
    • Information note to raise general awareness published and distributed in August 2003;
    • Guidance note for organisations published and distributed in December 2004;
    • Voluntary Sector Support Package delivered by a Consortium with funding from the Scottish Executive which included a training and information pack, information note for all volunteers, nationwide seminars and a helpline.

    Next steps

    • Following the Bichard report into the murders of two young girls in Soham we are working towards the implementation of a revised vetting and barring scheme for those who work with children and vulnerable adults. This will seek to develop a streamlined system which will provide for the regular updating and review of an individual's status and organisations with an interest would be notified of any change in an individual's barred status.

    Recommendation 12

    The Scottish Prison Service should actively develop a robust protocol to address the issue of the protection of child visitors to convicted sex offenders in prison.

    Scottish Prison Service

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Prison Service

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • SPS Circular 366/01 provided guidance on the issue of the protection of child visitors to convicted sex offenders in prison and was issued to prisons on 9 th November 2001. This issue has been kept under review and a further two circulars have since been issued.
    • SPS Circular 2a/04 provided guidance on the issue of accumulated visits for sex offenders and was issued to prisons on 13 th January 2004. SPS Circular 25a/04 provided guidance on dealing with general concerns about the welfare of child visitors and was issued to prisons on 18 th June 2004.
    CHAPTER TWO: DEVELOPING A RISK ASSESSMENT APPROACH

    Recommendation 13

    In all cases prosecuted on indictment where an offender is convicted of a sexual offence, or an offence with a significant sexual element, the court should be required to obtain both a social enquiry report and a psychological assessment. A social enquiry report should also be mandatory for offenders convicted at summary level of a sexual offence, or an offence where there is evidence of a sexual element or motivation; sheriffs dealing with summary cases should be alert to the possible need for psychological as well as social enquiry reports.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Section 21(1) to (8) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 was commenced in part on 3 rd November 2003.
    • Provides for reports to be sent to all relevant parties involved in the risk assessment etc process.
    • Provisions achieve the recommendation for summary proceedings.

    Next Steps

    • Commencement of section 21, for solemn as well as summary cases is dependant on progressing recommendation 20.

    Recommendation 14

    Report writers should consult with each other in order to reach an informed view about the degree of risk presented by the offender and about how best to address and manage the risk.

    Scottish Executive, Court Service, Association of Directors of Social Work & Local Authorities

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The Management of Offenders etc (Scotland) Bill contains provisions to ensure that the responsible authorities establish joint arrangements for the assessment and management of risk posed by sex offenders and certain violent offenders.

    Next steps

    • Guidance on the implementation of the provisions will be issued in 2006.

    Recommendation 15

    The provisions of section 201(3) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 should be amended so that in sexual offence cases the single period during which the court may adjourn the hearing of the case after conviction and before sentence for the purpose of enabling inquiries to be made is increased. The current maximum of 3 weeks, where an accused is remanded in custody, and 4 weeks where he is remanded on bail or ordained to appear, should be increased to 6 weeks in all cases.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Section 21(9) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 provides for adjournment.

    Recommendation 16

    All agencies involved in work with sex offenders should adopt the structured clinical approach to risk assessment and should use recognised structured tools as part of this approach. Each agency should undertake a regular audit of the use of such tools by its staff.

    All agencies working with sex offenders

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    An inter-agency working group comprising police, criminal justice social work, SPS and Justice Department have adopted a common risk assessment tool (Risk Matrix 2000). Up to 500 police and social workers are being trained in the use of the tool.

    Next steps

    • The Risk management Authority has been asked to validate RM 2000 on a Scottish population and to provide advice on future developments such as risk management tools.

    Recommendation 17

    Use of the risk assessment framework promulgated by Social Work Services Inspectorate ( SWSI) should be rigorously audited to ensure that it is modified in the light of experience and in the light of future research.

    Local Authorities & Social Work Services Inspectorate

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The framework has recently been reviewed to evaluate its continuing fitness for purpose
    • An audit of all medium to high risk sex offender cases to be carried out at the request of Social Work Inspection Agency ( SWIA) by end of September by police, local authorities and SPS.

    Next steps

    • Working group established to agree 'next generation' risk assessment practice for criminal justice social work. A specific task of this group is to ensure a fit between a revised general risk assessment framework and specialist sex offender assessment tools. (see recommendation 16 above).
    • Social Work Inspection Agency to analyse outcome of audit and feed into relevant initiatives.

    Recommendation 18

    Criminal Justice Social Workers must receive appropriate training in risk assessment procedures.

    Local Authorities

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The Executive has funded the piloting of the C- SOGP (Community Sex Offender Groupwork Programme) which requires staff to have been trained in using Risk Matrix 2000 and in administering a related psychometric assessment tool. Selected practitioners in approximately half all criminal justice local authority groupings and unitary authorities have now been trained in the use of these tools.
    • Up to 500 police and social workers are being trained in the use of Risk Matrix 2000 tool by end of 2005.

    Next steps

    • Continuing training for police, social workers and the SPS will be arranged on completion of initial training.

    Recommendation 19

    The Scottish Executive should issue a national protocol outlining principles of good practice in risk assessment to be binding on all of the key agencies involved in such work with sex offenders.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The Risk Management Authority ( RMA) has been established by the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003.

    Next steps

    • A process of accreditation and standards and guidelines for risk assessors and the methods and manners which they employ in the assessment of serious sexual and violent offenders is in development. These will be in place by December 2005. The initial priority will be to have accreditation, standards and guidelines in place for risk assessment in support of risk assessment orders and orders for lifelong restriction, for which compliance will be binding, but they will be of wider applicability.

    Recommendation 20

    Additional resources should be provided to recruit, train and employ more clinical or forensic psychologists and more forensic psychiatrists.

    Scottish Executive, Scottish Council for Post Graduate Medicine and Dental Education

    Lead Department: Health Department

    Status: On Track

    Achievements

    • Additional funds were provided to support the Joint Local Implementation Plan process to help prepare for the new mental health Act. These funds form part of the wider Partnership Agreement resources to take forward the commitment to further develop mental health services.
    • The JLIP Resources were allocated through NHS Boards for joint agency spend.
      £750K allocated in 2003-04.
      - £4.755m allocated in 2004-05.
    • The balance of resources were allocated to national mental health initiatives to further develop mental health services in line with the Partnership Agreement Commitment.
    • Specific funding has been made available to local authorities for implementation of the new Act - £26.7m revenue and £4m capital for Local Authorities over 3 years from 2003-04 to 2005-06.
    • Nationally we are increasing the supply of student psychologists. The intake to Clinical Psychology training courses in Scotland has increased from 32 in 2001 to 61 in 2004. In October 2004 there were 161 Clinical Psychologists in training compared with 96 in 2001. The expansion in training capacity began in 2002. The number of trainees in training has increased by 61% since then.
    • The number of psychologists in post in NHS Scotland continues to grow. As at 30 th September 2004 there were 3.80 WTE Forensic Psychologists, 10.20 WTE Clinical Forensic Psychologists and 20.46 Clinical and Applied Psychologists working in a forensic area of work.
    • We are committed to building capacity within the medical profession which includes Forensic Psychiatry. The number of Forensic Consultants has increased from 18.5 WTE in 1999 to 30.3 WTE at March 2005 - an increase of 63.8%.
    • As at 30 th September 2004, there were 6.6 WTE Specialist Registrars in training. These are a feeder for future Consultant Psychiatrist posts.

