Dozens of children in Essex have been kept safe from sex offenders since the murder of Sarah Payne.

The eight-year-old was killed by a known sex offender in 2000.

Following her death a successful campaign was launched to give people controlled access to the sex offenders’ register to try and avoid paedophiles having access to children.

It is called Sarah’s Law - or the child sex offender disclosure scheme.

In the past three years 181 applications have been made to Essex Police to ask whether someone who has contact with a child is a sex offender.

In total, 31 disclosures have been made.

Det Chief Insp Paul Johnson said: “The idea is people come to us if they think there is a danger.

“We can’t see everything and can’t always see what sex offenders are doing, although we do monitor them closely.

“If there is a risk we can disclose it.”
About one in six requests uncovers a risk.