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back to article A quarter of UK adults to go on child protection database

“The death of informality”. That was how Josie Appleton, convenor of the Manifesto Club, described the results of the second government consultation on the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The ISA is the child of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006. From next year, all those who wish to work, either paid or …

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Unhappy

How?

How can they vet people? Are they going to independently collect information on the millions who interact with children? Are they just going to trust the information that each applicant provides? Are the standards for interacting with someone else's children for a few hours in public going to be any "higher" than the standards for looking after your own children 24/7 in private?

If they banned families and instead insisted that all children be handed over to properly qualified social workers at birth, then at least *that* would be intellectually honest.

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Stop

Hmmm...

Whilst I don't disagree with the principals of the idea, our government holding yet more of our personal information in some Whitehall database seems like a bad idea to me...

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Pirate

More broken ideas?

What exactly is the problem being solved here?

Are there baby eating monsters on the prowl on every street, in every building, behind every good intention?

All of these daft schemes have little or no effect, so the obvious fix is to have MORE daft schemes in the hope that something, anything will work.

But we are left with all these broken ideas and rules that MUST be obeyed, even when they are useless for the job they were created for.

This is security as a religion!

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Anonymous Coward

Disingenuous

Why do they need to store the data once they've evaluated it?

Here's my details, do I pass or not? Yes, good, thank-you, <delete>

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Unhappy

Band from a Job for being 'weird'

OK this is not so good for us Geeks, however I do see a plus side.

Any one who wants to be a Politician is defiantly weird. Therefor this should instantly ban all MP's and potential MP's as children visit the House of Commons

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Tim

A great sentiment, but...

Who is going to save us from all the knife-wielding teenagers? Is part of the vetting process a training session on "how to wear a stab jacket" or "acheiving the perfect foetal position to prevent boot-blows to the head"?

is there a register of all the kids who aren't allowed near adults cos they are mental?

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Anonymous Coward

Criminal>--------------------<Innocent

I redux my comment from the earlier story, the gap widens to now include punishing people who are not yet vetted as non criminal.

Criminal>--------------------<Innocent

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/04/organised_crime_law/comments/#c_237455

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So its goodbye to Scouting

The Boys Brigade, Church Lads and their ilk. All that will be left will be "yoof clubs" run by paid members of the social Services. And of course, we know they are ALL trustworthy - just ask children's home residents in Jersey...

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Black Helicopters

The Big Brother (not that one) gravy train rolls on

Doubtless there'll be a big fat PFI for some company to make a hash of before (if ever) this goes live, while the Goverment gets to make yet another policy announcement that's of bugger all use in the real world.

And now, I ask you all to join me in a moment's remembrance of growing up in the not-so-distant past, when you got a "stranger danger" talk and were left to get on with it, wiithout living in umpteen layers of cotton wool and desperate fear of a largely illusory paedophile menace...

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Black Helicopters

Dicators and their databases

Thats it - no more, bye bye. WTF is it with this communist dictatorship and databases.

I'm off to a country where I can go an hour without being watched and recorded, one where a burglary is treated higher than a speeder on a phone.

Somewhere which has more freedom than here - China perhaps!

Canada's forms are already downloaded and filled in!

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Joke

Great, now only /really/ enthusiastic people will be able to get near kids!

Good job all those working parents and busy people won't be able to volunteer to get near my kids any more thanks to this red tape barrier - thankfully that middle aged loner who lives in his mum's basement will have plenty of free time to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops. Seems enthusiastic enough to want to pay £65 for the privilege too.

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Anonymous Coward

This is a joke and not a funny one!

I've never been convicted of anything or even been stopped by the police but I will withdraw from voluntary work if this goes through. I will not be treated like a criminal in order to help the government be seen to be doing something.

"We must do something, this is something, therefore we must do it".

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Parents too?

They work unpaid with children.

Theirs.

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Anonymous Coward

Research

"We are not aware of any research that suggests this scheme is likely to harm volunteering overall"

Do you really need research to know that having to place yourself under scrutiny, fill in forms, wait for results and risk the possible embaressement if some correct/incorrect piece of information means you fail? Certainly it may be useful to get a view on how much it would impact as a counter arguement point, but it is a no brainer that it will.