    Next Steps

    • Decisions on the distribution of the 2005/06 £8m Partnership Agreement resource will be made shortly. The majority of the resource will again be allocated through the NHS Boards for partnership spend but investment will also be made on national initiatives.
    • The allocations to Local Authorities will reach £13m in 2005-06 and will continue at that level in future years unless a change is announced.
    • National Workforce Planning Framework 2005 published in August 2005 makes specific reference to a range of issues affecting supply and demand across all staff groups, including Psychologists and Consultants in Scotland. The framework will help support robust workforce planning at national, regional and local levels and will offer a planning cycle for how this will be undertaken across each of these levels in the coming years.

    Recommendation 21

    The Scottish Executive should provide guidance in relation to what constitutes high, medium and low risk.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Section 3 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 came into force in June 2003 under which the Risk Management Authority has been established. The Risk Management Authority functions include ensuring the effective assessment and minimisation of risk.

    Next Steps

    • Guidance on risk will be available by December 2005. The RMA will accredit risk assessment methods and manners for various purposes, and issue guidelines and standards on risk assessment. These will include standards and guidance on whether the risk is high, medium or low, in accordance with section 210C (3) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (inserted by section 1 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003).
    CHAPTER THREE: DELIVERING PERSONAL CHANGE PROGRAMMES IN THE COMMUNITY

    Recommendations 22, 23, 24

    All local authority criminal justice social work services should make available specialist intervention programmes for those sex offenders who are subject to supervision in the community and are deemed suitable. All criminal justice social work services should review the skill mix of staff involved in the management of sex offenders and make formal arrangements with adjacent authorities to ensure that specific sex offender programmes are available as close as possible to the offender's domicile. A directory of personal change programmes for sex offenders should be collated, regularly updated and made available to all relevant agencies.

    Local Authorities

    Local authorities and the Scottish Executive should produce an agreed 'core' intervention manual for use with sex offenders in the community based on cognitive behavioural principles. STOP 2000 could form the basis for the manual but would require modification for community use and for different types of sex offender.

    Scottish Executive & Local Authorities

    Local authorities should establish arrangements for joint training in programme delivery with the aim of ensuring that, within each local criminal justice social work service, there is sufficient expertise to deliver the core components of personal change programmes based on a cognitive behavioural approach. This identified group should be responsible for developing:

    (i) minimum training standards for workers involved in the delivery of personal change programmes for sex offenders
    (ii) a strategy for ensuring adequate supervision and support for programme facilitators and
    (iii) a strategy for continuing professional development to ensure skills are retained and enhanced on a regular basis.

    Local Authorities

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Local authorities in 5 groupings/unitary authority areas are involved in the delivery of the accredited Community Sex Offender Groupwork programme (C- SOGP) across a range of sites within their areas. The standards required for accreditation purposes meet the specific requirements, including those related to training/professional development issues, identified in the recommendation. This programme is compatible with STOP 2000 which is used by SPS and offenders who have already completed this programme in prison are not required to undertake the full C- SOGP in the community;
    • The Executive has funded a number of sex offender focussed programmes outwith the C- SOGP areas including the development of a two to one sex offender programme capable of delivery in those areas where it is not practical to run groups.

    Next steps

    • Following full accreditation, the programme is available for all groupings/unitary authorities to use. The Executive has funded the secondment of 2 staff to extend training opportunities. Consideration is being given to funding issues to allow other groupings/authorities to adopt the C- SOGP where sufficient numbers of offenders exist to allow for groupwork programmes;
    • Consideration is being given to possible development of accredited programmes based on two to one programmes for sex offenders although this would give rise significant resource issues, which have still to be addressed.

    Recommendation 25

    Sentencers and the Parole Board should be provided with regularly updated information about the available provision of community based programmes for sex offenders.

    Local Authorities

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • The Information for Sentencers manual issued to all sheriffs in 2004 includes details of programmes for sex offenders within the sheriffdom;
    • Electronic version provided in 2005.

    Recommendation 26

    Consideration should be given to identifying and securing funding for risk assessment and personal change programmes for:

    • individuals who have admitted sexually offending behaviour but without providing sufficient information to secure a conviction
    • individuals who admit concerns that they may be at risk of sexual offending and convicted sex offenders who remain at risk but are not subject to statutory supervision and who require ongoing support/intervention to reduce the risk they present to the public.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department / Health Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The Scottish Executive has set up an Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Reference Group under the auspices of the Health Department which met for the first time on 6 th September 2005. Given the sensitive nature of this agenda, it has taken a considerable time to negotiate with the wide range of interests and reach agreement to take this recommendation forward as part of the Group's remit. As with child protection and domestic violence work it is anticipated that investment in this approach will take time to result in altered behaviour.
    • Funding has been secured. There is £2 million available for the far-reaching remit of the Group, of which this will be a part.

    Next steps

    • The Group will discuss and agree upon the research to be commissioned that will focus on prevention, to lessen the number of sex offenders and therefore reduce the number of victims. It is likely that some demonstration projects will also be set up and an element of the funding will be spent on programmes targeted at changing the behaviour of perpetrators and potential perpetrators. This will go beyond education to include projects that give perpetrators as well as survivors better access to more sensitive and responsive counselling and support services.
    • The whole remit of the Group and a specific workplan will be discussed at its first meeting, but the aim is to use the resources over a 2 year period from April 2006.

    Recommendation 27

    HM Inspectorate of Prisons should, towards the end of 2002, undertake a thematic inspection of the current availability and provision of personal change programmes for sex offenders who are in custody.

    HM Inspectorate of Prisons

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The SPS Sex Offender Strategy Group has undertaken an audit of current availability and provision of personal change programmes for sex offenders in custody, which will facilitate the work of the group in considering programme availability.

