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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme - wider scope

  • Published: Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme lets parents ask police if someone who has contact with their child is a sex offender. After a successful pilot in four areas, eight more areas are joining the scheme in August. Twelve more areas will join by the autumn.

Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme is being extended after successful pilots in four police force areas. Under the scheme a parent, carer, guardian or another interested party can ask the police to check whether someone who has access to their children has a record of child sexual offences. 

If they have convictions for sexual offences against children, and pose a risk of causing serious harm to the child or children, then this information may be disclosed.

Results of the pilot scheme

The pilot scheme in the four areas saw:

  • a total of 585 enquiries and 315 applications, mainly from parents, carers and guardians
  • 21 disclosures made about registered child sex offenders
  • 11 general disclosures made, for example in cases relating to protection issues linked to violent offending
  • 43 additional cases leading to a range of other child safeguarding actions such as referrals to children’s social care

Some of the cases seen in the pilot force areas involved concerns raised by neighbours or extended family members. Their actions led to children being protected from potential harm.

Areas currently covered by the scheme

The existing areas covered by the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme are Cambridgeshire, Cleveland, Hampshire and Warwickshire. Joining the scheme from August 2010 are:

  • Bedfordshire
  • Essex
  • Norfolk
  • North Yorkshire
  • Suffolk
  • Thames Valley
  • West Mercia
  • West Midlands

Twelve further areas will join the scheme by the autumn, and the rest of the country will be invited to join by spring 2011.

If you are concerned about the safety of your children, you can and should go to any police force at any time about your concerns. Every force already has a public protection team to deal with these issues.

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