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Child sex offender warning scheme expanded

16 March 2009

A pilot programme that allows parents to find out if someone has a history of child sex crimes is being expanded.

In the six months since the pilot was launched, it has protected at least ten children from potential abuse. In total, police in the pilot areas have handled 153 enquiries, and 79 applications from parents or guardians.

How it works 

The programme provides a formal way for parents and guardians to request information about people who are involved with their family. If any of those people are found to have convictions for sexual offences against children, the parents are informed.

Under the terms of the pilot, both the child and the person the parents are concerned about must live within the area where the programme is underway.

More power for parents

The Home Secretary said the scheme empowers families, and helps parents protect their children.

She said, ‘Protecting children and families from sex offenders is one of my top priorities, and the UK has one of the most robust systems of managing sex offenders in the world. Today’s results are extremely encouraging - this pilot has provided crucial protection for children who might otherwise be at risk.’

She said that if the scheme proves to be a success, it will be applied across the country. 

What areas are covered?

The trial was conducted across all of Warwickshire, and in parts of Cleveland, Cambridgeshire and Hampshire. It has now expanded to cover all sections of these police forces.

Further information

If you’d like to see the full results from the trial, or read a case study, please visit the Home Office Press website (new window).

More information about the pilots can be found on the Directgov website (new window).

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