Personally, I have considered helping out with my daughters scout group, but there is no way I am going to send my details to the government to scrutinize me beforehand (and I have no reason to consider I would fail the check). How long before it becomes 'peados like children, people volountering to work with children like children, people voluntering to work with children could be peados, flag everyone in the database as a potential peado!'

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Its PAEDO-GEDDON!

Doesn't the sex offenders register cover this?

Or is this just a "lets put everyone in and rate them on the nonce-o-meter" database?

If so most of us are fucked. As a single IT worker in my 30's i'm sure some algorithm would rate me high up the Glitter-pole and not let me near a school if its network needs an admin.

Lucky i hate kids then.

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Stop

Not this again!

>"A rather different issue is just who will be barred from employment. The database will monitor those who are “judged to be a risk”. However “expert” the basis for this judgment, there is the suspicion that this may introduce either a subjective element – or be based on a statistical technique not unlike credit scoring."

Oh FFS, haven't we learned yet? It's easy to tell who's guilty and who isn't just by looking at them, and if you have any difficulty at all, there's always the scientific test: if they weigh the same as a duck, they're a pedophile.

<sigh> When did the main purpose of the law and society become protecting pathetic cowards from their own imaginary fears?

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I used to work with children

I was a school governor and previously had been a volunteer youth worker. I also provided transport facilities for disabled. As a result, I used to get vetted by the CRB on a fairly regular basis - none of the agencies would talk to each other and the police got fed up of seeing my name appear on the applications.

So from that point of view, it might be a good thing.

However, I would not be happy about the cost - a tax on volunteering. They say that they will waive the fee, but we've heard this before. There have been previous occasions where the fee had to be paid and then reclaimed. There have also been occasions when the criteria for getting fees waived were so complex, no-one was able to qualify.

OK, I can afford the fee - but why should I? I currently travel to perform a much needed civic task once a month and it costs me just under £20 each time - for which I get all the tea I can drink and biscuits I can eat in 90 minutes, but I will never get a penny of my travel costs back.

Also from previous experience, the CRB checks were a joke. Often they would take months, and on more than one occasion, they lost the paperwork and the application should have had to be re-submitted. Instead they allowed it after a simple phone call. One teacher at the school was working whist waiting for the check to come back for almost 7 months.

And of course, it's yet more public money to be spent on something that probably won't achieve it's main goal and may well fail before it is even completed. And of course, what will happen if they make a mistake. A colleague had to give up voluntary work; his surname was similar to a minor criminal and as a result, the CRB failed his application. He gave up trying to get it corrected - it wasn't worth the effort.

Perhaps it would make more sense if the politicos stopped trying to find new things to "fix" and sorted out some of the more important issues first.

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Stop

So what are CRB checks needed for?

I have to fill in multiple CRB documents, so I have one for the Cricket Team I captain, one for a school that I visit, one for a different school that I visit. I hope the new system covers all jobs/positions, rather than having multiple certificates.

How are they going to vet people, self certification of course !!!

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So naturally extending this

Surely you must be on the list to be an active parent - or indeed a sibling, cousin, aunt or even a godparent?

Presumably this also extends to the clergy?

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what is wrong with the west?

If you ever make a mistake you will be added into a database that will _never_ forget what you did!. Even if you do grow out of your habits or the people you offended did indeed forgive you, the database will still remember what you did? And now this database is going to be accessed by organisations *other* then law enforcement?

come-on people, will the future parents be more concerned of whether their child made hi/her name into some "database" then the actual teaching their child to know what is right and what is wrong?

Actually it sound more like the parents should be worried about themselves being added into the database if what they teach to their children something that conflict with the governments views!

Parents stopped being parents sometime ago, and now they are just the bill payers in the house and they expect the government to teach and raise their children for them. I think this is what is truly wrong with the west now.

