Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme

IMG_6047Threats 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.

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme 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 to ask the police to tell them about a person's record of child sex offences if they are concerned about that person's access to a child.

In addition, the police may also disclose information about a person who poses a risk of harm to children due to a history of serious violence or where they have been suspected of sex offences.

Under MAPPA, police and probation already disclose information about registered sex offenders and violent offenders in a controlled way to a variety of people, including head teachers, leisure centre managers, employers, landlords and parents. The disclosure scheme is an additional tool that the police can use to keep children safe.

Disclosure will only happen if the police believe there is a need to protect a child and that it is necessary and proportionate. Information will only be disclosed to the person best-placed to protect the child and anyone receiving this information must keep it confidential and use it only to protect the child concerned.

Anyone who breaches the confidence of the UK scheme may have action taken against them by the police.

Members of the public can submit a disclosure request to the police by letter, phone, at a police station or by speaking directly to any police officer. The request will be managed by a specialist unit, who will contact the requester once the request has been recorded on the force's database. The police will require information about the requester, the child believed to be at risk and the person concerned about. If you think a child is in immediate danger call 999 at any time and your concern will be dealt with under existing child protection arrangements.

Click here for MAPPA Guidance Chapter 10 - Disclosure: The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme