Sex offender community disclosure scheme: overview

How to apply to the police for information if you have concerns about someone's access to a child.

Examples of Disclosure Requests

Scenario 1

''My daughter's new boyfriend wants to look after her child all the time - so much so that I never see my grandson any more. I'm worried. It doesn't feel normal. Is there anything I can do?''

Concerns raised by grandparents, friends and those associated with the family as well as concerns from family members will be checked. This is part of the normal child protection procedures in place and happens in all areas across the country.

Scenario 2

"I don't like the look of my neighbour and she is rude to me. Can I check her out?"

Not unless you are concerned about your neighbour's relationship with certain children. The purpose of community disclosure is to protect children. The police will want to know on what grounds you want to check out your neighbour and which children he or she has access to. The police also have a duty to explore why this is being requested to ensure that it is not malicious.

Scenario 3

''I'm a single mum and I've got a new partner. I don't know very much about his past and I want to make sure my children are safe with him. What can I do?"

You can ask the police to check whether your partner has a record for sexual offences against children.

If it turns out that your partner has such a record, and is thought to be a serious risk to your children, the police will take appropriate action to protect you and your children. This may include disclosure of information to you.

If the investigation does not reveal any record of sexual offences against children, but there are other reasons which mean the police might be worried about the safety of your children - for example, if the person has a record of domestic violence - the police will take steps to protect your family which may include considering disclosing to you the previous offences of domestic violence.

If at any time the police are concerned about the safety of your children, or you, they will act very quickly to protect you.

However, you should be aware that police checks are not a guarantee of safety because not all child sexual offenders have been detected.


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