Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme
There is a service now available to parents, carers or guardians in Northamptonshire allowing them to ask the police whether a person who has significant contact with their child or young person has a record for sexual offences against children.
The scheme is in response to calls for a ‘Sarah’s Law’ following the murder of Sarah Payne by a known sex offender in 2000. The proposal for Sarah’s Law was based on Megan’s Law in the USA, in which details about sex offenders are made public so that anyone can find out if a sex offender is living in their community or elsewhere. The CSODS is not Sarah’s Law. Details about sex offenders will not be made generally available to the public.
If police or checks with partner agencies show that the individual in question does have a record of sexual offences against children, or other offences that might put a child or young person at risk, consideration will be given to sharing this information with the parent, carer or guardian.
Any member of the public can approach the police with concerns about a named individual and all concerns will be investigated. However, where it is considered necessary and appropriate to release information, such disclosure will only be made to the parent, carers or guardian directly -
not to the third party who made the initial enquiry.
Information will only be disclosed to a parent, carer or guardian when providing such information will increase protection for a child or young person.
For more information about the service, you can dial 101 or you can also visit the front desk of your local police station.
How will this service help to protect children in Northamptonshire?
This service enables parents, carers or guardians to request information about people involved in their child's life if they are concerned that he or she might be a registered child sexual offender - for example, if a single parent wants to find out more about their new partner.
It does not replace checks done by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) or the new Vetting and Barring process run by the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
How can this service help?
Northamptonshire Police agreed to adopt the scheme because, where appropriate, disclosure to carers, parents or guardians could help increase protection for a child or young person.
Only 20 per cent of child sexual offences are carried out by strangers. The majority of child sexual offenders are known to their victims. They are often a member of the family, a friend of the victim, or a friend of the victim's family. This is why this service allows you to better protect your child from harm.
Can I access this service?
You can access this service if:
- Both you and the person you are asking about live in Northamptonshire.
- If you are a parent, carer or guardian of the child involved in the enquiry.
Any member of the public can approach the police with concerns about a named individual and all concerns will be investigated. However, where it is considered necessary and appropriate to release information, such disclosure will made to the parent, carer or guardian directly - not to the third party who made the initial enquiry.
How can I contact Northamptonshire Police?
You can also visit the front desk of your local police station.
We have provided the forms in both PDF and fillable Word documents - please see below