Sarah’s Law adopted nationally
Parents will be able to check whether adults close to their children are convicted sex offenders
The ‘Sarah’s Law’ scheme, which allows parents to check whether adults who have access to their children are convicted sex offenders, is to be rolled out nationally.
The scheme has been piloted in four areas, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Cleveland and Warwickshire. It is named after eight-year-oldSarah Payne, who was killed by the convicted paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000.
All parents will be given the right to ask police for information onsex convictionsof any adult who has ‘regular, unsupervised’ access to their children.
The police could also pass on information about other worrying behaviour, such asdomestic violenceand unproven complaints of abuse. A single mother will be able to ask for details about a newboyfriend, for example.
Sarah Payne’s mother, Sara, has campaigned for a scheme since her daughter’smurder.
There have been concerns that a scheme that identifies paedophiles could drive sex offenders underground. Chris Huhne, Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary said that ‘more information’ about the trials was needed before the scheme was rolled out. ‘The concern is that this will do nothing for the safety ofchildrenand could even lead to an increase in sex offenders,’ he said.
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