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Scrap CRB Checks

Comment 4th July 2010

CRB checks and the Scottish equivalent (Disclosures) are an unacceptable intrusion into our society.  They should be scrapped completely for the following reasons:

1. They are ineffective.  Such checks did not prevent that awful nursery worker from abusing infant children.  Like an MoT, they are only effective the day that they are done (but see Point 5 below), and they will not pick up first-time offenders.

2. Most importantly the checks erode the trust that did, and should continue to, exist between adults, and between adults and children.  We have implemented a system that presumes guilt, whereas exactly the opposite should be true.  It must not be the case that adults are afraid to console upset children; where they are afraid to take children or vulnerable adults on car trips; where they are afraid to speak to children in the street – the examples are legion.

3. The checks act to deter adults from volunteering.

4. The implementation of the checks is massively bureaucratic and inefficient.

5. From my professional experience I can vouch that the criminal records against which the checks are run are woefully inaccurate, with much missing data and much inaccurate data.  And these are the records of people that the Police and the Courts have had in their hands!

Why does this matter?

It is most important that we do not allow our society to be driven by paranoia,  It is also the case that this was bad law brought in after hysteria in the media, and a wish by the politicos to be seen to be "doing something".

Certainly there are bad people out there who commit crime against children and vulnerable adults.  We cannot screen them out effectively through CRB checks or Disclosures.  Parental responsibility, briefing of children, and basic common decency are society's correct way of dealing with these issues.

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