Sex offender disclosure scheme will operate in all forces in England and Wales by April.
Children in all 43 police force areas in England and Wales are better protected thanks to the final rollout of the child sex offender disclosure scheme, the Home Secretary has announced.
Under the scheme anyone can ask the police to check whether people who have contact with children pose a risk.
If the individual has convictions for sexual offences against children or poses a risk of causing harm then the police can chose to disclose this information to the parent, carer or guardian.
A phased introduction began in August 2010 following a successful 12 month pilot in four police force areas. By 4 April 2011, all 43 police forces will be running the scheme.
Strict system for managing offenders
Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘Having this scheme in operation across all police forces in England and Wales means more children have a greater chance of being protected from potential harm.
‘The UK already has one of the strictest systems for managing known sex offenders in the world, but this scheme will further enhance our ability to safeguard children in this country and also assists the police in managing offenders living in the wider community.’
As part of the drive to protect children from harm a website www.parentsprotect.co.uk was set up by campaign groups Stop it Now! UK and Ireland and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.
The site aims to raise awareness of the issue of child sexual abuse, answer questions and give parents and carers the information they need to help safeguard their children.