    Next steps

    • HMCIP to consider future thematic study, based on the SOSG audit.

    Recommendation 28

    The Scottish Prison Service should ensure the availability of sex offender intervention programmes for every convicted sex offender including those given a custodial sentence of 2 years or less. The Scottish Prison Service should also set out a timetable for achieving this and key performance indicators should be put in place to monitor progress towards achieving this target.

    Scottish Prison Service

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Prison Service

    Status: Not achieved

    Achievements

    • SPS produced a report - The Future Management of Sex Offenders - which showed the need for an increase in provision to meet the expected need. It specifically highlighted the problems of attempting to deliver intervention programmes to sex offenders serving less than 8 months in prison. i.e. a 1 year 4 months sentence.
    • Two interventions are considered suitable for short term sex offenders:
      • Approved Activity: 'Relationships'
      • Rolling STOP Programme. Rolling STOP was introduced as the treatment intervention for short-term offenders in 2004/05.
    • Procedures are in place to quickly transfer sex offenders from local prisons to HMP's Barlinnie and Edinburgh for participation in the Rolling STOP programme.
    • A research study has been conducted into short-term offender risk assessments and identification of those offenders with a non-sex offence conviction but with sexual motivation / connotations.
    • Those offenders considered unsuitable for Rolling STOP (sentence length or intellectual ability) could be offered one to one support from SPS social work.

    Next steps

    • The SPS led Sex Offender Strategy Group is currently reviewing the resources required to address the identified level of need with a view to introducing other interventions to meet the identified need, for example a Healthy Sexual Functioning programme which is to be piloted in 2006.

    Recommendation 29

    The Scottish Prison Service should build on its existing training strategy for staff involved in the delivery of personal change programmes for sex offenders by developing a strategy for continuing professional development. The Scottish Prison Service should also develop enhanced training to support those delivering programmes to sex offenders who deny their offending or who refuse to accept any responsibility for their behaviour.

    Scottish Prison Service

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Prison Service

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Staff training has been extended. SPS now has a group of in-house trainers which facilitates training to SPS staff for an extended suite of interventions. It can now sustain training in the Core, Rolling and Adapted STOP programmes. In addition, awareness training has been extended to staff not involved in programme delivery.
    • There has been a year on year increase in the number of staff trained to facilitate sex offender programmes.
    • A strategy for continuing professional development has been introduced. This has included a reciprocal arrangement between SPS and community based programme facilitators and managers for information exchange and mutual support. This has included exchange visits.
    • A list of programmes delivered in the community has been circulated to relevant SPS personnel.
    • Core STOP is now being delivered to male young offenders.
    • Awareness training sessions have been delivered to new facilitators and SPS staff who counsel offenders regarding their lack of motivation.
    • A group of programme facilitators at HMP Peterhead have also been trained to deliver a programme for those who deny or refuse participation in sex offender groupwork.

    Next steps

    • To extend the suite of programmes that staff are trained as trainers in, to include the Extended STOP and Healthy Sexual Functioning programmes.
    • Sustain growth of training for staff.
    • Extend awareness training for staff at other establishments, including establishments that don't deliver sex-offending groupwork, but that hold sex offenders.

    Recommendation 30

    The Scottish Prison Service should identify an individual (or group of individuals) to take responsibility for co-ordinating all the intervention programmes which are available to sex offenders. This should take place both at a central strategic level and within individual prisons. The role should include the following responsibilities:

    (i) identifying which interventions are required and which should take priority
    (ii) monitoring waiting lists
    (iii) monitoring completion and drop out rates
    (iv) monitoring the overall effectiveness of the programmes through the use of standard psychometric tests.

    Scottish Prison Service

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Prison Service

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Sex Offender Strategy Group ( SOSG) established comprising SPS and external Partners which carries out the above role at a strategic level. This group is considering a range of issues on programme delivery, staff training and support, assessment and information flow, population numbers, efficacy, etc.
    • The SOSG remit is:
    • To develop a policy for the management and treatment of convicted sex offenders.
    • To oversee implementation of the policy.
    • In formulating the policy the group also requires to take on board:
    • The recommendations contained in the Report of the Expert Panel on Sex Offending, "Reducing the Risk: Improving the response to sex offending".
    • The conclusions of the Report of the Review Group on the Future Management of Sex Offenders within Scottish Prisons.
    • The comments received from the consultation exercise on the Report.
    • A monitoring system to measure programme completion / drop out rates is now in place. Historically drop out rates from programmes has been between 20 - 25%. Over the last 3 years SPS has introduced new approaches to group selection and the management of offenders who fail to accept full responsibility during groupwork. This has resulted in a significant reduction in drop out rates to around 5-10%. At Peterhead last year 43 completed sex offender programmes of the 44 offenders who started.
    • The psychometric test battery has been reviewed and a new, improved battery introduced.
    • A review of risk levels after assessment has been undertaken and the results are now being used to prioritise and schedule sex offender programmes.
    • A review of sex offenders who are subject to an extended sentence has been completed. A policy decision has been taken to manage offenders who have a combined total of 4 years and over (custodial and extended sentenced added together) as long term prisoners. This will influence the scheduling of programmes.
    • There is a multi disciplinary sex offender team within the 4 establishments that deliver sex offender programmes to address the issues i - iv above.

    Next steps

    • A research study is underway to review psychometric scores.
    • Two further interventions are required:
    • Healthy Sexual Functioning programme to address offence fantasies.
    • A STOP Booster programme for Long Term prisoners ( LTPs) at the end of their sentence.
    • Scope viability of an accredited standard two to one programme for those offenders unlikely to ever be suitable for groupwork.
    • Implement a research study to look at the links between completion of STOP and recidivism rates.

    Recommendation 31

    The Scottish Prison Service should develop a strategy for the management of offenders who deny their sex offending and/or refuse to participate in personal change programmes.

    Scottish Prison Service

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Prison Service

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • A policy for the management of offenders denying responsibility and refusing participation in sex offender programmes has been agreed by the Sex Offender Strategy Group, and submitted to the Minister for information.
    • At Peterhead a research exercise has been completed to identify the reasons why sex offenders refuse to participate in sex offender interventions. The findings have been used to create an intervention plan. It includes individual profiling, individual counselling, a group intervention, and staff awareness training in Motivational Interviewing. Intervention promotional materials (leaflets, posters) are also being prepared which can be used throughout the SPS.

    Next steps

    • A target group of 10 offenders has been identified to run a pilot of the above programme, this group has commenced and the work is due for completion in 2005. It is expected that all aspects of the above plan and programme will then be fully introduced in 2006.
    • Evaluate effectiveness of the above approach.
    • Extend to other SPS establishments.

