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Make the police and CRB offer honest and accurate references to employers

Comment 12th July 2010

The current system of CRB's allows for the police to return information on 'any other comments' as deemed appropriate by the chief officer.

This is wrong as it allows for the inclusion of information where allegations have been made that have not been proved and there has been a full acquittal.

I was wrongly accused of being involved in a fight. It was a malicious allegation, yet it was taken all the way to crown court based on witness statements. I pleaded not guilty of course.

Two day of evidence were presented in court in front of a jury. The witnesses were shown to have lied in their statements and the police were shown to have ignored vital information that demonstrated I was not involved.

After two days of evidence, the jury retired and returned within 20 minutes with a unanimous not guilty verdict.

However, my CRB checks come back and in the 'any other comments' box this is all presented as factual – suggesting that I was involved, detailing the allegations against me as a true fact and saying that I had done what I was accused of.

Clearly upon reading this employers have had doubt over my character placed on their perceptions of me and ultimately will not employ me.

This is a clear infringement upon civil liberties – being arrested does not make you guilty. The police should not be allowed to put a stain on your character for life or for any period of time, particularly if you have been found not guilty in a court of law otherwise they are simply undermining the criminal justice system.

Very many of those who have been arrested and convicted of harming children and vulnerable adults have no convictions or have ever been known to the police – thus I fail to see how a CRB check safeguards against abuse. All a CRB check allows for is discrimination in the workplace whilst pedophiles continue undetected.

The system needs to be changed – government cannot be responsible for safeguarding, local organisations who know the communities and people should be trusted to police themselves.

Reactionary polices, like many of those put in place by the former government do nothing to improve safeguarding, but do a great deal to create an environment of suspicion.

It seems we are all guilty until proven innocent or at least under suspicion until we can prove otherwise.

This is a stain upon our society!!!!

Why does this matter?

This idea is important because we live in a democracy and that should imply freedom to go about ones business and make a valued and positive contribution to society.

We are all interdependent and this interdependence is what makes us a free society – this is simply undermined if the state is too big and seeks to control too much and creates within society an air of suspicion and fear.

Responsibilities to one and other do not have to spelled out by the state – we are free thinking individuals who all recognise this interdependence and the responsibilities we have to one and other.

Not all people are bad – the majority are good citizens, it's just the few who seek to hurt and prey on the weak – let’s not punish the whole of society for the ills of the few and seek instead to put the control back into the hands of the professionals who after all – do know best.

The CRB and the discriminatory practices inherent within it are but one example of the air of suspicion and fear embedded within our society since 1997.

Thus my idea is good because it is good for society – the big society!

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