Sex offender pilot expanded

By staff

A controversial scheme allowing parents to check if someone close to their children has a history of sex offending will be expanding.

The scheme, which originally operated in Warwickshire, is now in force in Hampshire, Cambridge, and Cleveland.

So far, police have received 79 requests for information and disclosed in ten cases.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith said: “This pilot has provided crucial protection for children who might otherwise be at risk.

“There will be a full evaluation of the pilot at the end of the year and if it concludes that the pilot has been a success then I will be seeking to roll out the scheme nationally.”

Sara Payne, mother of murdered girl Sarah and the government’s victims’ champion, is backing the expansion.

Under the scheme, parents, carers and guardians can ask for information on the people with access to their children, and police are obliged to communicate the information if the it is “necessary and proportionate” to protect the child.