Police rejecting majority of ‘Sarah’s Law’ applications to find out if someone working with children is sex offender
Charities have warned there is a postcode lottery, with some forces providing the information more often than others
made to discover if someone working with children is a convicted sex
offender are granted by police.
The figures released under the
Freedom of Information Act show forces across the UK are rejecting the
majority of requests made under ‘Sarah’s Law’.
The scheme set up in 2008 after the murder of Sarah Payne , which allows the disclosure of of child sex offender details.
Charities have said that there is a postcode lottery over whether forces disclose the information.
the National Police Chiefs’ Council urged caution over the figures
because there are legitimate reasons for withholding the information.
In a minority of cases the person in question has no history and there is nothing to disclose.
Figures obtained after Freedom of Information requests by the Liberal Democrats found that in 2011, 2.7% of applications were granted, rising to 7% between 2012 and 2015.
Last year the Metropolitan Police were asked about 45 people and disclosed the background of just eight.
Nottinghamshire Police were asked about 68 and provided information about two. In eight cases there was nothing to disclose.
Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “This may leave children at risk .”
Following the murder of eight-year-old Sarah
in 2000, rules were changed to allow anybody to apply to the police for
information about a person if they fear they could pose a risk to
Her murderer, Roy Whiting, was convicted in December 2001 and jailed for life.
is believed in many cases officers felt the suspect was not in a
position to endanger children or parents already knew of a
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