The story of Sarah’s Law
Sarah Payne was an eight year old girl who was murdered by a convicted paedophile on 1 July 2000.
Sarah disappeared while playing with her siblings in a cornfield near the home of her grandparents home in West Sussex. Her body was found two weeks later and nearly 15 miles away from where she had disappeared.
Roy Whiting was eventually found and convicted of the abduction and murder of Sarah on 12 December 2001 and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He had previously abducted and sexually assaulted another eight year old girl and had been sentenced to four years in prison for that crime.
Sarah’s mum, Sara Payne, then campaigned to bring in a scheme similar to Megan’s Law in the USA. This allows every parent in the USA to know if dangerous offenders are living in their area. In the UK it is known as Sarah’s Law.
What is Sarah’s Law?
The child sex offender disclosure scheme, more commonly known as Sarah's Law, allows anyone to formally ask the police if someone who has access to a child has a child sexual offences record.
Police can also warn parents if concerns are raised by grandparents or neighbours.
How do I make Sarah’s Law request?
If you would like to make a request under Sarah's Law, you can do so by going to West Midlands Police website https://west-midlands.police.uk/node/5463# and filling in their online form. Alternatively you can also visit your local police station.
After the form has been received and their initial enquiries have been completed, you may be asked to come to a face to face meeting with a police officer. If you are asked to this meeting, you should bring two forms of ID, with at least one being photographic ID.
What happens after I make the request?
If a disclosure is made, it will be done so in person. You will not be sent a letter. The police will only disclose the information to a parent or a carer.
Also, if the police do make a disclosure, the person/s to whom the information is disclosed must keep it confidential, as legal action may be taken if it is disclosed to anyone else.
Find guidance from the government about how the police will make a disclosure under the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme.