Friday, February 11, 2011

Cost or common sense?

The New Labour anti-paedophile Vetting and Barring Scheme.was an utter fiasco where anyone who had any contact even remotely with kids faced a humiliating check (sometimes at their own cost) into their backgrounds. The result was a predictable downturn in the number of people who sought to do voluntary work with kids, plus a high degree of indignation from groups such as the Gloucester Cathedral Flower Guild who refused to have their pasts examined. The scheme was also forced on St John Ambulance volunteers, and millions of other volunteers who had to undergo the vetting process to clear them to come into contact with children.
So finally the government of today acted...

Millions of people in England and Wales who work or volunteer with children and vulnerable adults will no longer need criminal record checks, ministers say.
The change is part of the government's Freedoms Bill, being unveiled later.
It also includes limits on police stop and search powers, ends indefinite storage of innocent people's DNA, and gives residents more control over CCTV.
All well and good, but mostly brought in because the government were under pressure from a lot of human rights groups and were looking at massive compensation claims.
But some child protection campaigners fear it will be easier for adults in positions of trust to abuse children.
Well they would, they'd be out of a job if they didn't come up with guff like that. problem is of course that a lot of child abuse is "in house" and isn't done by strangers, where it is, it tends to be organised criminal gangs who weren't facing checks anyway. Nor are the government removing checks on those who have direct contact with kids either, though no doubt Sunday School teachers will still feel aggrieved even if the church bell ringers don't.
However, former police detective and child protection expert Mark Williams Thomas has told the BBC he believes the changes will give offenders more opportunities to gain access to children.
"If it was about keeping children safe then this vetting scheme would continue. CRB would continue in the fashion it is," he said.
"This is simply about saving money, it's about scrapping any ideas that Labour had previously. Whoever is advising the government on this position has got it completely wrong."
Well he may have it right on saving money, but it was wasted anyway, it was being applied to anyone who came into remote contact with kids, there was even a case not so long ago where 2 lady police officers were being forced into crb checks because of job sharing and child care arrangements between each other. Labour took it too far which is par for the course for them and gave a lot of bureaucrats work so they were beholden to the state for their cash and would vote Labour to keep their jobs. That's how Labour thought and that's why the country is broke, they were buying votes, the evidence is pretty much all around us in the bloated bureaucracies, fake charities and quango's they set up and fed taxpayers money. So yes these steps are welcome even if it's just a money saving exercise, that said, the coagulation are not doing anything like enough to trim the state back, this is just window dressing, using a scalpel when they should be going at it with a chain saw.

3 annotations:

English Pensioner said...

I'm surprised that I haven't had to be vetted to come home from our local town on the service bus (using my pensioner's pass!) as is is often full of youngsters going home from school. The other day a young lad came and deliberately sat next to me and wanted to chat, possibly because he was being bullied and looked upon me and my walking stick as possible protection. But should I have got up and sat elsewhere for my own safety?

James Higham said...

It's just the way the whole bloody thing is administered. If they'd shown some common sense with it ... well maybe but it was in the hands of the PCists and that was that.

Pavlov's Cat said...

The current wait for an Enhanced CRB check (the one needed to work with children and vunerable adults is approx. 12 weeks. I'm signing on people with valid job offers for another 3 months until it comes through. Often they give up and take jobs that don't require it. The thought of spending another 3 months on £65.00pw is too much. Plus there's always the chance in these days of cut backs the offer may be withdrawn even before the CRB check comes through.

I know I would have done if a regular job had come up before my Enhanced CRB had come through, although as with everything there is 'mission creep' even mundane roles are demanding a regular CRB check (Building labourer £6.00ph must have CSCS card and recent CRB check) [4-6 week wait] as well as taking up references before you are allowed to take up a position