Sarah's Law comes to Thames Valley

Parents in the Thames Valley are now able to find out if someone their children come into contact with is a sex offender.

'Sarah's Law' has been introduced in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire after a trial in four other police force areas, including Hampshire.  It's named after Sarah Payne (pictured), who was murdered aged 8 in 2000.

The programme allows parents and guardians to ask about people in their local area they have suspicions about.  They have to sign an agreement to keep the information they find out confidential, and not to launch vigilante attacks on paedophiles.

Det Insp Nick Deacon, leading the introduction of the scheme in the Thames Valley, said: "This scheme is about empowering parents, grandparents and guardians to protect children - if you have concerns about the background of somebody who has access to your child or children, this gives you the ability to check out your concerns.

"What it is not for is to try to find out about somebody down your street through casual interest."

In March 2010, Sarah's mum Sara Payne, who's now the Government's official Victims' Champion, and is recovering from brain surgery, said: "I am delighted that the years of campaigning and hard work by so many friends and colleagues have provided those who care for children with the right to check that adults who have access to them do not pose a danger.

"The evaluation has shown the huge benefits of increased but controlled access to information."


Find out more about the Child Sexual Offender Disclosure Scheme in the Thames Valley