Police take five calls from parents during first week of ‘Sarah’s Law’

SUFFOLK police have received just five calls during the first week of a Home Office measure allowing parents to check whether someone with access to their children is a sex offender.

The force has taken fewer calls from parents than expected since the launch of the database system dubbed ‘‘Sarah’s Law’’.

The county’s police force was among 12 in the country to this month officially launch the scheme, which has been piloted by four constabularies for the last year and allows parents, carers and guardians to check the records of anyone in regular contact with their children.

The ruling was first proposed a decade ago after eight-year-old Sarah Payne was kidnapped and murdered by convicted sex offender Roy Whiting in Sussex.

Disclosure of information is limited only to those parents whose children may be affected – only if the person with access to their child has convictions for sexual offences against children, and poses a risk of causing serious harm to them.

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Suffolk police said the number of calls so far taken from concerned parents has been the same as in neighbouring counties and that the frequency of calls would depend on when parents required the service.

A spokesman added that the rate of inquiries is not expected to rise and that the county’s figures were representative of the rest of the UK.

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Having already protected more than 60 children from abuse during its pilot, the scheme is due to be rolled out across the country by next spring.

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