Avon and Somerset Police launch 'Sarah's Law'

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Sarah Payne in her school uniform
Image caption,
Sarah Payne was kidnapped and murdered by a convicted sex offender

Parents in Avon and Somerset are now able to find out if someone who has contact with their child is a convicted or suspected paedophile.

The Child Sex Offenders Disclosure (CSOD) scheme is commonly known as "Sarah's Law", after the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne.

It was piloted across four police forces for a year and is now being rolled out nationally.

All forces in England and Wales will be part of the scheme by April.

Geoff Wessell, head of public protection at Avon and Somerset Police, said: "The introduction of Sarah's Law is a welcome addition to the existing measures that are already in place in Avon and Somerset.

"This will support the fight to protect children and further ensure they are even safer in the future."

CSOD was set up in response to a campaign by Sarah Payne's mother Sara.

Her daughter was kidnapped and murdered by convicted sex offender Roy Whiting in West Sussex in 2000.

Previously, a parent could alert police to concerns about someone, but there were no clear rules about whether or not they should be told anything if child protection officers discovered cause for concern.

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