    Recommendation 32

    The Scottish Prison Service should establish a working group to consider how best to monitor personal change and, with external agencies, how best to disseminate that information.

    Scottish Prison Service

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Prison Service

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • A new structure for monitoring personal change has been introduced which reviews risks ands needs assessments. This is similar to the one used in sex offender programmes in the community.
    • Under the guidance of the Sex Offender Strategy Group ( SOSG) an SPS working group has developed a new version of the post programme STOP reports in response to requests from prisoners, SPS staff, Criminal Justice Social Work, Parole Board and Police to make it more user-friendly. These reports focus on progress with treatment needs, and risk management guidance for Social Work and the Police.

    Next steps

    • As per recommendation 30 above.
    • Evaluate the impact of the above changes.

    Recommendation 33

    Sentencers and the Parole Board should be provided with regularly updated information about the programmes available for sex offenders in a custodial setting.

    Scottish Prison Service

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Prison Service

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Programme leaflets have been supplied and SPS is also involved in providing information for the judiciary.
    • Some local arrangements are in place where SPS staff are invited to provide information to sentencers.
    • Parole Board members are regularly updated by SPS representatives (Lifer Liaison Officers) at tribunal hearings of the suite of programmes available.
    • Talks provided to judicial studies

    Next Steps

    • Secure a formal invitation from training departments to deliver awareness training for sentencers and the Parole Board throughout Scotland.

    Recommendation 34

    The Scottish Executive should review current provision in relation to assessment and intervention programmes and provision for children and young people who have committed a sexual offence or who are displaying sexually aggressive behaviour.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Education Department/Justice Department - Scottish Prison Service

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    (A) Young people in children's system

    • Annual exercise to map full range of programmes available from 2002-03 for young people who offend is accessible on SE website
    • This includes programmes and services for those committing sexual offences or displaying sexually aggressive behaviour.

    (B) Young people in adult system

    • The Sex Offender Strategy Group ( SOSG) reviewed the interventions available at HMYOI Polmont and concluded that Core and Adapted STOP programmes are the most suitable. Delivery of these programmes also form a foundation for participation in other programmes (Extended and Rolling STOP, C- SOGP) if they subsequently move to an adult establishment or community services/agencies.
    • SPS has adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to groupwork with young people where officers, social workers and psychologists deliver sex offender programmes. Also, multi-disciplinary Risk Management Groups at HMYOI Polmont have been introduced as another option to assess risk pre-release.
    • Two core sex offender programmes are available and delivered at HMYOI Polmont - Core STOP 2000 and Adapted STOP (numbers completing the programmes: 2002/03 - 8; 2003/04 - 6 (both Adapted STOP); 2004/05 - 7 completed the Core STOP programme (only introduced in 2004)). 7 completions are projected for 2005/06.

    Next Steps

    1. Although this recommendation has been achieved, this information will be updated annually.
    2. This recommendation has been referred to the SPS Sex Offender Strategy Group for Young Offenders and SPS will continue to liaise with the management of secure units and local authorities.
    • A sub group of the SOSG to be formed to develop policy on youth working, this will also include joint working across agencies.

    Recommendation 35

    The Scottish Executive should develop a national strategy for a specialist assessment and intervention service for children and young people who offend or who display sexually aggressive behaviour. This service should include access to a robust and comprehensive risk and needs assessment and to offence-specific personal change programmes to be available both in the community and in secure and non-secure residential settings. The national strategy should specify the skills mix of staff which would be required to deliver the service and should set out rigorous standards for training, competence, supervision, continuity of professional development and programme content and evaluation.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Education Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • £3m allocated to Local Authorities in December 2002 for the introduction and expansion of an assessment tool for general offending behaviour ( ASSET or YLS- CMI)
    • A group of experienced practitioners, a "Champions' Group" is supported by the Criminal Justice SW Development Centre ( CJSWDC) to champion best practice in the assessment and development of services for sex offenders in the criminal justice system. This group has agreed to extend its remit to look at the issues in relation to young people dealt with in the hearings system for sexually offending and sexually aggressive young people.

    Next Steps

    • In October 2005, request the group to provide a further review of its work and recommendations for further action.

    Recommendations 36 & 37

    All children and young people identified as at risk of sex offending or who are displaying sexually aggressive behaviour should have access to an appropriate personal change programme.

    Local Authorities

    The Scottish Executive should produce a specialist resource pack following the review for use with sexually aggressive young people. This pack should be piloted in a few centres.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Education Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Currently exploring feasibility to develop a programme for accreditation
    • Youth Justice is now included in the remit of Scotland's accreditation panel

    Next Steps

    • The Champions' Group is currently working on induction and level 2 training for practitioners. A number of the group are piloting the CSOGP (Community Sex Offender Group Work Programme) which has just been accredited.

    Recommendation 38

    Local authorities should examine the interface between children and family services and criminal justice services to ensure that those children and young people who are sexually aggressive or at risk from sex offending get a service determined by their need and not by their point of access to the system.

    Local Authorities

    Lead Department: Education Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • "For Scotland's Children" published in November 2001, emphasised the need for all agencies dealing with children and young people, in whatever context, to work together to ensure that services are not determined simply by point of entry, but meet children's needs.
    • Changing Children's Services Fund, which amounts to £65.5 million per annum, is supporting major reconfiguration of children's services. From 2006-07, a proportion of the Fund will be mainstreamed into local authority GAE to support ongoing frontline delivery of improved children's services.
    • Work is progressing to develop a framework for shared assessment and information sharing.
    • Work is progressing on a new quality improvement framework which will support integrated children's services plans by showing that progress is being made with delivery of improved outcomes for children and young people. Continuous improvement across children's services will also be backed by an integrated system of inspection of services for children.
    • 3 year child protection reform programme, committed to making sure children and young people get help when they need it, implemented.
    • "Vulnerable Children and Young People- Sexual Exploitation Through Prostitution" and "Young Runaways" issued in July 2003 to aid awareness raising and early identification of problems.
    • "Protecting Children and Young People - The Charter" and a Framework for Standards issued to all agencies and practitioners.
    • Objective 5 of National Standards for Youth Justice Services states that an action plan detailing objectives for the care of the young person while in secure accommodation, including educational provision and a health assessment, should be completed by staff within 10 days of reception.

