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Success for Sarah´s Law

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Success for Sarah´s Law

Post by Pedro Silva on Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:14 am

Success for Sarah´s Law:

After 10 years we win a huge victory in fight to protect our children from paedophiles. Today we announce a massive victory in our Sarah´s Law campaign to protect children from paedophiles.

A scheme to alert parents to dangerous child molesters - which has already saved at least 24 kids from the clutches of perverts - is to be rolled out across the whole of England and Wales. The Home Secretary´s decision to introduce it nationally means every mother and father, every carer and guardian in the land will have the right to ask police whether anyone with regular unsupervised access to youngsters poses a risk to them.

It signals the biggest breakthrough since the campaign was launched after the abduction and murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne in July 2000. And it marks an historic victory for her courageous, battling mother Sara Payne who joined forces with the News of the World nearly ten years ago to fight for protection for children in the name of her daughter.

Yesterday Sara - who became the Governor´s Victims Champion last year - declared: "In all the long years of campaigning for parent´s rights to keep their children safe from predatory paedophiles, this is the most important development to date". Speaking from her hospital bed, where she is making a good recovery from a massive brain aneurism, Sara added: "For the first time, the police have the duty to respond and share information where appropriate.

Put simply, worried mums and dads who ask must now be told of anyone´s offending history where a child is at risk. And convicted paedophiles will also be informed that the public can now seek information about their criminal history where they pose a risk to a child". Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: "The development of this scheme is a major step forward in our ability to protect children from sex offenders".

The groundbreaking scheme was piloted by police forces in New Hampshire, Cleveland, Warwickshire and Cambridgeshire. It allowed parents in those areas with any suspicions about friends, relatives, neighbours or anyone with access to their children to contact police and ask about their background.

Academics from De Montford University, Leicester, kept a close watch as inquiries were made by 585 concerned parents in the 12 months up to September 2009. Of those, 315 were treated as applications for information about suspected individuals. The reseachers concentrated on 195 cases and their report to the Home Office found that at least 24 children had been at risk from convicted sex offenders. In one case, a parent had concerns for a neighbour who she felt was trying to befriend her children.

Checks showed the man was a child sex offender in breach of his conditions. He was then arrested and remanded into custody. In another disclosure, an applicant was concerned about a rumour that an extend family member had child sex convictions. Checks showed he was a paedophile who failed to register.

The scheme worked both ways. While alerting parents when there was cause for concern, it also had the effect of reassuring others, whose inquiries drew a blank, that there was no need for unease. Requests for information mainly focused on new partners, family members, friends and neighbours.

Most applications did not result in a disclosure, as authorities considered the child not to be at risk. Fears of vigilante action were proven unfounded and there were no report incidents of paedophiles being driven underground.

The Home Office liked what he saw. Mr. Johnson said: "The pilot has provided crucial protection for children who might otherwise be at risk. Protecting children and families from sex offenders is one of my top priorities".

In the next few months Home Office officials are set to agree precise details of the introduction of the scheme with police forces and child protection agencies across England and Wales.

It is just the tonic 40-year-old Sara, an MBE, needs as she recovers from her aneurism. She has campaigned unceasingly since her schoolgirl daughter was snatched and killed near her grandparents´home in Sussex by convicted child molester Roy Whiting.

But while she acknowledges the rolling out of the schemes as a success, she will fight on for the core demand of Sarah´s Law - that parents should have the right to know if there are any paedophiles at all living near their home - whether they know or not.

Sara told us: "I am so thankful to the government and all the agencies who have worked so hard to make this vital step possible. It is very gratifying to witness first-hand the government finally putting the safety of our children first".

But she said that although her campaign has never demanded a Megan´s Law model - where paedophile´s details are available to anyone - "there is still a nedd for fuller disclosure. Any parent should be entitled to walk into a police station and ask, "are there any risk of paedophiles in this neighbourhood I should be aware of?"

"It is every parent´s rigt to protect their children and there is so much more work to be done to make that right a reality".

What we still want:

A HUGE victory has been won - but our fight is not over yet.

Since the launch of our Sarah´s Law campaign in 2000, the government has implemented a range of measures to curb and control paedophiles - with the schemes detailed here being the biggest step.

However, one key demand of our Sarah´s Law crusade still remains to be put in place.

And that is the legal right of parents and carers to seek and receive information from the police about the identity and whereabouts of high risk predatory child sex offenders in their area who might pose a risk to their children.

A triumph for common sense:

Since the abduction and murder of schoolgirl Sarah Payne by a convicted child sex molester, this newspaper "New of the World" has campaigned to protect children.

We believe that every parent should have the legal right to know if high risk predatory paedophiles who may pose a risk to their children lurk in their neighbourhood.

Despite strident opposition from those who show more concern for paedophile´s rights to privacy than children´s rights to safety, our campaign has made much progress. Thanks to the support of successive Home Secretaries including Alan Johnson, the current holder of that office, the breakthrough we announce today is the most significant step to date in the campaign.

This is a victory for justice, common sense and for the indomitable Sara Payne´s unwavering commitment to child protection. It is also a tribute to her beautiful daughter Sarah whose death aged eight will not have been in vain.

To all our caring readers who backed our campaign from the outset in 2000 we say a heartfelt thank you today.

Pedro Silva
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Re: Success for Sarah´s Law

Post by vee8 on Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:18 am

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Re: Success for Sarah´s Law

Post by May on Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:16 am

From me to, Pedro.
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Re: Success for Sarah´s Law

Post by bluj1515 on Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:49 am

We have this in the States, there's been a few instances of vigilantes and violence but very few and the world hasn't caved in.
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