Police refuse three-quarters of calls to identify paedophiles
ONLY one in nine requests by parents to confirm the presence of suspected paedophiles in their neighbourhood results in a child sex offender being identified by police, according to new figures.
Concerned Scots parents have put in at least 368 official requests to police to check adults they fear pose a risk to their children. But since the Keeping Children Safe (KCS) scheme started in 2010, just 41 requests have led to a sex offender being identified.
Police have confirmed that in at least 89 of the cases they told parents the suspected person had no convictions for sexual offences. Of the remaining 279 cases, reasons for refusing to give out information included concern that the parents might pass on the information to others, the application was not made properly or disclosure would not be “relevant”.
The scheme was introduced after the 2004 murder of a boy by a convicted sex offender living near his Glasgow home.
But child protection campaigners and politicians last night criticised some of the grounds on which disclosure was refused, and complained that the number of refusals seemed “very high”.
Lyn Costello, of Mothers Against Murder and Aggression, said: “If many people are not getting the disclosures they request because they have incorrectly applied, then it would be worth looking at the procedure.
“The scheme can only be successful if all agencies work together to make it work.”
Scottish Conservative justice spokesman David McLetchie said: “Parents must be satisfied that this scheme is robust enough to cope with people making genuine requests for information about sex offenders living in their area.
“We need to look at the rules on disclosure of information so that parents across Scotland are given the reassurances that they seek.”
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