By Harriet Ernstsons 05/04 Updated: 10/04 09:27
THE IDENTITY of 16 child sexual offenders in West Mercia has been revealed to stop them posing a risk to children as part of a national scheme.
Tuesday (April 4) marked the first anniversary since the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, also known as Sarah's Law, was introduced nationally, although West Mercia Police was one of 18 forces to begin using it before its official launch.
Figures released by the force, which includes Worcestershire, show hundreds of people have contacted the police to enquire about whether someone they know who has contact with children poses a risk, with over 100 taken forward as formal applications and 16 disclosures made about child sexual offenders. A further three disclosures were made about other information relevant to safeguarding children.
Det Sgt Louise Wall from the public protection unit said: "We are pleased the public are making use of the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme to protect children and we are very encouraged by the number of enquiries.
"The existence of this scheme in Worcestershire and the surrounding areas has already seen a number of children protected from potentially serious harm.
"I would like to encourage members of the public to continue to contact us with any concerns that they have and to be reassured their enquiry will be handled both promptly and sensitively.
"The system is very discreet and we deal with all parties in a sensitive manner.
"Our priority is keeping children safe and we will act on information received in a timely fashion."
Requests for disclosure can be made directly to a police officer, at a police station, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone. If a child is in immediate danger, the emergency services should always be called on 999.
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