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Top Stories. Gateshead Council Toys 'R' Us will be demolished amid 'interest' in the site. Sarah's Law - the child sex offender disclosure scheme allows anyone to ask the police under certain circumstances.
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In our media-savvy, tech-focused modern age, it is a sad fact we spend less time speaking to our neighbours, with some of us going years without knowing who we're sharing a street with. The reality is one of your neighbours could be a registered sex offender - a paedophile or a rapist. But what you might not know is there is a way of finding out if anyone potentially dangerous to your little ones lives in your neighbourhood. Parents have the right to ask the police for information related to convicted sex offenders under a ruling called Sarah's Law - set up after the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne in The law was developed in consultation with Sara Payne, whose eight-year-old daughter Sarah was murdered by a convicted paedophile.
Sarah, who lived in Hersham, Surrey, disappeared on the evening of July 1, from a cornfield near the home of her paternal grandparents in Kingston Gorse, West Sussex. A body was found on July 17, in a field near Pulborough, some 15 miles from Kingston Gorse where she had disappeared.
It was confirmed as Sarah. Roy Whiting was convicted of the abduction and murder of Sarah on December 12, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Tip Sheet: Concerned About Sex Offenders In Your Neighborhood
After he was convicted, it was revealed that Whiting had previously abducted and sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl and had served four years in prison for that crime. Ms Payne campaigned to bring in a law which allows every parent in the country to know if dangerous offenders are living in their area.
A wide variety of people are placed on the Sex Offenders' Register every year, after receiving a caution or being convicted of an offence. This could be, for example, a man who received a caution for having smacked a girl on the buttocks while she was passing him on the street, a year-old female teacher who had sexual intercourse with her year-old student, or at the very serious end of the scale, someone like Roy Whiting, who killed Sarah Payne.
Similarly, sex offenders are on the Sex Offenders' Register for differing lengths of time, depending on the type of offence:. Important: If you feel a child is in immediate danger, you should call straight away. In all other circumstances that are not an emergency, you can request information relating to a child that you are in a position to protect or safeguard by calling or visit your local police station.
If police checks show the individual has a record for child sexual offences, or other offences that might put the child at risk, the police will consider sharing this information. You should know that disclosure is not guaranteed - the police will only consider telling the person best placed to protect the child — usually a parent, carer or guardian — if the person being checked has a record of child sexual offences or other offences that indicate they may pose a risk to a child. The police will disclose information only if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so in the interests of protecting the child, or children, from harm.
If the police make a disclosure, parents and carers must keep the information confidential and only use it to keep their child safe. Legal action may be taken if confidentiality is breached. Click here for more news. Our daily newsletter - To get the latest headlines direct to your email inbox every day, click here. Follow Hull Live on Facebook - Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like!