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Sex offenders’ information given to parents under new law

Six sex offenders have had their convictions revealed to concerned parents in South Wales, the South Wales Evening Post reports.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information legislation to the Post, show 52 people have contacted South Wales Police using the Child Sex Offender Disclosure (CSOD) scheme — known as Sarah’s Law — because they have concerns about people in close contact with children.

Six requests came from parents living in the Western Basic Command Unit, which covers areas in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot but officials made only one disclosure about a registered sex offender in the area.

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure (CSOD) scheme, which was launched in March 2011, began after a campaign started by the mother of eight-year-old Sarah Payne, who was abducted and murdered by a paedophile in July 2000.

The scheme allows people close to the children an opportunity to check on someone who may have unsupervised contact with their child.

A spokesperson for children’s charity the NSPCC said: “It must also be remembered that only a minority of child sex offenders have criminal records and are known to police.

“It is vital that communities know when and how to act if they are concerned about the safety of a child.”

Police can choose to disclose the information to parents if individuals being checked under the scheme have convictions for sexual offences against children or pose a risk of causing serious harm to the children concerned.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “These checks provide reassurance to parents, carers and the wider community and also assist the police in managing known sex offenders living in the community more effectively.”

Heads Must Roll At Nhs Ayrshire And Arran, Says Former Health Chief

Following Request Initiative blogs on an NHS nurse using FoIA to disclose secret hospital records, former NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s Health Chief has accused the health board of “criminally blatant lies”, the Ayrshire Post reports.

“Go now before you do any more damage” said Pat McNally, one of their former top surgeons to NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s bosses

The firestorm has now led to a full review, ordered by Scottish health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon. But Mr McNally insists that heads must roll – or the public will lose all faith in its health service. He said: “The concept that critical records were being withheld is, in my opinion, criminally incompetent. “It is incomprehensible that certain people remain in their jobs at the top of the tree at NHS Ayrshire and Arran.”, he added.

FoIA reveals details of UK drone strikes in Afghanistan

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that 60% of the 248 UK drone strikes in Afghanistan are ‘secret and unreported’ the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports.

The report, by blog Drone Wars UK, looks back through operational updates published by the Royal Air Force (RAF) since June 2008. It is the first time that UK drone attacks in Afghanistan have been collated and charted.

The RAF has revealed details of only 99 of the 248 drone strikes, but the group suspects their list is merely a ‘peak behind the curtain’ and feels that reports may have been ‘cherry-picked’, possibly to tone down collateral damage.

Drone Wars UK has asked the MoD to release details of the circumstances of UK drone strikes, but have thus far been denied the information.

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