Sarah’s Law ‘working to protect county’s children’

Disclosure Law: Introduced after the death of Sarah Payne
Disclosure Law: Introduced after the death of Sarah Payne
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There have been 196 requests by Lancashire parents concerned about sex offenders since new laws were introduced, the Evening Post can reveal.

Lancashire Constabulary introduced the child sex offender disclosure scheme - informally known as Sarah’s Law - in April 2011.

Of the applications, there have been six disclosures made by the force to relatives worried about someone who has close contact with a child.

Disclosures are only made if a person has a prior conviction for child related offences.

The convictions which have resulted in disclosure have been sexual assault and indecent image related offences.

Det Supt Ian Critchley, head of public protection at Lancashire police, said: “Lancashire Constabulary has always welcomed this legislation and would encourage anybody who has concerns around the safeguarding and risk presented to a child to make contact with us, where their concerns relate to an individual who has access to children.

“We consider each application on its own merit and ensure that whatever information is held about an individual or person who presents a risk is disclosed if it best protects a child.

“We have made disclosures since the inception of the legislation as we believe together with parents, carers and partner organisations we can then take the necessary action to protect children in our communities.”

In 2011 there were 60 applications, in 2012 there were 70, and in 2013, 66.

The laws were introduced across England and Wales after a campaign by Sara Payne, mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah.

Sarah was killed by sex offender Roy Whiting in 2000.