If someone is in danger or at risk

If a child you know is being abused, find out how to report possible child abuse.

If someone is in immediate danger, please call 999.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

In this section:

1. What the scheme is and who can apply
2. How to apply
3. What happens after you apply
4. Apply online

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (CSODS) lets you formally ask the police whether someone who has contact with a child or children:

  • has a record for child sexual (paedophile) offences
  • poses a risk to the child or children for some other reason

It's not a law, but it is sometimes called 'Sarah's Law'. It gives guidance on how you can ask us to use our existing police powers to share information about sex offenders.

If you are worried about someone’s behaviour towards a child, or something you've seen, heard or been told, you can use Sarah's Law to find out if that person is a risk.

You must apply for information about a specific person and a specific child they spend time with. You cannot apply for general information about sex offenders.

Sarah's Law lets you ask the police for information about someone

Sarah's Law is not for you to report something to the police.

Tell us about something you've seen or heard, or find out how to report possible child abuse.

Who can apply

Anyone who is worried about someone's behaviour towards a child can apply, not just a child's parents. This includes people like a grandparent, neighbour or friend.

No matter who makes the application, if there is information we decide to share, we will tell whoever can use the information to keep the child safe.

This might not be the person who made the application, it might be someone else (like the child's parents).

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare's Law)

If the person you're asking about is your partner and you're worried that you're at risk from them, you can ask for information under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (often called Clare's Law).

Next: How to apply >