Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme
The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, also known as Sarah’s Law, has been developed to improve access to information that may help protect children from the risk of abuse.
The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, also known as Sarah’s Law, has been developed to improve access to information that may help protect children from the risk of abuse. The scheme allows parents, carers, guardians or interested third parties who have a safeguarding responsibility to ask the police about a person’s record of child sex offences if they are concerned about that person’s access to a child.
Threats to a child’s safety are more likely to originate from a family member or family friend than a complete stranger. The vast majority of child sex offenders are related to or known to their victim.
How can I request information?
A disclosure request can be made to North Yorkshire Police by calling 101.
What information will I need to apply for a disclosure?
Basic information about yourself, including name, date of birth, address and preferred methods of contact will initially be taken. You will then be asked questions about the person you are concerned about and providing as much information as you can will be beneficial – do you know their full name, address, age or date of birth, and where they work?
You will also be asked about why you are calling – what has raised your suspicions.
Please note: If you are not the child’s parent then you will need to provide information on the parent. This will be used in the event a disclosure needs to be made to them.
What information will be disclosed?
We will only disclose information when we believe there is a need to protect a child. In most cases this will be confirmation that a person is a registered sex offender and if appropriate, when they were convicted.
Will the person be aware that I have made a request for disclosure?
No. We will not give the details of a person who has asked for a disclosure, however, in some circumstances, it may be obvious who has asked for the information.
How will the information be disclosed to me?
Each disclosure is different and dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
In the event that a disclosure is being made this will be done face-to-face by prior appointment.
It is important to note that even if you have applied for a disclosure, if you are not the primary carer for a child or in a safeguarding role, then information will not be provided to you. On occasions where there is the need for a disclosure, information will instead be provided to the primary carer of a child or those in a safeguarding role – even if they have not asked for the information.
Who can I tell about the disclosure?
In the event of a disclosure we will ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement asking you to use the information to safeguard any children who may be at risk.
Will I receive a response either way?
Yes. Someone will contact you with an outcome usually within 72 hours of a request.
Please remember it is everyone’s responsibility to keep children safe from harm and just because a disclosure has not been made about a person, if you believe there is a risk, take measures to keep children safe.