Child Sexual Offender Disclosure Scheme
Thames Valley Police is joining the Child Sexual Offender Disclosure Scheme as of 1 August 2010.
This will be the second phase of a pilot which was developed in consultation with Sara Payne (the Victim’s Champion), the police and children’s charities. It has been a major step forward in our ability to protect children from sex offenders and also to empower parents and guardians to understand how to best protect their children.
What is the Child Sexual Offender Disclosure Scheme?
In June 2007, the Government published the ‘Review of the Protection of Children from Sex Offenders’. As a result, the Disclosure Scheme was introduced in four police forces to pilot a new approach to dealing with the disclosure of information relating to child sexual offences. The Disclosure Scheme aimed to fulfil action four of the review, which stated that the Government would:
Pilot a process where members of the public can register their child protection interest in a named individual. Where this individual has convictions for child sex offences and is considered a risk, there will be a presumption that this information will be disclosed to the relevant member of the public.
From 1 August 2010, 20 other police forces, including Thames Valley Police, will be involved in the second phase of the pilot, with the aim of incorporating all forces by March 2011.
Who is the scheme for?
The principal aim of this scheme is to provide parents, guardians and carers with information that will enable them to better safeguard their children.
Any person can make an application about a person (the subject) who has some form of contact with a child or children but they may not be the person who receives the disclosure.
For example, the parent, carer or guardian who was the original applicant may be estranged from the family and not in a position to protect the child or children concerned. Therefore, disclosure may be made to the other parent or a carer or guardian who is in a position to protect the child.
In order to raise public confidence, the scheme is not restricted to convicted child sexual offenders - it can also include any person who poses a risk of harm to children. For example:
Persons who are convicted of other offences - for example, serious domestic violence.
Persons who are un-convicted but whom the police or any other agency holds intelligence on indicating that they pose a risk of harm to children.
Your right to ask
To make an enquiry, please call Thames Valley Police on 101. This will start the following process:
- Initial contact - Details of your enquiry will be taken over the telephone.
- Face-to-face meeting - You will be seen in a face-to-face meeting within ten days. You will need to provide proof of your identity and your relationship to the child or children if applicable.
- Empowerment/education - You will be given an information pack on the Disclosure Scheme.
- Disclosure or non-disclosure - Following a staged risk assessment and decision-making process, we will inform you that either: there have been no concerns raised by your enquiry and therefore there is nothing to disclose, or we will make a disclosure to the person best placed to protect the child or children.