Child sex offender disclosure scheme

Child sex offender disclosure scheme (England and Wales)

The child sex offender disclosure scheme in England and Wales lets people who care for young people ask police to check if a person has a record for child sexual offences.

It was introduced in 2008 following the murder of eight year old Sarah Payne in 2000, and is sometimes known as Sarah’s Law.

The majority of child sex offenders are known to their victims. They are often a member of the family or a friend.

The scheme allows parents, carers, guardians or interested third parties to ask the police for information about an individual they are concerned about and has contact with a child they know.

If you want to make an application for information under the scheme, contact your local police. Find your local police and how to contact them.

Keeping children safe

Sex offender community disclosure scheme (Scotland)


A sex offender disclosure scheme also operates in Scotland, allowing any member of the public to make an application for information about someone if they have a concern about a person’s access to a child.

Find out more about the sex offender community disclosure scheme (Scotland)

Concerned? Tell someone

If you have any concerns about the welfare or safety of a child or young person, you must report it. It is better to raise your concerns so they can be investigated, rather than failing to tell anyone and a child or young person possibly being exposed to further risk of harm.

In an emergency, always call 999.

To report your concerns when it’s not an emergency, call us on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016. You can also call your local police on 101, visit your nearest police station or speak to a police officer or police community support officer in person.


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Contact Us

To report a crime or incident, call

0800 40 50 40

or text 61016

In an emergency call 999

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