Public Accountability within PPANI

What are Lay Advisers?

Article 51(2) of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 allows the Department of Justice to appoint two Lay Advisers to the PPANI Strategic Management Board. The Lay Advisers role is to provide a challenge to the professionals by acting as a ‘critical friend’.They bring to the oversight function their understanding and perspective of public protection issues away from the professional viewpoint.  Their activities include:
  • Attending Strategic Management Board meetings
  • Contribute to the monitoring and evaluation of the operation of PPANI
  • Attending LAPPP meetings
  • Attending the subgroups of the SMB
  • Participating in media communications and education awareness alongside the communications subgroup.


The website will provide detailed information and an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about these arrangements

About Public Accountability within PPANI

PPANI SMB invited BBC NI to a “behind the scences” of the working of Public Protection Arrangements to help inform the public of the arrangements in practice.


Who are the Lay Advisers?

Joe Blake

My name is Joe Blake .  I was appointed as a Lay Member to PPANI in June 2013.

Beyond my work I have a particular interest in carers and sit on the Board of Carers Matter in Banbridge.  I live in Belfast and am married with one son.

I am a qualified Social Worker with a backgroud in Social Services, Criminal Justice and the Voluntary Sector.  As such I am aware of the issues and complexities of keeping the Public safe from convicted violent and sexual offenders.  All of us face challenges in addressing the supervision of some of the most violent individuals in our society.  All of us face challenges in addressing the supervision of some of the most violent individuals in our society.  It is an on-going and difficult task.  None more so than for the agencies working together through PPANI to minimise the risks these individuals pose to the public.

I am currently self-employed working mostly with community and voluntary sector organisations in developing their standards across a range of issues and circumstances.  In my work public protection is a concern for both individuals and organisations.  They too are increasingly aware of and responding to the need to ensure that they are protecting those with whom they work.

My current work allows me to get a sense of public concerns and to feed these into the PPANI process.  It also allows me to promote the work of PPANI to a range of community organisations so they better understand this work and the processes involved in public protection.

My role is fully independent of the agencies engaged in PPANI and my involvement is encouraged in all areas of the work of the organisation.  This includes attendance at:

  • Local Area Public Panels across Northern Ireland where individual cases are reviewed on a regular basis;
  • The Strategic Management Board (SMB) which oversees the PPANI process
  • Sub groups of SMB; and
  • Public events promoted by or attended by PPANI.

This is an important role in PPANI and I look forward to working closely with all the partners and ensuring the public perspective is recognised and continues to be valued.


Jonathan Patton

Jonathan brings over 30 years of experience in the Private Sector, most of it at senior management and director level, to the role at PPANI.  His expertise and understanding extends across the recruitment and training, transport and logistics, manufacturing and FMCG sectors.

Having worked at various locations from Belfast to London and Edinburgh, his responsibilities have included sales and marketing roles in UK, ROI, European and USA markets.

Opting to pursue working with the Public and Voluntary Sectors, he set up his own Management Consultancy company in 2005 where his knowledge and expertise in governance, strategic planning and project management are the primary demands for the charties and private sector business he now works with.

Volunteering is a cause close to his heart and he has given many hours to several local Charties thoughout his career working primarily with vulnerable and at risk adults and young people.

Previous independent role appointments held have been with EHSSB, SHSSB, Independent Monitoring Board for Prisons and the Parades Commission.  Currently he serves as, a Non-Executive Director at the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, as a Lay Member with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, as a Lay Representative with the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency, as an Independent Assessor with the Commissioner for Public Appointments and as a Lay Member with the Disciplinary Committee of the General Council of the Bar of Northern Ireland.


Annual Reports

The Strategic Management Board (SMB) has a statutory function to prepare and publish an Annual Report of the public protection arrangements in Northern Ireland (PPANI)  This report provides the public with an overview of how the arrangements have operated in the previous year, and any significant changes to the arrangements.  The Annual Report addresses the PPANI SMB Business Plan and how the objectives were met.

The latest Annual Report is available to download

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