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Get involved with rehabilitation plans for serious offenders

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 13, 2014

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MEMBERS of the Ashbourne public are being invited to play a part in the arrangements established to manage sexual, violent and other serious offenders in the community.

Derbyshire Constabulary, the Derbyshire Probation Trust and the Prison Service, who are responsible for Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) in the county, are looking for a volunteer lay adviser to join the strategic management board which oversees the arrangements.

MAPPA is the means by which agencies in the county work together to best protect communities from the serious harm that some offenders may still present after being convicted of a crime.

Established in 2001, the arrangements allow different organisations to share information about sexual, violent and other dangerous offenders, assessing and managing their risk of re-offending.

The volunteer is not expected to be an expert on the arrangements and no formal qualifications are necessary.

Training will be provided to help the person appointed to become familiar with the role.

They will be expected to attend quarterly meetings and help prepare the annual report, among other duties.

Assistant Chief Constable Karl Smetham, who chairs the management board, said: “We all recognise the importance of public protection and lay advisers bring a valuable viewpoint from the communities in which they live and work.

“They make an important contribution to the safety of our communities.”

One lay member, Liz Ramsay, already sits on the board.

Mrs Ramsay has experience of working in the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors.

She has worked for a youth volunteering project based at Community Action Derby, which encouraged young people to carry out voluntary work.

She has also worked at a women’s refuge and at a hostel for former offenders.

She said: “I would be really pleased to have another member of the public join me to help put forward the views and concerns of people who live and work in Derbyshire.

“You don’t need to have a particular background but you do need to be able to come to meetings and feel able to speak to the professionals there.

“You need to ask the questions that they might not think are important, but that the general public does.”

More information about MAPPA can be found at www.derbyshire.police.uk/Safety-advice/Personal-Safety/MAPPA.aspx

Mrs Ramsay added: “I would ask people to look at the website, find out more about MAPPA and the voluntary role and decide if it’s right for you.”

Anyone interested in applying for the role should visit the Volunteer With Us section of the Derbyshire Constabulary website at www.derbyshire.police.uk/Careers/Volunteer-With-Us/MAPPA-Lay-Adviser.aspx

The closing date for applications is March 31.

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