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Sarah's law: Home Office figures say Sarah's law has helped save 200 children

Sarah's law, the legislation which allows parents to request information from police about sexual offences committed by adults living in their local area may have helped save up to 200 children according to Home Office figures released today.

The law is a year old today, coming into force on 4th April 2011. To mark the occasion, the Home Secretary, Theresa May revealed detailed figures of the use of the law by parents and police since its inclusion on the statute book.

The figures reveal that some 1600 enquiries were made by worried parents to police, from which 900 were converted into formal applications. Following investigation by police, some 160 disclosures were made relating to child sex offences, along with 58 other crimes.

The law was named Sarah's law after Sarah Payne, who was murdered aged just eight by paedophile Roy Whiting. Her mother, Sara, campaigned relentlessly for the law change to help protect other young children from abuse by known child sex-offenders.

Sarah Payne's mother told the Sun newspaper: "If just one child has been kept safe as a result of Sarah's law then all the work to see it introduced would have been worth it."

"The fact that it is hundreds of children is wonderful and testament to the fact the scheme is needed," she added.

The Home Secretary added: "Thanks to Sarah's Law, we know that more than 200 children have been protected from potential harm over the last year."

"We are doing everything we can to protect the public, and especially children, from predatory sex-offenders by tightening the law and closing loopholes," she concluded.

Applications under Sarah's law are made by parents to their local police station, who can advise on the legal process and the information that may be available to them.

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Read more on the story (The Telegraph)