back to article Vetting database shows suspicion and spying are the new trust

"The Government’s desire to regulate all 'relations of trust' between adults and children has created a suspicious and irrational policy, with absurd distinctions between who will and who will not be checked." That is the conclusion of a just published report - "Regulating Trust: who will be on the vetting database?"- written …


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  1. dunncha
    Thumb Down

    Resistance is futile

    You must submit to your new GOD.

    Hereforth refered to as 'DATABASE'

  2. Ray0x6


    What concerns me here is the replacement of common sense and common trust with a formalised, cariacturised version of the same. Will such a registration guarantee the safety of a child? Necessarily not: there are no guarantees for anything in this world. Furthermore, this legislation provides adults with the excuse not to think about with whom they leave their children (thereby potentially and paradoxically exposing their child to greater danger) and will, by default, hinder development of genuine relationships between children and any adults they may meet - certainly impacting a childs' ability to form trusting relationships as adults. Maybe even with, for instance, their own partners. Not good.

    Moreover, it is a well known fact that the majority of child abuse happens within the family home - so this law will at best prevent only a small minority of cases whilst requiring obscene amounts of bureaucracy and inconveniencing millions: childminders, teachers, nurses, doctors, sports coaches, community group leaders... family friends? Who is not immune? The logical extension of this insanity will require parents to obtain a CRB check before they may legally start planning a family.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought there was one

    Didn't a minister stand up in parliament and ask how to get himself vetted, before being shouted down by people who thought he was opposing the database?

  4. kevin biswas

    I have nothing to hide...

    But I still wish the current government would F**K OFF and leave the our long-suffering nation alone.

  5. Paul Nugent
    Thumb Down

    This ongoing thingy

    This once a month for 3 months in a row. Is that with the same children? I would assume so because you have to meet the same child in order to build up trust with them, but if that is the case why do people who make occasional visits to schools (i.e. writers) have to be vetted as the likely hood of them meeting the same kids again and again are unlikely.

    Of course it means that the writers have to keep track of all the children that they have met for the last 3 months so they can check that none of them could trust him/her. If only there was some technological solution to aid the tracking.....

  6. CD001


    just take all children away from their parents at birth and lock them aware in a secure facility where there are no adults until such time as they turn 18 - sorted.

  7. Dr. Mouse
    Thumb Up

    Aaron Kempf

    "Run away you little pansy, the databases are coming, the databases are coming!!!"

    "No wonder you guys are no longer a super-power. Super-Powers aren't scared of a fucking database."

    Sorry, but any time now that I see or hear the word "database", I start sniggering thinking of Mr. Aaron Kempf, our serial whiney f***wit commentard.

    Oh, on a serious note: Well done @ this report for pointing out the obvious fact that this does point the finger of suspicion at everyone. But will the listen?

    Stupid question, they are our Lods and Masters and They Know What's Best For Us(tm)

  8. The Cube

    Looks like the "just one child" retards have won then

    In a few years there will be nobody left who is prepared to put up with the suspicion, bureaucracy, vetting and general bottom inspection involved in having anything to do with children other than your own.

    There will be no activities for children because the "just one child" 'tards have also pushed the government into either mandatory supervision or banning of most activities for children in case one of them grazes a knee whilst doing it.

    Nobody will bother to provide facilities for children because they will get sued, probably because they failed to protect a child from it's own parents belief beggaring-stupidity and rejection of their own parental responsibility. Even if someone does try and provide facilities they won't be able to afford the premiums the underwriters will require to cover the payouts if a child complains that an adult looked at them funny (most likely in revenge for telling them to stop bullying a smaller child) and the employer has not renewed the list99 on that adult yet today.

    I won't help any child not related to me unless they are in imminent danger of death because it is just not worth the grief and bullshit involved. I am just glad that I got to grow up in the last generation of UK children who could ask an adult a question or for help.....

  9. The Vociferous Time Waster
    Big Brother

    Scouting for boys

    And then people wonder why the scouting movement has to recruit Bear Grylls as head scout in an effort to recruit more scout leaders. Most scout troops have waiting lists because not enough people want to be branded a suspected paedophile by Nu Labia.

  10. EvilGav 1

    Don't Want

    I will not have anything to do with volunteering any more, due to this invasive and unnecessary intrusion into a law abiding member of the public.

    Why would I possibly subject myself to a check, that will then allow me to be in a position for a malicious child to completely ruin my life, simply by starting a rumour ??

    The eCRB check will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  11. bertie bassett

    Bang goes the volunteers

    All I can see that the the gov achieves from yet more meddling is that it reduces the ability for 'casual volunteering' - 'Fred could you come and help run the footie group/computer class on saturday morning?". Currently no problem I'd be happy to help is the logical answer, but in future it might be oh I need to be CRB checked.