    . Next steps

    • Children and Young People Cabinet Delivery Group is taking forward a programme of work for better integrating children's services. The Group's work is focused on five priority areas: improving delivery of services, quality improvement, integrated assessment and information sharing, integrated inspection and development of the children's services workforce.
    • Revised guidance on integrated children's services planning was issued in November 2004 and the local partnerships have submitted plans covering the period 2005-08. The plans are being reviewed by the Executive.
    • The consultation pack "getting it Right for every Child" includes proposals to improve multi-agency working and local accountability based on the needs of a child. The pack also includes proposals for a new integrated assessment, planning and recording framework.
    • We will also consult shortly on a new quality improvement framework and on the next stages of the integrated inspection system. Pilot inspections of child protection services in Highland and East Dunbartonshire have already been completed and these will inform the 3 year programme of joint inspections of child protection services which will begin shortly. Integrated inspections of all children's services will begin by 2008.
    • Dissemination of the Charter and Framework for Standards is underway and will continue through the rest of the child reform programme.

    Recommendation 39

    There should be a national programme of training for staff in young offenders institutions and Secure Units who deliver personal change programmes. The programme should build on the proposed universal developments in schools and community education.

    Scottish Prison Service

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Prison Service/Education Department

    Status: Achieved

    CHAPTER FOUR: MONITORING SEX OFFENDERS

    Recommendation 40

    Section 2 of Schedule 1 of the Sex Offenders Act should be amended to broaden the scope of offences to which the notification requirements apply.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Section 80 of and paragraphs 38 to 40 of Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 removes the age and sentence thresholds on 3 offences, previously listed in Schedule 1 to the Sex Offenders Act, namely abduction of a woman or girl with intent to rape, assault with intent to rape or ravish and indecent assault. The effect of these provisions will be to broaden the scope of offences to which the notification requirements will apply in Scotland by requiring a sex offender convicted of the specific offences mentioned to register regardless of the age of any other person involved in the offence and/or regardless of the length of term of imprisonment imposed. Previously the notification requirements were limited for these offences where the victim is under 18 or the offender was sentenced to at least 30 months.

    Recommendation 41

    The requirement to provide notification under the Sex Offenders Act 1997 should be extended to include any offender convicted of any crime containing a sexual element, at the discretion of the sentencing judge.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Section 80 of and paragraph 60 of Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides courts in Scotland with additional powers to require notification for offences which do not carry automatic notification when the evidence discloses that there was a significant sexual aspect in the offenders' behaviour in committing the offence. The court can order notification, subject to a right of appeal against the order by the offender. The provision will broaden offences under which the court in Scotland can order notification to include convictions for any offence where the judge considers that the offence contained a significant sexual aspect. Recommendations 13, 15, 55 and 56 (section 21 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003) provide the basis on which improved information is to be provided to report writers and Judges in sexual offence cases and cases where there is a sexual element or motivation.

    Recommendation 42

    Offences under sections 106 and 107 of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 should be included in Schedule 1 to the Sex Offenders Act 1997.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    Section 80 of and paragraphs 47 and 48 of Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 provide that persons convicted under sections 106 and 107 of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984 are notifiable offences under Part 2 of the 2003 Act and as such liable to be placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

    Recommendation 43

    The notification requirement should be extended to include:

    (i) any British national convicted of a relevant sexual offence outside the UK who returns to the United Kingdom and,
    (ii ) any foreign national, similarly convicted, who has come to the United Kingdom following conviction.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Sections 97 to 103 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 create notification orders and interim notification orders, which are intended to protect the public in the UK from the risks posed by sex offenders who have been convicted, etc for sexual offences committed overseas. Such offenders may be British citizens' convicted, abroad or foreign nationals who reside in the UK with a previous conviction (and who have a right to remain in the UK). Essentially, a notification order requires the offender to "register" their details to the police (covered by Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003) as if they had been convicted in the UK.

    Recommendation 44

    Sex offenders who are subject to the notification requirements should be required to attend in person at a police station in order to provide the appropriate notice and should at the time of doing so also be required to furnish reasonable proof of identity.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Sections 83 to 85 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 provide that relevant offenders will have to notify a change to the notified details (such as name or address) within 3 days of the change taking place. Offenders will also have to notify any address at which they reside for 7 days or more, whether that is 7 days consecutive or 7 days within 12 months. All offenders will have to re-confirm that their notified details are correct annually ("periodic notification") and all notifications will have to be made in person and the police may take fingerprints and photographs at initial notification, whenever an offender notifies any changes to his details and at periodic notification. Section 87 of the 2003 Act and the regulations made thereunder provide that offenders have to notify their details at prescribed police stations in their local area.

    Recommendation 45

    Sex offenders who are subject to the notification requirements should be required to notify the police within 5 days:

    (a) when they intend to be away from their home address for more than 5 days,
    and
    (b) of any address in the UK where they reside or stay longer than 5 days.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Section 84 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 requires that sex offenders notify the police no more than 3 days after they have changed their home address.

    Recommendation 46

    Sex offenders who are subject to the notification requirements and are of no fixed abode should be required to report to a police station every 7 days.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Recommendation 46 would, if fully implemented, place itinerant offenders under a stricter regime than those with more settled addresses. As such it may breach the European Convention on Human Rights. Itinerant offenders are subject to the same notification requirements as those with more settled addresses and if they are absent from the last registered location for more than 7 days, they must attend a police station to register their new location. Section 83 (7) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 also provides that where an offender is homeless or has no fixed abode his 'home address' means an address or location where he can be regularly found. This might, for example, be a shelter, or a friend's house, both very temporary addresses, or other locations which are not conventional homes, such as church steps and park benches.

    Recommendation 47

    Where an offender has failed to register timeously, the Court having jurisdiction in the place of his last known address should have the power to grant a warrant for his arrest in respect of the commission of an offence under section 3 of the 1997 Act.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Section 91 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 contains offences committed by sex offenders who fail, without reasonable excuse, to register. Proceedings for an offence under this Section may commence in any court having jurisdiction, in any place where the person charged with the offence resides or is found.

    Next steps

    • Section 12 of the Management of Offenders etc. (Scotland) Bill ensures that there is no loophole preventing proceedings being brought when the crime is committed. Section 12 will broaden the range of courts which will have jurisdiction to consider proceedings in respect of sex offenders who have failed to comply with the registration requirements.

    Recommendation 48

    Sex offenders, whether or not subject to the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Act 1997, should be required to comply with the risk assessment process to the extent of making themselves available to the appropriate agencies for interview and of allowing access to their home for the purpose of risk assessment.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On Track

    Achievements

    • The Executive fed the views of the Panel into the Home Office led joint review process that resulted in the UK Sexual Offences Act 2003. It had been intended to make provision for this recommendation as part of the UK Sexual Offences Bill. However the shape and content of that Bill did not allow for its inclusion.

