Sarah's Law

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, also know as 'Sarah's Law', allows people who care for children to formally request information from the police about whether someone has a criminal record for child sex offences.

The scheme was developed following the abduction and murder of 8-year-old Sarah Payne.

If police believe there is information that needs to be disclosed in order to protect a child, they will pass the details to whoever is in the best person to safeguard them.

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. A disclosure is delivered in person, as opposed to in writing, with the following warning:

  • that the information must only be used for the purpose for which it has been shared i.e. in order to safeguard children;
  • the person to whom the disclosure is made will be asked to sign an undertaking that they agree that the information is confidential and they will not disclose this information further;
  • a warning should be given that legal proceedings could result if this confidentiality is breached. This should be explained to the person and they must sign the undertaking

If the parent or carer is unwilling to sign the undertaking, the police must consider whether the disclosure should still take place.

To request information via the scheme, call the police on 101 or visit the 'contact us' section of the Bedfordshire police website.

For further information you can read the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme document.