back to article LibCons to reduce vetting and barring

The new government has announced plans to scale back vetting and barring. The detailed coalition agreement published on 20 May 2010 extends the list of systems the government will scrap or scale back in the name of civil liberties. It says the vetting and barring scheme, used to check the backgrounds of people working with …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    ...congrats on electing a more sane government, Brits! First Obama replacing Bush, and now this. Maybe there's hope for the world yet!

  2. seanj


    What about the MandyAct, that was rushed through with the promise it would be properly "investigated" in the next parliament?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apart from the civil liberties aspect...

    Perhaps our new govt have finally realised the obvious - that such information DOES bring power, but to the people who ACTUALLY control it, rather than the politicians who think they do.

  4. Seanmon
    Thumb Up


    It smells all right so far. Cautious thumbs up, let's wait and see.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It ain't just the government

    Looking through a job application pack the other day I noticed that they insisted on an enhanced CRB disclosure. I was suprised given the nature of the job that anything more than standard disclosure was required. Indeed I was somewhat sceptical that even standard disclosure was necessary. I queried the need for this and was told that "the government insist on enhanced disclosure for this post".

    It didn't take more than a couple of calls to the home office to find that they were of the same mind as me. That is to say that they certainly did not insist on enhanced disclosure for the job as described, and were not even sure that standard disclosure would be required without doing a little more investigation.

    So the problem is not just that the last government set the ball rolling with their vetting procedure, but that countless jobsworths have picked up the ball and run with it. That will have considerable momentum and it's going to take some stopping. Partly I think a lot of these jobsworths love CRB as an arse covering device, but there are many others who just love the illusion of power and control it gives them. The conlibs are going to have trouble getting these idiots to stop now they've started.

    Seriously a friend of mine tendered for a contract on a construction site at a school which was going to take place in an area fenced off fromt he school and during the summer holidays. He was somewhat suprised when he was told that all the staff working for him would need to undergo enhanced disclosure before they would be allowed to work on the site. Why was it needed? I doubt it was, it was just somebody at the school or the local authority who wanted to cover their own arse, wanted a feeling of power or just enjoyed lots of paperwork. On that basis you would need to undergo enhanced disclosure if you worked next door to a school.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Not optimistic

    I'm no fan of the present system, but I also don't fancy being the minister responsible for explaining to the parents or press when the first child gets killed or abused by a pedophile who got access to kids after the rule change. Civil liberties inevitably allows abuse of those liberties by a tiny minority, so some people are going to suffer for everyone else's freedom. This seems like a valid argument to me (unless its my kid) but I don't see a politician having the guts to make it let alone a tabloid doing so when they could sell more copies with hysterical demands that "something must be done".

    Not optimistic either way.

    1. Graham Marsden

      Vanessa George...

      ... the woman who ran that nursery in Devon and who took pictures of the children under her charge had been fully vetted and thereby cleared as "safe to work with children".

      So even with these ridiculously over-protective "something must be done" regulations, there are still going to be abuses, meanwhile anyone who wants to work with children is treated as a potential kiddie fiddler and any gossip, hearsay or false accusations can be used to bar them from that job.

      That these crimes happen is not a fault with Civil Liberties, it's a problem with people and, despite the efforts of the last regime, passing laws to change people's behaviour does not work, nor will getting rid of those ludicrous laws put children (or anyone else) more at risk.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I agree...there's nothing to be optimistic about

      They haven't said that they will stop trying to perform all these unnecessary checks, just that they will 'scale it back to common sense levels'. The problem is that there are *no* common sense levels. The human race got on just fine without CRB checks before they existed.

      Even if a check is needed, it should be done on the people who the most likely to do something to a child: the people they live with, usually a 'single' mother and the 'uncle' of her children. The real solution would be to stop paying women to have children out of wedlock, to stop demonising men, and to quash all these paedophile scares. But that would be too hard, I suspect, for this current lot.

