New child protection scheme snares paedophile

A NEW scheme to protect Suffolk children from paedophiles has been hailed a success after it snared a registered sex offender, who ended up being jailed for six months.

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Process (CSODP), which was only launched a month ago, allows parents, carers and guardians to make enquiries about people who are in contact with children.

The scheme comes under the banner 'Keeping Children Safe', with eight applications made so far.

Four have led to full disclosure, with one resulting in a 55-year-old registered sex offender given a jail sentence after it became clear he had access to a child, which breached the terms of his licence.

In two cases, Suffolk Constabulary has worked closely with other forces where the mother and child concerned lived in a neighbouring county.

The scheme builds on existing processes to proactively manage registered sex offenders by the public protection unit under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

Disclosures to parents, carers and guardians of children who may be at risk already took place prior to the schemes existence.

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Detective Chief Inspector Stuart McCallum from the force's Public Protection Directorate said: 'Protecting children from harm is of utmost importance to us.

'Through our enquiries, the introduction of the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Process has already flagged up a registered sex offender who had breached his sexual offences prevention order by having contact with a child.

'This individual was arrested and has since been sentenced to 26 weeks' imprisonment.'

If individuals are found to have child sex offence convictions and pose a serious threat to a child, then information may be disclosed to the child's parent, carer or guardian.

Disclosure cannot be guaranteed in all cases, but the safeguarding of children will be the key-determining factor. The timescale for the complete process is no more than 45 days.

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