The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Process (CSODP) allows Suffolk
residents to enquire if an individual who has unsupervised access
or potential unsupervised access to a child has a record of child
sex offending and/or poses a significant risk of harm to a
This scheme does not replace existing arrangements for our
vetting and safeguarding children procedures. If you are enquiring
about someone you wish to employ or already employ, then you will
need to undertake a full Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) application
through the proper channels.
Parents, carers, guardians, extended family, friends,
neighbours, or anyone who looks out for the welfare of a child.
Anyone can register a child protection interest where they have
concerns about a named individual who cares for or has access to a
For example, an individual may have concerns about a new partner
who is living or staying in the same house as their grand
If you contact Suffolk Police, a member of staff will take your
details in order to register your application under the Child Sex
Offender Disclosure Process (CSODP).
Important – if you think a child is in immediate danger, please
dial 999, where someone will be able to assist you.
Also, please note, applications cannot be made at your local
police station and will only be accepted by telephoning Suffolk
Police on 101.
For further confidential advice and information about
recognising the signs of child sexual abuse, contact The Lucy
Faithful Foundation ‘Stop It Now Campaign.
Where the individual has previous convictions for child sex
offences and is considered a risk to the child(ren) concerned,
relevant information may be given to the person best placed to
protect the child. This is usually a parent, carer or guardian, who
needs the information in order to keep the child safe.
Any member of the public can apply for information about an
individual if they are concerned, but disclosure will only be given
to the person best placed to protect the child.
Any disclosure remains a decision for the police in consultation
with relevant partner agencies. Disclosure cannot be guaranteed in
all cases. All disclosures must be lawful, proportionate and
necessary to protect a child from the risk of significant harm. The
safeguarding of children will be paramount throughout.
For more information please contact CSODP.
Relevant checks will be carried out by the police and with
appropriate partner agencies. This can take time but will be
completed as soon as possible.
A police officer will visit you within ten days of your initial
call. This is to carry out a face-to-face interview to verify your
identification and obtain further details to assist us in moving
your application forward as efficiently as possible.
You will be asked to provide proof of identification -
photographic identification would be preferable if you have it. We
will try to complete all necessary enquiries and relevant
disclosures within 45 days. The timescales are largely dependant on
each individual case and could vary.
Please be assured that risks to the children concerned will be
reviewed and assessed throughout the application process. Positive
action will be taken in the event that we receive information to
suggest that a child is at immediate risk of significant harm.
No. Sarah’s Law is a campaign being run by a national newspaper
calling for a change in the law to give parents the right to know
if a child sexual offender is living in their immediate area.
Megan’s Law operates in the United States and involves the
automatic disclosure of sex offender details to the general
The Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Process (CSODP) is a
carefully managed disclosure to named individuals who have direct
responsibility for a child’s safety, who request information about
a specific individual.
In the event of a disclosure, the police will always strive to
maintain the confidentiality of the applicant, and consult the
applicant’s views prior to contacting the individual they have
If a disclosure does take place, the subject person may be
informed that the parent, carer or guardian of the child(ren) is to
receive information about their relevant criminal history. All
disclosures are carefully planned by police and partner agencies to
minimise risk of harm to all concerned.
Information about a disclosure must be treated as confidential.
Anyone who receives a disclosure is required to sign an undertaking
prior to receiving the information, stating they will not share the
details with any other person.
Anyone who shares information with other people will be subject
to police intervention and potential prosecution under the Data
Protection Act 1998.
Information is disclosed for the sole purpose of safeguarding
the children named in the application.
Under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) or
under the Safeguarding Children Arrangements, information is
disclosed to an individual or group where it is felt necessary or
proportionate to protect children from abuse.
MAPPA is the process through which the police, probation and
prison services work together with other agencies to manage the
risks posed by sex offenders and violent offenders living in the
community in order to protect the public.
The Safeguarding Children Arrangement involves a number of
agencies working together to promote children’s welfare and help
protect children from abuse. Disclosure may also take place under
the Safeguarding Children Arrangements, where children services may
disclose information held by the authorities in a managed way.
The police and other agencies are in regular contact with
offenders and the disclosure process will be carefully managed. If
anyone feels they are likely to become a victim of vigilantism or
have been targeted, they should contact the police.
In all cases of disclosure, the risks to the offender and the
community impact will be considered. However, the protection of
children will be the key determining factor.
Making a false application in an attempt to procure the
disclosure of personal data to which someone does not have a lawful
right of access to is an offence under the Data Protection Act
1998. This offence is more commonly referred to as ‘blagging’ and
is punishable by an unlimited fine at crown court.
Therefore, anyone providing false information in registering
their interest or misusing any information disclosed, e.g. by
engaging in vigilantism or the harassment of sex offenders, would
be subject to police intervention and potential prosecution.