    The impact on sports clubs and other societies and events could be dramatic..and as other have said does this really make any difference to the kids safety?

  12. Simon.W

    OMG - someone shoot the entire cabinet

    This is bloody typical of this government - any move by anyone to protect their right to privacy is immediately countered with things like <quote>if somebody didn’t want to be vetted "there must be suspicious reasons for that".</quote>

    Suspicious - no, reasons, bloody damned right; I've done nothing wrong I do not need to be indexed, monitored, registered or sampled.

    The more we hear from this government the more obvious is its need for control-freakery, dragging this country into the very worst excesses of the Communist regime back in the days of the USSR, where every minutiae was tagged, logged, watched and filed.

    NuLabour do not know how to govern by consensus via parliament only how to dictate, belittle and crush any voice of dissention and all by forcing through legislation that is hardly debated because of the rules they brought in to curtail debate.


  13. Dennis

    Re: simples

    "just take all children away from their parents at birth"

    Even simpler. Just ban the production of children. Henceforth, all offspring must be at least 18 years old before they can be born. Easy. Simple. Problem goes away. No need for contact database.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    It's like the CRB process and database which I recently had to complete on behalf of an an employer for whom I'd already worked for 6months - I suspected the motivation for the test was a jealous permie team leader who felt threatened by an experienced contractor highlighting his lack of competancy in the running of the development team.

    The CRB screening seemed to me more an excerise in data mining than anything - where have I lived for five years, what nationality, religion am I..?

    I felt like saying no I don' feel I should have to do this - but of course the acussation would have been what have you got to hide!?

    If a comp is so paranoid to want to CRB check a developer then there is something badly wrong with their internal security / audit processes. The use of CRB screening as a political tool, to try and dig the dirt, also raises serious questions about the downside to the creeping culture of beurocratic paranoia.

  15. JMB

    Vetting database shows suspicion and spying are the new trust

    There was an item on Radio 4 at the weekend about how the police can send a letter to the manager of the company requesting a CRB check. This can just say that they have reasons to reject the person without giving any details and he is not allowed to tell the applicant about the letter. It cannot be challenged because the applicant is not aware of it so there is no appeals procedure against it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Looks like the "just one child" retards have won then

    >I won't help any child not related to me unless they are in imminent danger of death

    That's still one better than the police will do. Didn't they not attempt to save a child from a pool because they hadn't been trained to handle such a situation or was that one of them plastic plods?

    Oh, and to the "there must be suspicious reasons for that" pillock, I'd just tell him to bugger off and go find it then.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Resistance is futile

    > You must submit to your new GOD.

    > Hereforth refered to as 'DATABASE'

    Funny how the Arabic for (the) database is Al Quaeda... Seems like the Onion got it right again...

    (scared now, Mr. Kempf?)

  18. Number6

    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

    "if somebody didn’t want to be vetted "there must be suspicious reasons for that"."

    I guess not trusting the government and being fed up with their nanny state is probably considered treason now, to be banished to Rockall or other place where there are no children for miles and miles.

    I refuse to be registered because I think they've gone well over the top. More children will suffer because of the political correctness gone mad because the number of opportunities to do interesting activities has diminished? How many extra children are going to die in traffic accidents because they were loafing around bored on the street because of a shortage of volunteers to run after-school clubs? Probably a lot more than would otherwise fall prey to paedophiles.

    I consider that anyone who uses "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear" to support their position has already lost the debate.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    We're all suspected paedos now

    How long will it be before every web site which * may be * seen by children is considered enough to create a relationship of trust and everyone who has a web site has to register ?

    What about people who post to newsgroups and forums, or facebook and twitter, which * may be * frequented by children ?

    This suspicion of everyone is a dark, creeping cancer. People are afraid to help children in distress ( such as looking lost ) lest they get labelled a paedo, the cops are called and that 'suspicion' goes on a database somewhere. God help anyone who happens to have a camera anywhere near children, such as on a beach.

    Al Qaeda and the Taliban clearly won the war.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    So how will this affect shop keepers? they could easyly come in to contact with the same child more then 3 times a month and they are in a position of responsibility (eg currently they regulate access to Tobacco, Alcohol and "top shelf magazines" ), Would there then be "child friendly shops"?

    Also if some one is on the "safe" list does this mean they are now beyond suspicion?

    Will this link into the NID database, so that every time a child related crime is committed every one who is not on list A but is on list B are now suspects?

    FAIL, because the hole things gona...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hindsight logic

    This vetting process was introduced because a school caretaker had killed two girls, and it turned out that he had been investigated for sexual offences involving children back in the 1990s.

