The national scheme means that anyone can ask the police to check whether an individual who has access to children has committed any child sexual offences. Rolled out nationally in 2010, the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme was developed in consultation with Sara Payne, the former victims' champion and mother of Sarah Payne, along with the police, and children's charities.
Disclosure takes place if that person has convictions for sexual offences against children and there is reasonable cause to believe a child is in danger of being seriously harmed. Details of previous convictions will be disclosed to the person who is best placed to protect the child.
If the person has other information held about them relevant to safeguarding children – for example serial domestic abuse perpetrators, then disclosure may also be considered utilising existing processes and procedures.
How to apply for information
To contact the police you can:
- visit a police station
- phone the non-emergency number - 101 (unless you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to a child. Then you should call 999).
We will ask you:
- the name of the person requesting the information
- the name of the child
- the name of the person you are requesting information about
- whether the person in question has unsupervised access to the child
- If you have any immediate/imminent concerns for the safety of the child