    Next steps

    • Further consideration of this recommendation will form part of the policy and research endeavour of the Risk Management Authority (as provided for in the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003).
    • Further consideration is being given to how this recommendation might be implemented.

    Recommendation 49

    A statutory duty should be placed upon Chief Constables and Chief Social Work Officers to establish joint arrangements for assessing, monitoring and managing risk.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Provisions (Sections 9&10) of the Management of Offenders etc (Scotland) Bill will establish joint arrangements for assessing and managing the risk posed by sex offenders.
    • The Chief Constable and local authority (see recommendation 10) will become responsible authorities under the provisions.
    • In addition the provisions include the Scottish Prison Service to ensure comprehensive coverage.
    • A stage 2 amendment agreed to include Health Services within the joint arrangements to manage the risks posed by Mentally Disordered Offenders who also fall within the group of sex offenders or violent offenders covered by the provisions.
    • Other agencies will be placed under a duty to cooperate with the 3 responsible authorities.

    Next steps

    • Subject to the approval of the Scottish Parliament these provisions will be commenced in 2006.
    • Guidance is being prepared on implementation.

    Recommendation 50

    Recommendation 50: Hospital managers and the Scottish Prison Service should be required to give notification to the police on the release or transfer of patients or prisoners subject to the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Act. The Scottish Executive guidance should be amended to reflect this change and should also take account of the situation where a detained patient is granted leave of absence from hospital.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group Police Division

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Following consideration of a Sewel Motion and accompanying Memorandum, the Scottish Parliament approved a number of changes to increase the effectiveness of the arrangements for sex offender notification. Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 re-enacts with amendments Part 1 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997. Part 2 provides for the sex offender notification requirements (sometimes known as "the sex offenders register").
    • Section 96 of the 2003 Act provides for Hospital managers and the Scottish Prison Service to be required to give notification to the police on the release or transfer of patients or prisoners subject to the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Act.

    Next Steps

    • A consultation exercise with relevant organisations such as the NHS, Mental Welfare Commission and Royal College of Psychiatrists on the content of the Regulations is planned to take place between August and October 2005.
    • Draft Regulations will be presented to Parliament in early 2006 requiring those who are responsible for a relevant sex offender while he is in detention to notify other relevant authorities of his release or transfer to another institution.

    Recommendation 51

    The Scottish Executive should give further consideration to providing a legislative base to allow for the use of electronic monitoring for the highest risk offenders on their release to assist in the monitoring process.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achieved

    • Section 40 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 provides for remote monitoring as a condition of license. Consideration of the proposals is being undertaken with the Parole Board and guidance developed. Provisions were commenced on 12 January 04.

    Next Steps

    • Guidance issued in August 2005
    CHAPTER FIVE: MANAGING THE HOUSING NEEDS OF SEX OFFENDERS

    Recommendation 52

    The Scottish Executive, Communities Scotland, the Local Authorities and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations ( SFHA) should develop a national accommodation strategy for sex offenders in Scotland to assist the management of sex offenders in the community. This strategy should be based on the key principles in the 1999 Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland guidance (the CIH Practice Note on Housing and Sex Offenders in Scotland), with the explicit expectation that sex offenders will be accommodated within their home area, unless in exceptional circumstances. A central clearing house arrangement should be established to deal with exceptional cases in the interests of community safety.

    Scottish Executive, Communities Scotland, SFHA and local authorities

    Lead Department: Development Department

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The Executive funded the CIH to take forward work to inform development of a national accommodation strategy. As part of this work, CIH commissioned research from Glasgow University - " Towards a national accommodation strategy". This report, together with a statement detailing wider action by the Executive, is available on the CIH website.
    • Building on this research and taking account of wider Executive measures already put in place to reduce the risk posed by sex offenders, a short life Group is finalising work on a national accommodation strategy. This Group involves housing, justice, police and social work interests and includes representation from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA), Scottish Federation of Housing Associations ( SFHA), Communities Scotland and the Chartered Institute of Housing ( CIH) to ensure a comprehensive multi-agency approach. The accommodation strategy will be implemented next year.
    • The Executive has commissioned CIH to work with COSLA and the SFHA in updating the 1999 CIHPractice Note on the Housing of Sex Offenders in Scotland. The updated practice guidance is being finalised in parallel with the accommodation strategy to support implementation of the strategy.
    • The management of sex offenders, including exceptional cases, is also being addressed through wider measures involving new legislation and the newly established Risk Management Authority.

    Next Steps

    • Development of the national accommodation strategy and new practice guidance for implementation in early 2006
    • Following introduction of the accommodation strategy and practice guidance Communities Scotland, the regulator for social landlords, will examine policy and practice by social landlords in managing sex offenders, as part of a future thematic study.

    Recommendation 53

    The Scottish Executive should provide funding to enable the local authorities, the SFHA and the relevant professional bodies to develop an education and training programme on good practice in housing sex offenders in the community. The programme would be targeted to housing providers and their management bodies. This should be based on the CIH guidance and should address stakeholder concerns about the responsibilities and limitations imposed on the police, social work and other agencies through implementation of the Sex Offenders Act and; should locate good practice within the context of community safety.

    Scottish Executive, SFHA and other professional bodies

    Lead Department: Development Department

    Status: On Track

    Ongoing CIH education and training programme on positive practice in the housing of sex offenders, which takes into account the Glasgow University report (see recommendation 52).

    The Executive has supported CIH with funding to ensure that good practice in the housing of sex offenders is a priority within its ongoing education and training programme for practitioners. Training has been targeted at housing providers, their management bodies and other relevant practitioners. The seminars and conferences have been well attended by social sector landlords.

    Next Steps

    • Further training and awareness sessions to promote the updated CIH Practice Note following its publication.

    Recommendation 54

    The Homelessness Task Force should ensure that any new guidance relating to the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and the revision of the Code of Guidance on Homelessness take appropriate account both of the need to house sex offenders and of the particular challenges this presents.

    Homelessness Task Force

    Lead Department: Development Department

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • The Homelessness Task Force concluded its report in 2002. The Code of Guidance on Homelessness has been updated and is now available in hard copy and on the Executive website. This promotes the 1999 CIH Practice Note and advises local authorities to put in place multi-agency protocols on how to house sex offenders on release, in line with the Cosgrove recommendations on how to handle homelessness applications from sex offenders. (See recommendation 52)

    Next steps

    • Updating of the Homelessness Code to take into account further developments in the national accommodation strategy for sex offenders in future as appropriate.
    CHAPTER SIX: INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

    Recommandation 55

    In sexual offence cases prosecuted, on indictment, where a plea of guilty is tendered and accepted, the tape recording of the Crown's narrative of the facts of the offence upon which the plea has been agreed, together with anything said on the accused's behalf, should be transcribed and made available to report writers. In summary cases, similar arrangements should be put in place.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Court Service

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Recording equipment is available within the court estate.
    • Achieved in so far as summary proceedings are concerned.

