New crackdown on paedophiles

A NEW scheme which aims to protect children from paedophiles is to be introduced in Suffolk next month, police have announced.

The Child Sexual Offender Disclosure Process gives those directly responsible for children the opportunity to be given information about individuals who have unsupervised access to them.

The scheme allows previous sex offences that person may have committed against children to be revealed to parents, and others safeguarding youngsters.

Detective Inspector Duncan Sheppard, head of Suffolk Constabulary’s public protection unit, said: “This new process is a carefully -managed disclosure to people who have direct responsibility for a child’s safety, rather than a blanket release of information to anyone.

“People can apply if they have concerns about an individual who has unsupervised access to a child, and possesses a significant risk of harm to that child.

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“All they need to do from August 2 is telephone 01473 613500 and ask to make an application under the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Process.

“They will be asked some detailed questions about themselves, the child, and the person they have concerns about.

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“There will be no disclosure made at that point.

“The applicant will be seen by a police officer within 10 days. They will be asked to produce identification and about the access they, and the subject, have to the child.

“Full research will then be undertaken with other agencies.

“If there is no information to disclose, people will be sent a letter. If there is, there will be a multi-agency meeting and they will decide on what is to be disclosed and to whom.”

Det Insp Sheppard said information may not necessarily be given to the person who makes the application. He stressed it would only be shared with the parent or person who has responsibility for the child. The whole process will take a maximum of 45 days.

The scheme was trialled by four forces, Warwickshire, Cleveland, Cambridgeshire, and Hampshire, in 2008.

Det Insp Sheppard said: “A review by the Home Office proved the scheme to be extremely successful in building the confidence of the public, and it was very much seen as an addition to the existing multi-agency public protection arrangement.

“It has resulted in positive disclosures and the arrest of people who have committed further offences or breaches of their sex offenders’ requirements.

“The scheme has been extremely well received. Confidence in the way police deal with these quite sensitive matters has gone up.”

More information can be found on Suffolk Constabulary’s website

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