Scheme will allow parents to check for sex offenders

A scheme to allow parents to check for sex offenders or whether a person poses a risk to their children is being launched by Bedfordshire Police on Sunday.

The Home Office’s Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme is also being launched by police in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex but at the moment Hertfordshire will not be joining the scheme.

The scheme allows parents, carers, guardians and members of the public to request information from police about an individual in contact with, or with access to, children.

While any member of the public can also make an application, any disclosure will only be given to those people best placed to protect the children involved. If the individual has a record for child sexual offences then information may be given to a parent, carer or guardian.

Police will verify all applications to ensure they qualify under the scheme, to weed out malicious calls and ensure any disclosure of information is made only to those people in a position to protect children from harm.

Det Insp Paul Cook, of the Child Abuse Investigation Unit at Bedfordshire Police, said: “This scheme will enable people to either put their minds at rest or alert ourselves, social services and the carers of children to the presence of a sex offender with access to their children.

“It is not intended to identify offenders who do not have access to children.”

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Anyone wishing to request information should contact police on 01234 841212.