Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme for Dorset
A Home Office scheme allowing members of the public to enquire whether an adult who has access to a child is a Registered Child Sex Offender is being rolled out across Dorset.
The Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme has been trialled in four police forces over the past year and from 1 October 2010 will be launched in Dorset.
The force-wide roll out means that for the first time parents, carers, guardians and third parties (such as friends, neighbours and grandparents) in Dorset, will be able to make an application for disclosure about someone who has contact with a child.
Under the scheme, those applying for information must live in Dorset and be making an application about someone who also lives within the county.
Disclosure cannot be guaranteed in all cases, but the safeguarding of children will be the key determining factor.
Disclosure will usually be made to those people who are in the best position to protect a child from harm, such as parents, carers or guardians.
Dorset Police Disclosure Scheme lead, Detective Inspector Sarah Derbyshire, said: "Pilot schemes undertaken in other parts of the country have been very well received by those living within trial areas. As a result, we are pleased to adopt the Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme in Dorset for the first time.
"Dorset Police works extremely hard to safeguard children within our communities and we are keen to adopt this new service to further strengthen our safeguarding procedures.
"We would urge anyone who has a concern about the welfare of their children to please come forward and talk to us."
The scheme builds on existing processes to proactively manage Registered Sex Offenders by the force’s Public Protection Unit under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).
Disclosure to parents, carers and guardians of children who may be at risk already takes place.
Dorset is one of eighteen forces to roll out the scheme from 1 October 2010, with four forces, Hampshire, Cambridgeshire, Cleveland and Warwickshire, having just completed a twelve month trial of the scheme.
Parents who have immediate concerns about the safety of their child can and should contact Dorset Police on 01305 or 01202 222 222 at any time – the force already has a public protection team to deal with such issues.
For further information about recognising the signs of child sex abuse members of the public can also call the Stop It Now! helpline on 0808 1000 900.