    Next Steps

    • Achievement of this recommendation is dependent on the achievement of recommendation 13, and for solemn cases, recommendation 20.

    Recommendation 56

    Where a sexual offence case has proceeded to trial and conviction, a brief note should be prepared by the trial judge. This should set out the circumstances of the offence as established by the evidence. This note should accompany the request from the court to each report writer.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Court Service

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Achieved in so far as summary proceedings are concerned.

    Next Steps

    • Achievement of this recommendation is dependent on the achievement of recommendation 13, and for solemn cases, recommendation 20.
    • Being progressed by Justice Department, Health Department and the Scottish Court Service.

    Recommendation 57

    As recommended in chapter 2, any information from the Court and all material gathered by report writers should be routinely shared between report writers. Those writing reports should prepare their reports in consultation with each other.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Scottish Court Service

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Section 21 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 providing for the sharing of information / reports between report writers commenced for summary cases.

    Next steps

    • Commencement of section 21 in respect of solemn cases.

    Recommendation 58

    A system should be introduced for flagging, on an offender's record, the existence of a sexual element in any case where the charge is not itself a sexual offence.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Scottish Executive

    Progress: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Initial work in conjunction with SCS/ SCRO and Crown Office confirms that ISCJIS technology will support flagging of records in this way.
    • The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, implements the recommendations of the MacLean Committee and provides a statutory basis to support sharing, collection storage of such information in support of the prosecutor's ability to seek a Risk Assessment Order in appropriate cases.
    • The multi-agency Information Sharing Steering Group, chaired by the Solicitor General, has now concluded its work and has agreed a number of information sharing protocols as well as having produced a concordat that promotes best practice for information sharing between agencies. The guidance on sharing information considered by that group provides a framework for the implementation of the legislative provisions contained within the Management of Offenders Bill, which is currently being considered by parliament.

    Next steps

    • The development of policy and practice in relation to making application to the court that certain sexual or violent offenders are made subject to an Order for Lifelong Restriction.

    Recommendation 59

    The Crown should ensure that in all sexual offence cases it appends to the notice of previous convictions the extract of any previous convictions where it considers that there are factors relating to that previous conviction which ought to be before the court in deciding on the appropriate disposal.

    Crown Office

    Lead Department: Crown Office

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Guidance issued to prosecutors instructing that this procedure to be followed.
    • Review of prosecution of sexual offences announced by Solicitor-General in October 2003. Scoping work completed.

    Next steps

    • Operation of the guidance to be reviewed in context of the review of prosecution of sexual offences. Review to be completed by end of 2005.

    Recommendations 60, 61 & 62

    The Scottish Prison Service, local authorities, hospitals and the Scottish Court Service should build on their existing liaison arrangements to establish effective systems for the transfer of information. Targets for the speed of transfer of information should be set. The effectiveness of transfer arrangements and targets should be monitored.

    The Scottish Prison Service, Local Authorities, Hospitals & the Scottish Court Service

    The social enquiry report and any psychological and psychiatric reports should be made available to the Scottish Prison Service when a prisoner enters custody. The warrant travelling with the prisoner should clearly set out which reports were provided. This should be checked by the Scottish Prison Service and missing reports obtained promptly. The Scottish Court Service should ensure that the trial judge's report is passed on as soon as possible thereafter and the Scottish Prison Service should monitor receipt of these, pursuing outstanding reports as necessary.

    Scottish Court Service & the Scottish Prison Service

    The Scottish Court Service and the Scottish Prison Service should ensure that staff training and procedures cover information transfer and they should monitor the accuracy of recording of information.

    Scottish Court Service & the Scottish Prison Service

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Recommendations 60, 61 & 62 were taken forward by representatives of the Information Sharing Steering Group comprising Scottish Court Service, Scottish Prison Service and Social Work interests. Work to date has focused on transfer of information following conviction and sentence i.e. between SCS and SPS.
    • Following an audit of sample of cases, SCS and SPS have revised arrangements for information transfer including speed and comprehensiveness and set these out in protocols on transfer of information.

    Next Steps

    • A similar audit to be carried out 6 months after the introduction of the protocols to assist in setting performance targets for speed and completeness of transfer of information.
    • To be extended to local authorities and hospitals through work to implement recommendation 64.

    Recommendation 63

    The Scottish Prison Service and local authorities should develop a national protocol determining the pertinent information which must be exchanged at the point of release from custody into the community.

    Scottish Prison Service & Local Authorities

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group / Tripartite Group

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Under Phase 1 of Tripartite Group's enhanced throughcare strategy a local authority supervising officer is allocated at the point of sentence improving throughcare arrangements and exchange of information for all prisoners subject to statutory supervision on release.
    • Revised guidance on schedule 1 offenders (offences against children) and the protocol for the exchange of information at the point of release has been issued Scottish Executive Justice Department ( SEJD Circular 18/2003 refers).

    Next Steps

    • Work underway on development of a protocol on information sharing between SPS and local authorities. Consideration also to be given to the information sharing with the police (see recommendation 50).
    • Work is proceeding on mapping the transfer of information and on defining a data set to encourage electronic transmission between agencies.

    Recommendation 64

    Protocols to provide a framework for information sharing and joint working should be developed. These should draw on the best examples of current good practice and should be kept under review to ensure that they do not degrade and become less useful over time. The development of these protocols should involve liaison with relevant voluntary organisations.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • National Concordat signed by the main agencies in March 2005 to create a framework to encourage and support the appropriate sharing of information.

    Next Steps

    • Following an audit of existing agency protocols, guidance to be issued on developing a model protocol for information sharing and joint working to support local agreements.
    • Agencies to agree local protocols by March 2006.

    Recommendation 65

    The importance of information sharing should be reflected in the key performance indicators of individual agencies.

    Individual Agencies

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • National Standards to set framework for targets within agencies agreed. These were included in the national concordat and will issue as part of the guidance on model protocols.

    Next Steps

    • Individual agencies to implement framework of National Standards addressing procedures and guidance, monitoring and inspection arrangements, annual reports, training protocols as well as data protection and ECHR implications.

    Recommendation 66

    The potential offered by the greater integration of the IT systems of individual agencies should be fully exploited to improve the overall management of information and to ensure that sex offenders can be readily identified.

