Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email The most recent available figures show that there are hundreds of convicted sex offenders in North Wales. And what you may not know is there are steps you can take to find out if there is a paedophile living near you. Parents have the right to ask the police for information related to convicted sex offenders. This is how you go about finding out if any of those offenders are living in your community, and if your children could be at risk? What is Sarah's Law?
What is the background to the scheme? Getty Images 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.
Read More Could 'paedophile hunters' like group that snared this North Wales sex offender team up with police? 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.
Who goes on the Sex Offenders' Register? 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.
Read More Similarly, sex offenders are on the Sex Offenders' Register for differing lengths of time, depending on the type of offence: How do I access the information? 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. Read More Vile paedophile 'unlikely ever to change' is jailed for three years for 'awful' images 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. For more advice and information on protecting children from abuse, visit the Parents Protect website But you should know that even if they do release the information 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. Please help Childline be there for every young person who desperately needs support. Like us on Facebook.