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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Shauna Corr

You can now apply online to find out if someone is a danger to children

Those concerned someone in their life may be a danger to children can now apply online to find out if they have history of violent or sexual offences.

The Child Protection Disclosure Scheme was first introduced by the PSNI in March 2016.

But up to now those asking for information in line with the scheme had to attend a police station to apply for information on someone's criminal past.

This latest move will enable anyone concerned someone may pose a risk to children, to find out if they have a criminal record for sexual or violent offences by sharing concerns online via the Police Service of Northern Ireland's website.

PSNI logo (Shauna Corr)

Detective Superintendent Lindsay Fisher, from the Public Protection Branch, explained: "This new online facility will make the process much more accessible to the public. These arrangements complement existing processes to manage sexual and violent offenders by the agencies involved in the Public Protection Arrangements for Northern Ireland.

"Those agencies, including Police Service of Northern Ireland, Probation Board and Social Services, already disclose information about criminal convictions when it is necessary to protect a child.

"Members of the public will be able to apply directly through an online form via the PSNI website on

"Anyone making an application via the online form must be able to identify a specific child or children and a named individual about whom they have concerns. However, they will not automatically be the person to whom information is disclosed. Applicants must also be able to provide proof of their identity to Police if required."

Initial information required on the form includes:

- The applicant details: name, date of birth, address, telephone number
- The details of the individual they are enquiring about (enough information to enable Police to positively identify the subject)
- The details of the children that have contact with the individual
- Any specific concerns/suspicions that the applicant has regarding the individual

The applicant will then be required to sign an electronic declaration regarding disclosure.

Detective Superintendent Fisher added: "The new online process builds on the Police Service of Northern Ireland's existing safeguarding processes, however it should be noted that this is not a facility to report crime.

"There is a separate non-emergency crime reporting facility on the Police Service of Northern Ireland website; alternatively members of the public can contact the Police using 101 or 999 in an emergency. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"Once an application is submitted, initial checks should be carried out within 24 hours and the process should be completed within 28 days."

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