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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Details of any registered sex offenders are kept on a register for the Police only, it is not for public access. If you have any concerns over the activities of a local resident then you should speak to your local neighbourhood policing team.

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (Sarah's law) allows members of the public to make a request that the police investigate a person. However, no disclosure will be made unless the applicant is a parent, carer or guardian of a child requiring information regarding a person who has unsupervised access to that particular child or children.

Once an application for an investigation has been made the police will require the applicant to specify the grounds for the investigation and the nature of the relationship between the applicant and the child, the applicant and the individual and the individual and the child. The applicant will be invited to an interview with the police where matters will be enquired into further.

Whilst the police have a duty to explore the request, there is no requirement for the police to disclose any information and all requests for information about named individuals will be discussed by the police, probation and safeguarding children staff in order to determine whether the release of information will provide additional protection for the child(ren) in question.

If information is disclosed, the applicant will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement and be subject to sanctions should any unlawful disclosure be made. See link in related information for more details.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.