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How effective is Community Disclosure?

Families Need Fathers Scotland has received queries from a number of members about how to request information about someone new in their child’s life. FNFS reported earlier this year that it is now possible for parents, carers or guardians of children under 18 years old to make a formal request for the disclosure of information about a named person who may have contact with their child if they are concerned that he or she might be a registered child sexual offender through Community Disclosure.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) reported on 30 March 2012 that “[t]he number of applications since the scheme began is 258.  The number of applications which related to registered sex offenders was 64.  A total of 26 disclosures were made and most importantly a total of 55 child concern reports were submitted.   Some 28 applications are currently being considered (decision pending) and a total of 114 intelligence reports were submitted."

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny Macaskill stated Parents and carers have a right to know who has access to their children and the peace of mind that brings.”

At present there is no cost for making an application through the scheme. The concerned parent, carer or guardian does not have to complete a form. The Police complete a form internally. When making an application through the scheme the parent, carer or guardian must supply the Police with as much information as possible about the person they are concerned about. Where possible the applicant should provide the Police with the name, address, date of birth, gender and occupation of the person they concerned about. They should also inform the police of their relationship to person they are concerned about and to the child involved.

For further information see: http://www.acpos.police.uk/keepingchildrensafe/

FNFS would like to hear from anyone who has used this scheme. Did you find the scheme accessible enough? Did you have enough information to make the application? Was information given within the target time of 6 weeks? Did you find the scheme effective? Comments to scotland@fnf.org.uk.

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