    In newspaper-hindsight, it was clear that if that had been known and he had been banned from being a caretaker for that, then he would not have been caretaker and the girls wouldn't have been killed.

    In politicians-driven-by-newspaper hindsight, this seems like perfect logic and so that is what they did.

    As if he needed to be a caretaker to snatch a kid! His previous suspicion for rape of kids WAS WHILE HE WAS *NOT* A CARETAKER AND *NOT* WORKING WITH KIDS so stopping him being a caretaker would not stop him snatching kids!

    So the logic is insane, it's to say "Well Peter Sutcliffe killed a prostitute he picked up in his truck, therefore if we ban anyone from being a truck driver who is a suspect we prevent Sutcliffe killing prossies".

    It's silly logic.

    Yet they needed to do something for the newspaper headlines, so that is what they did.

  22. Catkins

    It's becoming a selling point

    I recently rejected a request to undergo a CRB check in order to spend a single afternoon with a group of A level students accompanied by a teacher. Funnily enough as the activity was a work-related one which would have looked good on their uni applications they backed down.

    However, this has got my MD thinking that perhaps everyone in the company who is 'client-facing' ought to be CRB checked. This could be flagged up in our literature and in pitches to clients in the public sector, giving us a competitive edge in the market (until all our rivals follow suit and make a public declaration that their staff are similarly 'safe'.)

    I'm again refusing on civil liberty and privacy grounds. We don't work with children, so we don't need this. There's also the question of what to do if someone 'fails' the check for whatever reason - something the bosses don't seem to have anticipated. If the police reveal to our HR dept that someone has a criminal conviction, I'm afraid it would be round the office in a day and round our competitors in a week and ruin their career prospects.

    Fortunately my company is letting it lie for the moment. I doubt I'm suspected of covering up a paedo past by my stance as (a) I'm just the "resident office human rights nutter" getting on my soapbox (again) and (b) female so obviously totally incapable of donning a stylish, yet dirty, mac.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm looking foward to the event...

    ... where one of the wrongly accused database supporters cries out "better that I go to jail, than a guilty person goes free"

  24. EvilGav 1

    @ AC 12:45

    Even worse, Huntley wasn't employed at the school the children were from, his girlfriend was.

    Which the eCRB would obviously pick up.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Fear + Suspicion = Political Win!

    So, despite all the terrorist propoganda... er... protections, people are _still_ talking to each other about how bad the government is! We _must_ come up with something else! How can we control... PROTECT everyone when they go off thinking for themselves?!

    When everyone suspects everyone else for something to report to the Gestapo... er... Government, then political lock-in is achieved, and control... CONFIDENCE is maintained. Simples.

    Of course, this is all assuming that you, the public, have no capacity, desire, or ability to protect yourself. But then again, that's what the schools are teaching, so it should be the norm very soon. Ta!

  26. ElFatbob

    and the end result will be...

    that those that wish to harm children will still cause them harm and those adults who had something valuable to offer will think 'no thanks, i'm not jumping through those hoops'....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blunkett hijacked it

    "Even worse, Huntley wasn't employed at the school the children were from, his girlfriend was."

    It's clear how the enquiry was hijacked. First the real problem seems to have been with the police, and the Chief Constable diverts blame to the data protection laws:

    "Humberside chief constable David Westwood said the Data Protection Act, as his force then understood it, had prevented them from keeping details of nine separate sex allegations against Huntley"... i.e. he makes an excuse.

    Blunkett appointed Bichard and restricts his frame of reference to the data protection laws which results in complaints about the terms of investigation:

    "Yet this Inquiry seems to only be looking at police vetting procedures and record-keeping. There is no doubt that Huntley should never have been allowed to work as a caretaker in a school and that this must be investigated. But we strongly object to the narrow terms of this Inquiry, which avoid the fundamental problem – the lack of proper investigation and prosecution in the many instances of reported violence"

    Bichard comes back and his report is full of criticism for the police handling, plus the thing he was supposed to say, about the data protection. Naturally NuLabour plays up the data protection thing, no rozzers get sacked.

    They even slot in a Biometric ID card thing in that BBC report.... sweet, teachers required to carrying Biometric ID cards to be sure they're no imposters.

    The political sausage machine making it's laws there.

  28. Graham Marsden

    "there must be suspicious reasons for that"

    You're damn right, there's suspicious reasons!

    Anyone with any sense will be suspicious of a Government which wants to monitor everything we do and everywhere we go and everyone we talk to and every e-mail we write and every website we visit...!

  29. Christoph

    It's not news

    This brand of idiocy has been know about for years - see Catch 22, where everyone has to sign a loyalty oath many times a day to be allowed to do anything. Because if they've signed the oath then obviously they must be trustworthy. But a couple of minutes later they might have become untrustworthy, so they must sign again.

