Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme rolled out in Lancashire

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure (CSOD) scheme has been launched in Lancashire as part of the national roll out.

The scheme means that anyone can ask the police to check whether an individual who has access to children has committed any child sexual offences.

Disclosure will take 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.

During a pilot of the scheme, 87 per cent of applicants were parents or guardians and they were most frequently concerned about neighbours, ex or new partners, family members or friends of family members.

Detective Superintendant Ian Critchley, Lancashire Constabulary’s Head of Public Protection, said: “The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme provides members of the public with a formal way to check whether people who have contact with their children are a possible risk, and it will help parents, carers or guardians ensure that their children are safe, and also assists the police in managing known sex offenders living in the community more effectively.

“We already have a robust system to manage sexual and violent offenders through Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements and we work very closely with our partners in the prison and probation service to keep our children safe.

“We already disclose information about registered sexual offenders and violent offenders in a controlled way and to a variety of people including head teachers, leisure centre managers, employers and landlords, as well as parents.”

• More information: www.lancashire.police.uk

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