Right To Ask Protects Seven Children At Risk

24 September 2011, 08:46 | Updated: 24 September 2011, 09:26

Worried parents and carers have used the scheme, commonly known as Sarah's Law, 80 times since it was introduced in Essex just over a year ago.

'Right to Ask', also known as the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, provides parents, guardians and carers with information to help keep children safe.

Since it was introduced in August 2010 members of the public have been able to ask police whether an individual who has direct access to their child has convictions for child sex offences or poses a risk of harm.

Where there is concern, information necessary for the protection of a child is disclosed.

In the past year Essex Police has received 81 Right to Ask applications with disclosures made on seven occasions.

Rob Coan from Essex Police’s Public Protection Unit said: "Seven disclosures doesn’t sound like a lot but that’s potentially seven children we have saved from serious harm. Even if we had only made one disclosure, the scheme would have been worth it in my eyes.

"We are keen to make sure our residents are aware of Right to Ask and know they can contact us without fear.

"We are committed to Right to Ask and will continue to use it in the future to safeguard the children in our county.”

Right to Ask, commonly known as Sarah’s Law, was introduced following the murder of 8-year-old Sarah Payne in 2000.

Essex Police was one of five forces to pilot the scheme in 2010.

To find out more about Right to Ask click here.