8.1 This section explains how the ViSOR database operates and supports MAPPA.

8.2 ViSOR provides a central store for up-to-date information about offenders that can be accessed and updated by the three Responsible Authority agencies - the police, the Prison Service (both public and the contracted-out estate) and the Probation Service. ViSOR operates in other UK jurisdictions and it is potentially a vital component for any cross-border transfer discussions. It is available to police forces in Scotland, Jersey and Northern Ireland, the British Transport Police and the Royal Military Police, as well as to all Scottish prisons, mental health bodies and Scottish Criminal Justice Social Work departments.

8.3 Cases in ViSOR are known as "nominals."

8.4 The benefits of ViSOR are as follows.

  • ViSOR provides a secure database, graded as CONFIDENTIAL, enabling the prompt sharing of risk assessment and risk management information on individual offenders who are deemed to pose a risk of serious harm to the public.
  • ViSOR improves the capacity to share intelligence and improves the safe transfer of key information when these offenders move between areas. This enhances public protection measures.
  • In addition, ViSOR provides the opportunity to access some level of consistent management information to support the Strategic Management Board ("SMB") in performance analysis and improved working practices.
  • It will also provide information for the MAPPA annual reports.
  • It acts as a central store for the minutes of MAPP meetings.
  • There is new functionality on ViSOR which allows for the specific recording of Notification requirements for both Registered Violent Offenders (subject to Violent Offender Orders) and Registered Terrorist Offenders (subject to notification under the Part 4 Notification Requirements of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008).

Standard - SMBs must ensure that there is an objective regarding the integrated and cohesive usage of ViSOR by the Responsible Authority agencies in their MAPPA Business Plan

8.5 ViSOR usage within the MAPPA area should be a routine topic for discussion, review and action within SMB meetings.