A CHILD protection scheme that allows single parents to check if their new lovers should be trusted with their kids dealt with 27 cases in its first year of operation.
The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme allows relatives, neighbours or anyone else with a concern about a child’s safety to call in the police.
But so far officers have mostly dealt with parents who want to get their new partners checked out.
“It has mainly been from parents with new partners or persons within the distant family who they are a bit concerned about,” said Det Insp Marcus Bromley, who is in charge of the scheme.
“I think cases in the past that have been in the media have brought this to the forefront of people’s minds.
“Either their concerns or suspicions are found to be correct, or there aren’t any concerns and it puts their minds at rest.
“When they have gone down the road of contacting us they have done so because they believe they are acting responsibly to safeguard their child, and they want to ensure the person having contact with them is no threat to them.”
Other cases have included a mother who was worried about a relative of her child’s father and a parent who wanted to vet a neighbour who had offered to babysit.
The scheme, first piloted within four forces before being rolled out nationally by the Home Office, is in response to high profile child murder cases such as the Soham killings and Sarah Payne.
Mr Bromley said he would like to see more cases coming his way.
“It would be good to see more,” he said. “By having more referrals we are ensuring that we safeguard more children.”
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