      I'll lay odds that they will just tinker round the edges, at the most, and they may just appear to try to have done something by combining, for instance, the worst features of the ISA and the CRB checks under the name of 'consolidating the checks' to prevent 'government waste'.

      I have no hope, that's why I left Britain. I urge all of you to do the same.

      1. kiddiefiddler

        common sense?

        'they will 'scale it back to common sense levels'. The problem is that there are *no* common sense levels'...


    3. Andrew Taylor 1

      Don't be an idiot

      Despite the scaremongering by the previous Govt and the gutter press,paedophiles are far rarer than they would have you believe and 95% plus of all paedophillia is within the family group. The whole CRB and eCRB system were introduced to create panic and exert control over people, they rely heavily on rumour and unproven allegations to create a system of appearing to act whilst doing nothing. CRB's were introduced in a knee jerk reaction, against the advice of the investigating officer, to cover the massive errors at a high level by Humberside Police who had messed up three previous and seperate complaints against Ian Huntley by schoolgirls which were not cross checked against Humberside's own records. These were then deleted the records from police computers thus preventing accurate checks by other forces resulting in the murder of 2 schoolgirls. The officer who investigated Humberside's failing has stated recently in public that he had not recommended CRB's and that they are a waste of time.

    4. Number6

      No Difference

      Look at how many paedophiles are gaining access to children now even though CRB checks are in place. No system is going to be 100% and the existing one appears to be well over the top for the results it has delivered.

      I don't give a damn about a bit of government paper, that just allows people to abdicate their responsibility to think and leave it up to the state. Far better to be aware of danger than assume there isn't any merely because the state said it's OK.

      Freedom has a price, which is often paid in blood. Consider road casualties - the level of restriction on drivers is comparatively low compared to the carnage caused, and yet that's the price that society has deemed acceptable in order to maintain freedom to drive. We don't like to talk about it in those terms, and shock and outrage is generated when something hits the news, but on average we maintain the status quo.

    5. Count Ludwig

      CRBs are useless

      The CRB system is a mess.

      Ian Huntley had one.

      And last month there was a BBC expose of a counsellor for abused children, who was caught on camera grooming what he thought was an underaged girl (she was an actress).

      I'm not going to google this t too much because I'm at work, but there's a list of CRB vetted abusers here:-

      Nobody knows how long these CRBs checks are supposed to last. Schools seem to think they last forever, other organisations say 2 years, but one charity I worked for (helping refugee children) wanted me to renew my extended CRB check after 6 months.

      And a CRB check with one organisation doesn't necessarily apply to another - you may need to get another check.

      Actually, wwhat exactly do they check?

  7. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    British overstatement?

    "This is the most radical programme of decentralisation this country has ever seen..."

    It's actually very little. But the quote is literally true, because the country has NEVER seen ANY programme of decentralisation......

  8. Maty

    The talk sounds great...

    let's see what the delivery is like.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    *only* offical IMP figures released were £12Bn

    As the Reg reported, it would be the *biggest* UK IT project from day 1 (The NHS NPfIT took *years* to balloon to £17.7Bn)

    Not spending that money sounds like a *big* dent in the £110Bn deficit they need to reduce.

    Just a thought.

    On a smaller scale. WTF to ANPR cameras records get retained for 5 years?

  10. Rogerborg

    Waffle waffle drone

    Note that the first thing Cameron actually DID was to neuter the 1922 committee and centralise power to his cabal. He's Stalin in a tailcoat, and if you actually believe that his government will find the time to deliver on any of these promises, then I have an unmissable bridge-purchasing opportunity for you.

  11. Intractable Potsherd

    DNA retained only for people *charged* with an offence.

    OK, to move away from DNA retention for a mere arrest is a start, but our new Home Secretary announced just a couple of days ago that the police are going to get more discretion on when to charge someone with certain offences. In essence, this just keeps the balance where it is, because the fuzz will just charge people they have arrested for minor crimes in order to get their DNA.

    All Home Secretaries end up being clones of each other, so don't expect too much.

This topic is closed for new posts.