Use scheme to help protect kids at risk

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People are being encouraged to come forward and use the Child Sex Offender Disclosure (CSOD) scheme.

The national scheme – which has been running in Lancashire for two years - means that anyone can ask the police to check whether an individual who has access to children has committed any child sexual offences.

But the numbers of people applying for disclosure has reduced in the last 12 months and police are encouraging anyone who has concerns whether people who have contact with their children are a possible risk to use the scheme.

Since April 2011 Lancashire has received 152 enquiries which have been classified under the child sex offender disclosure classification. This breaks down into 60 referrals in 2011, 70 in 2012 and 23 up to 30 April 2013. Out of this number we have disclosed in six instances.

Disclosure takes 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 then disclosure may also be considered utilising existing processes and procedures.

During a pilot of the scheme, 87% of applicants were parents or guardians most frequently concerned about neighbours, ex or new partners, family or friends. Call police on 101.