Keeping Children Safe - Your Right to Ask

CSOD graphic


The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (CSODS) allows members of the public – parents, carers, guardians or interested third parties – to ask the police to tell them about a person’s record of child sex offences if they are concerned about that person’s access to a child.


Threats to a child’s safety are more likely to originate from a family member or a friend of a family than a complete stranger. Around 75 per cent of child sex offenders are related to or known to their victim. The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme has been developed to respond to this.


The police already disclose information about registered sex offenders and violent offenders in a controlled way to a variety of people, including head teachers, leisure centre managers, employers, landlords and parents. The disclosure scheme is an additional tool that the police can use to keep children safe.


How can a member of the public ask for information?

You can submit a disclosure request to the police by letter or phone, at a police station or by speaking to a police officer. Your request will be managed by the force’s Public Protection Unit, who will contact you once your request has been recorded on the force’s database.


We will require information about you, the child you believe may be at risk and the person you are concerned about. Your concern will be dealt with under existing child protection arrangements.


When will information be disclosed?

Disclosure will only happen if the police believe there is a need to protect a child and that it is necessary and proportionate. Information will only be disclosed to the person best-placed to protect the child and anyone receiving this information must keep it confidential and use it only to protect the child concerned.


The UK scheme is not the same as the USA’s ‘Megan’s Law’ scheme which makes all information about sex offenders publicly available. Anyone breaching confidence of the CSOD Scheme may have action taken against them by the police.


For more information about this scheme, call us on 101 or 0300 330 0101 and ask for Public Protection.

If you think a child is in immediate danger call 999 at any time.