Is this a new scheme?
No, this is an additional scheme which builds on our current comprehensive processes to protect children in County Durham and Darlington. Durham Constabulary already works with partner agencies and discloses information about registered sex and violent offenders in a controlled way to people. This provides a formal way for anyone to raise any concerns.
How does the Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme work?
Any member of the public can approach Durham Constabulary to apply under the Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme, for information regarding a person who has contact with a child/children.
The police will process the application and if there is any information that suggests the child may be at risk then disclosure will be given to the person best placed to safeguard the child/children eg parent, carer or guardian.
Who can I request information on?
You can make an application about anyone who is in contact with a child/children.
Once I’ve made an application, when will I find out what the outcome is?
If you make an application you may not have information disclosed to you. Any information that could suggest a child/children may be at risk will be only be disclosed to the person best placed to safeguard the child eg. Parent, carer or guardian. Information will be disclosed within 45 days.
What happens if concerns about an individual are true?
If Durham Constabulary, when conducting checks on an individual, find that there is a record that could suggest a child/children could be at risk, then the information will be disclosed to the person who is best placed to safeguard the child/children. The police and partner agencies will work with this person to provide help, support and advice in helping them to protect the child/children.
Can I tell other people the information that is disclosed to me?
The information disclosed is confidential and is given to you and those best placed to help the child/children, to protect them from risk or harm. If the information were to be further disclosed by you to other people then civil or criminal proceedings could follow.
Is this scheme the same as Megan’s Law in the USA?
No, Megan’s Law allows personal information about child sex offenders to be available to the general community. This scheme is often referred to as Sarah’s Law; this ensures information is given to people who are best placed to safeguard their child/children.
How can I make an application / register a concern I may have?
You can make an application and advise us of your concern by contacting our non-emergency number 101 or by visiting your local police station.
If you witness a child/children in immediate danger then call 999.