Sarah's Law success

The paedophile-naming scheme is rolled-out across more police forces today.

Under Sarah's Law, named after murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne, parents can now check with police whether anyone with access to their child is a known paedophile.

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure scheme was trialled in four areas of England and is believed to have saved dozens of children from possible abuse. Today eight more police forces are adopting Sarah's Law. Sussex will join the scheme in the autumn.

Paedophile Roy Whiting kidnapped eight-year-old Sarah from outside her grandparents' home in East Preston, West Sussex, in 2000 and then strangled her. He is currently serving life for murder.

Sarah's mother, Sara, who has campaigned tirelessly to bring in the scheme named after her daughter, said: "The day is tinged with sadness obviously because it is all to do with Sarah and it marks the time she was taken from us. but to be honest if the scheme saves one child then all the last ten years has been worth it."

And the extension of the scheme has been welcomed by Chief Constables in England. Sir Hugh Orde, president of Acpo, the Association of Chief Police officers told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "I think the reassurance is having the law available if you are worried.

"It is only part of the far wider way in which the police service keep young people safe. It is a welcome part of that armoury, but it is only part of it.

"The pilots have shown clearly that it has brought to attention people who should be registered and should be out there engaging with people under the age of 18.

"As the Home Secretary is keen to roll this out quickly, we are working very closely with Government to get it out there as quickly as we can around the country."

Asked whether he was concerned that the law might have unintended consequences, Sir Hugh said: "There are always risks. People say people will go underground - frankly, people go underground anyway.

"With all the other parts of the police service working also in this area, I do think we have got a real hope of keeping people safer and keeping young people safer, which is very important."

 

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