Significant Case Review Report into Prisoner Z by Independent Reviewer, Mark Cooper on behalf of Tayside MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group

Published on Tuesday 26 November 2019

Statement by Elaine Torrance, Independent Chair of the Tayside MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group - 

“This Significant Case Review was initiated by the Tayside MAPPA Strategic Oversight Group and commissioned by Angus Council following a vicious and unprovoked attack on an innocent member of the public.

“As this important report is published (www.angus.gov.uk/SCRprisonerZ) uppermost in my thoughts and those of everyone involved in the Tayside MAPPA is the victim of this appalling crime.

“They have suffered significant physical and emotional harm and we recognise the distress this has caused to their family and to previous families and individuals who have suffered as a consequence of this individual’s actions. We deeply regret that this incident happened.

“I am sorry they had to endure this dreadful experience and for everything that they have gone through.

“In delivering a thorough, independent review of the events and circumstances that led up to this serious offence, the report concludes that this incident was as a consequence of the perpetrator’s actions alone and could not have been predicted.

“Nonetheless, there are a number of findings within the SCR that lead to ten recommendations that I am confident will ensure strengthened policy and practice in public protection.

“I am very appreciative of the role that the victim has played in this SCR and their dignity, drive and determination they have shown in seeking systemic improvement to try to ensure the protection of others.

“Throughout this review, the team involved in this SCR has tried to ensure that the victim and close family have been as involved as possible in discussions about the review and they have been available to hear and understand their concerns.

“I hope the publication of this report provides them with the details of the events leading up to the attack and the role of the agencies involved.

“A common purpose of significant case reviews is to identify and recommend actions that will strengthen, change and improve future arrangements and practice. In this regard, it has not been about apportioning blame to individuals and I extend my thanks to staff involved. They have participated openly, fully and with integrity.

“This has been a complex review - involving multiple agencies and professionals, each with their own area of expertise, arrangements and processes.

“The subject complexity, the need to work across agency and geographical boundaries and adhere to data protection legislation has resulted in this report taking some time to complete and publish. It is also unusual in that it involves the Scottish Prison Service as the lead agency managing the individual’s case at the time of the incident.

“I firmly believe that all individuals involved in this case did their best to manage this individual and the associated risks. However, as the SCR details, there were opportunities where more effective information sharing between agencies and clarification of roles and responsibilities may have ensured more thorough decision making and management of risk to the public.

“The recommendations from the review are wide ranging, with some national actions identified, as well as learning for arrangements in Tayside.

“Early learning has been shared and action already taken to implement improvements where they were identified. These include –

  • New risk management progression and release guidance implemented by the Scottish Prison Service
  • Revised community access risk assessment guidance put in place
  • Review of MAPPA minute taking and chair arrangements carried out 

“An action plan has been produced that will deliver on the report’s recommendations with clear timescales attached. It will be closely monitored to ensure actions are completed in a timely way and any change to improve public protection is delivered.

“Every day, the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) in Tayside supports a significant number of offenders in the community in an effective way, but we recognise that improvement can always be made.

“We are all committed to ensure that the learning from this case review is shared and action is taken to meet the recommendations in this review. In doing so, we can continue to assure the ongoing safety of the public.”