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Community Disclosure Scheme - Keeping Children Safe Community Disclosure Scheme -  
Keeping Children Safe  

Stop it Now! Scotland co-ordinates the National Community Disclosure Scheme - Keeping Children Safe. Our aims for the scheme until 2014 are:

  • To maintain and improve public visibility of the scheme
  • To maintain and improve appropriate public use of the scheme
  • To report on the use, performance and outcomes of the scheme to Government and stakeholders.

'Keeping Children Safe 'has now been put into practice across Scotland in all Police Forces. The scheme means that parents, carers and guardians of children under 18 can ask the police if a person who has contact with that child has a record for sexual offences against children, or other offences that might put their child at risk.

If it's found the person in question does pose a risk of causing harm to the child concerned, information may be given to the parent, carer or guardian as a protective measure. If there is serious or immediate risk, measures to protect that child will be taken immediately.

However, if you think a child is in immediate danger, phone 999 and tell the police.

The process

Step 1
Only the parent, carer or guardian can receive information, although anyone can register an interest about a person.

Step 2
Contact the police by:

  • Phoning the police, 24hrs a day
  • Visiting a police station
  • Speaking to a police officer on the street

Step 3
You will then be asked to fill in a form with a police officer, giving information about: yourself; the child; and the person you have concerns about.

You will need proof of your identity, your address (including photo ID), and your relationship to the child.

Ideally, you will need to show two forms of identification (one of which must be photo ID). These could include:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • household utility bill
  • bank statement
  • benefit award notice
  • birth certificate

To show your relationship with the child, you will need to show one of the following:

  • The child's birth certificate
  • The child's passport
  • The child benefit award notice letter
  • If photo ID is not available, the police may consider other forms of ID

Step 4
The police will run two types of checks on the person:

  • Priority checks

These checks find out if there are any immediate issues of concern about the safety of a child. If the police believe children need protecting they will take action. No disclosure of information is given at this stage.

  • A full risk assessment

The police will also run more detailed checks and work with other agencies including Social Work Services and those agencies involved in Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). The full risk assessment should be completed within 10 working days of contacting the police, but in rare cases may take longer.
This process can take up to six weeks including telling applicants the results (if necessary), although there may sometimes be delays.

The police will act immediately if, at any point, the child is considered to be at risk and in need of protection.

Step 5
The police will then either:

  • Contact you in person (the police will either visit or invite you to the station)
  • Contact you by letter (if there is no information to provided)

If the person has a record for other offences that may put your child at risk or is showing worrying behaviour, the police will again provide advice and support.

If the person has no previous record of sexual offences against children, you may not be given any information.

Step 6

If the person has a record for sexual offences against children, you may be given relevant information about that person, necessary and proportionate to protect your child. The police will provide further advice and support. As long as the information is kept confidential, you can: 

  • Use the information to keep yourself and others safe
  • Use the information to keep your children safe
  • Ask what support is available
  • Ask who you should contact if you think yourself or others are at risk
  • Ask for advice on how to keep yourself and others safe
  • The police may decide not to give you information if they think you will discuss it with others, and may take action against you if you disclose information without their consent.

Step 7
If you do receive information from the police it must be treated as confidential. You must not tell anyone unless you have spoken to the police (or organisation who gave you the information) and agreed how it should be shared.

More information

For information on the 'Keeping Children Safe Scheme' visit: http://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/safety-advice/children-and-young-people/child-protection-keeping-children-safe/

Or visit the police service:

http://www.scotland.police.uk/forces-welcome