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Trials of the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme began in four areas - Cambridgeshire, Cleveland, Hampshire and Warwickshire - in September 2008. |
And today it is being rolled out in another eight areas - West Mercia, Bedfordshire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Thames Valley, West Midlands, Essex and Suffolk.
More counties are due to join the scheme this autumn including Northamptonshire, Staffordshire, Sussex, Leicestershire, Wiltshire, Cheshire, Durham, Northumbria, Dorset, Lincolnshire, Surrey and Gloucestershire.
All forces across the country will have joined the scheme by next spring.
Home Secretary Theresa May hailed it as a vital advance in child protection measures.
She May said: "The roll-out of this scheme is an important step forward for child protection in this country.
"Being able to make these checks reassures parents and the community and more importantly keeps children safer.
"Not only will it help parents, carers or guardians ensure that their children are safe, but it also assists the police in managing known sex offenders living in the community more effectively.
"The start of the nationwide roll-out will mean even more children will be protected from potential harm."