    Re the three times in three months thing - should I keep a record of the exact dates when the kid next door asks me for his ball back after it's come over the fence? Will I need to be checked? And what happens if the database is so corrupted that I fail? Maybe someone started a false rumour against me thirty years ago or something? Will I then be forced to move house in case that kid lets his ball go over the fence again?

  30. Anonymous Coward

    @The Cube

    "There will be no activities for children because the "just one child" 'tards have also pushed the government into either mandatory supervision or banning of most activities for children in case one of them grazes a knee whilst doing it."

    Prophectic words indeed.

    It is happening already.

    Here in sunny Canada, our kids' school used to do a school skiing trip.

    One year a kid fell and broke a bone and the school was consequently sued.

    They don't do it anymore: so our kids now miss out.

    If you want to do anything here: rock climbing, skiing, boating, practically anything with any sense of possible "risk" then you must sign a waiver absolving the company of all responsibility EVEN IN THE EVENT OF THEIR INCOMPETENCE (yes it says that) if anything happens.

    What is really driving this is the fear of litigation. It's not as bad here in Canada as in the US but it is getting there and you can be sure that it will come to the UK.....

  31. myhandle

    Won't somebody please think of the adults!

    I won't to know what safety withdrawal services are available once children hit that magic age where they are adults? You know, the age range where the vast majority of us live our lives. Sounds rather like cute puppy syndrome, they are oh so cute when they are puppies but no one gives a shit when they are adults.

    i.e. fuck all the rights of adults for those oh so cute little puppies.

    Boy, the next generation of adults from these kids will be such whooseys they will become natural targets for all criminals.

  32. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    310 days to go

    That is all.

  33. Paul 128

    Whatever happened to...

    ..."innocent until proven guilty"?

    Just sayin'...

  34. damian fell 1

    Unless not until

    It's "innocent unless proven guilty", the use of the word "until" pre-supposes the result and implies that it is a matter of time until we are all guilty.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    DANGER! Dangerously Counterproductive!

    Please, think of the children, and spread the word on how dangerously counterproductive this vetting stuff is.

    "When Josie Appleton challenged the Home Office official in charge of the vetting database about a potential rebellion against vetting, she writes that his response was that if somebody didn’t want to be vetted "there must be suspicious reasons for that"."

    If you had something to hide, would you want to draw suspicion to yourself? Of course not!

    So, not wanting to draw attention to him or herself, what will a child molester, or potential molester, who hasn't been caught, yet, do? Refuse to be vetted, drawing suspicion to themself? They don't want to do that! Or will they play it safe by going through the vetting, knowing they'll most probably be cleared (since they've never, yet, been caught)? That way, they'll be in the clear, no one will suspect, and people will think that they can trust them with their children.

    Those with "nothing to hide", however, will be less afraid (not completely lacking in fear, though,) of the potential consequences of refusing vetting. They will be less inclined to jump through those hoops, to be treated as automatic suspects by a Stasi State, etc. The result is that fewer such people will be prepared to work with children.

    The result is that this vetting stuff, the dangerous false sense of security it fosters, combined with that appalling "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" mentality, is that children will be in greater danger than would otherwise be the case.

    This vetting stuff is dangerously counterproductive, and needs to be scrapped as soon as possible, for the sake of the children.

  36. EvilGav 1

    @ Paul 128

    It's extinct, along with the Dodo, the right to privacy and many more.

  37. Dave Colborne


    Who will vet the vetters?

    Who will meddle with the meddlers?

    Who will police the Police?

    Why is there only one monopolies commission?

    Perhaps there is a "database" of these SuperBeings!

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh............................. They are coming to take me away!!!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CRB checks for parents? Yep - coming soon.

    "In a few years there will be nobody left who is prepared to put up with the suspicion, bureaucracy, vetting and general bottom inspection involved in having anything to do with children other than your own."

    Ah no - it's gone further than that already. The government now proposes to give Local Authorities right of entry (without a warrant) to the homes of home-educating families and the power to take their children away and question them without their parents - not just where there is any suggestion of wrongdoing, but as a matter of routine. So parents who home educate will automatically be suspected of abusing THEIR OWN CHILDREN and will have to prove that they are not. Of course, it's only a matter of time before they extend that to all pre-school children, schooled children during the school holidays and at weekends, and so on, and so on... Given that many home educating parents have withdrawn their children from school because they were bullied, or because the state education system was failing them, or because they have special needs that were not being met by that system, and given that freedom of information requests have shown that home educated children have a vastly lower abuse rate than those who go to school, home educators are understandably pretty upset about this. But the government must be seen to be 'doing something' about child abuse, and they're a soft target.

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