    ISCJIS Project Board

    Lead Department: Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • The Integration of Scottish Criminal Justice information Systems ( ISCJIS) primary loop now operational for Sheriff Court Summary cases and a manual of data standards has been introduced with standard charge text codes.
    • ISCJIS has improved the speed in which criminal records are updated, with court disposals now updating records usually within 24 hours or within a maximum of 3 days. (Pre- ISCJIS, it could take a prolonged period of time.)
    • All agencies have agreed a set of flags/aggravators which means that all cases of a sexual nature will be flagged with the appropriate aggravator.
    • Revisions of the Standard Police Report is underway

    Next Steps

    • Ongoing work within SCS to extend electronic reporting of sheriff solemn and high court proceedings.
    • Prison participation (automatic release of prisoners notified automatically to SCRO) currently being tested.
    • Consider links to e-care project.

    Recommendation 67

    The management of social work and other files should be improved through:

    • a checklist of key information sources attached to the front of each file
    • better section headings so that routine correspondence does not restrict access to important documents
    • reduction of redundancy and repetition.

    Individual Agencies

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Following an audit of Local Authority practice an action plan agreed with ADSW and SPS.
    • SPS has revised its practice to reduce duplication and rationalise information.

    Next Steps

    • ADSW has agreed to implement action plan.

    Recommendation 68

    The following terms should be developed and used by all agencies in order to ensure greater common understanding: registered; non-registered; un-registered; potential/ suspected sex offenders; vulnerable adult; sexually aggressive young people.

    Scottish Executive

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: Achieved

    Achievements

    • Glossary of terms agreed and forms part of national concordat.

    Next Steps

    • Glossary of terms will also be issued to main agencies as part of the guidance on information sharing protocols.

    Recommendation 69

    Criminal justice social workers should attend meetings of the Parole Board as part of their training and factual information about the Board's functions should be made available to social workers. Supervising social workers should receive, as a matter of routine, the relevant parts of the parole dossier and the relevant sections of the Minutes of the Board.

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: On track:

    Achievements

    • Parole Board already make information about its functions publicly available on its website. Social workers receive a copy of the prisoner's dossier and Parole Board minutes. Social workers may also attend Parole Board meetings/Tribunals as part of their induction training.
    • Guidance being prepared for SWs on the new oral hearings process for recalled determinate sentence offenders.
    • Social work education being reformed. One of the key objectives of the new model dossier being piloted currently is to enable easier access to better quality information.
    • Parole Board signatory to the Concordat developed by ISSG.

    Next Steps

    • Consideration to be given to developing additional forms of training about the operation of the Parole Board. Parole Board and Parole and Life Sentence Review Division committed to providing development assistance. Criminal Justice Development Centre to be consulted on how this might be achieved.
    • Suggested that Throughcare National Standards guidance be revisited to check whether they provide enough detailed information of the Board's work.
    • In the longer term, consideration to be given to include information on the role of the Parole Board in University programmes for criminal justice social workers.
    • Parole Board to consider ways of establishing stronger links with LA social work practitioners including whether Board member could have a role in SW training.

    Recommendation 70

    There should be joint training of agencies to facilitate the development of shared understanding and effective communication. Such training should be in the form of modules with clearly defined topics relevant and useful to individual agencies.

    Individual Agencies

    Lead Department: Justice Department - Information Sharing Steering Group

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Following an audit of current joint training practices, joint training arranged for local authorities, Scottish Prison Service and Voluntary Organisations on Throughcare issues.
    • Up to 500 police and social workers jointly trained on the use of Risk Matrix 2000 by the end 2005

    Next Steps

    • Justice Sector Skills Council scope joint criminal justice training to link with implementation of sections 9&10 of the Management of Offenders etc (Scotland) Bill.

    Recommendation 71

    Information, guidance and training should be provided to prosecutors and the judiciary to increase understanding of the nature and special features of sex offending and its prosecution.

    Judicial Studies Board

    Lead Department: Justice Department/Crown Office

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • Guidance issued to Procurators Fiscal on a range of specific sexual offences and their prosecutions.
    • Guidance available to Procurators Fiscal on dealing with victims of rape and serious sexual offences. Revised guidance to be issued.
    • Revised and updated guidance issued to prosecutors on prosecution of serious offences, including detailed guidance on investigation and prosecution of sexual offences.
    • Review of prosecution of sexual offences announced by Solicitor-General in October 2003. Scoping work completed.
    • The Judicial Studies Committee dealt with aspects of sex offending in its refresher courses held during 2003.

    Next steps

    • Review and prosecution of sexual offences - including revision of guidance and training as appropriate - to be completed by September 2005.
    • Revised guidance on dealing with victims including victims of rape and sexual offences to be issued by March 2004.
    • Modular training programme on Prosecution of Sexual Offences to be developed for Procurators Fiscal. Programme to be available from June 2005.
    • In November 2003 the Judicial Studies Committee, who organise all training for judges and sheriffs, began a series of seminars dealing with sexual offences. These seminars are now a regular part of the refresher programme which judges and sheriffs will undertake on a regular basis.

    Recommendation 72

    The Crown should consider leading evidence to assist the jury in a sexual offence trial to understand the likely behavioural impact on the victim of a sexual crime.

    The Crown Office

    Lead Department: Crown Office

    Status: On track

    Achievements

    • General information can already be given if it does not seek to comment on the credibility or reliability of an individual. Doubt was cast on this by the case of HMA -v- Grimmond 2001 SCCR 708 where such evidence was heard by the court to be inadmissible. Although a contrary view was expressed in AJE -v- HMA 2002 SCCR 341 that case did not consider the Grimmond judgement.
    • Over the next three years there will be phased implementation of the provisions of the Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004. The first phase, on 1 April 2005, implemented certain provisions of the Act so as to apply to criminal proceedings. Consequently, expert evidence from a psychiatrist or psychologist can now be admitted in sheriff summary and solemn cases involving sexual offences for the purpose of explaining the subsequent behaviour or statement of the complainer to rebut any inference adverse to the credibility or reliability of the complainer which might otherwise be drawn from his/her behaviour or statement.

    Next steps

    • A rolling programme of training has been developed and delivered to prosecutors on Phase 1 implementation of the Act. This training continues to be rolled out with a further training programme to be developed and rolled out in relation to Phase 2 (1 April 2006).

    Recommendation 73

    Good practice guidance for dealing with young witnesses should be available for the judiciary in sexual offence cases. Similar guidance should also be available for practitioners.

    The Crown Office

    Lead Department: Crown Office

    Status: Achieved

    Achieved

    • Guidance on interviewing child witnesses and questioning children in court published and launched jointly by Justice Minister and the Lord Advocate in September 2004. Therefore this recommendation has been fully implemented.