P.S. English is not my first language, so forgive the grammar or ignore my post

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Unhappy

I wonder

I wonder just how many more children are killed each year by motorists speeding in residential areas or near schools? Something like 400 kids a year in this country die in this sort of manner. This appears to be somewhat more than the number of kids murdered by dodgy geezers in dirty raincoats. This is nothing to do with child protection, all to do with the obsession with spying on citizens and raising extra fees (taxes) in any way possible. For a fraction of the cost of this police could be off dual carriageways and patrolling the streets of our towns. Or, another alternative would be to get rid of the sicko judges we have and replace them with people willing to lock child murderes or child molesters up for decent lengths of time.

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Anonymous Coward

@Its PAEDO-GEDDON!

See you're wrong, you just think you hate kids, but you're actually a peadophile in the making!

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CRB

If you work with kids on any level (Teacher or Club) you need to have a CRB check. I teach inline skating as a hobby and help out with first aid as some skating events plus run a rec-skating club. This means I need three CRB checks, and each one needs to be payed for.

The CRB work that I apply for the serch about me to be done and nomonate some one too check that the resluts of the serch are compatable with the work I do.

So each CRB I do needs to be sent to a 3rd party to be checked at my or the clubs cost. This can be some one traind with in the club but if they are a kidy fiddler then the hold think falls down. The standerd check costs about £60 and a full check costs £120 aprox.

So this change is going to save any one that works with kitds a lot of time and cach plus will plug loop holes in the current CRB.

Any one working with kids should right now have a CRB!

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Black Helicopters

Seems like...

a way of accelerating the population of the NIR while simultaneously offsetting some of the cost.

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Happy

Just one more reason

...why I'm leaving this country. I'm just glad that I can! I never realised that being a foreigner in the UK was such a blessing.

Sucks to be you, people born in the UK!

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Nothing really new here.

According to the article the only difference between this proposal and the current CRB checks is that they will also hold data of your current job.

Unless I'm missing something, there is no real story here, people who work with, or even close to kids, need to have a CRB check and it has to be paid for. I'm not seeing much different here.

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Another tax on the low paid.

Another tax on the low paid. - What do Labour stand for these day's ?

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Flame

"The end of informality" sums it up

I run the choir in a Catholic parish in the Birmingham Archdiocese. As has been widely reported, the diocese has not been immune from the wickedness of paedophile clergy abusing children over whom they had a duty of care.

The archbishop at the time retired early, a broken man. Although without direct responsibility, he accepted that as the "line manager" of the clergy in question the failings were in part his. His replacement, the excellent Vincent Nichols, has had to address this, and at the same time there are now clear legal duties.

Now, my choir is made entirely of ladies, ranging in age from 40s to 80s, so I've not put in for a CRB check. My teenage son sometimes plays his violin with us. But, when asked by one of the choristers "could my daughter (also teenaged) come and try out the flute part?" the answer has to be "No." Well, the answer is "Is she serious enough about wanting to play that I should put in for a CRB check?". Could we just go ahead anyway, and I'd get a check if she took to it? Well no, the ruling from the Archdiocese is absolutely clear, and our Parish's "Child Protection Co-ordinator" has been impressed that there must *never* be exceptions. There can't be "just this once."

So we come back to the issue of organised vs informal volunteering. Organised volunteering will be OK - someone is keen to take a position, they jump through the hoops. But informal volunteering, which is so often the path into something more committed, is suffering, and will continue to suffer.

"Think of the children" - the biggest risk our children face now is that their vistas are limitted because of the over sanitised interface with adults. And that the suitability of this interface is no longer subjected to wise judgement - instead, it is a pass/fail on a systematic check.

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Re:Tony Humphreys

Too late, we already have a child protection scheme similar to the one being recommended in the UK. If you want to work with kids you have to have a criminal record check done, so if you ever nicked a candy bar and got caught, good luck ever working with kids. Did I mention that the check will cost you?

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Anonymous Coward

Speed kills

Tony Humphreys: "where a burglary is treated higher than a speeder on a phone."

A "speeder on a phone" is considerably more likely to kill someone than a burglar is. I think stopping the former _should_ be a police priority.

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Anonymous Coward

Quote from Schneier

"Beware the Four Horsemen of the Information Apocalypse: terrorists, drug dealers, kidnappers, and child pornographers. Seems like you can scare any public into allowing the government to do anything with those four."

Think of the children! Get on the database! Won't stop the vast majority of child abuse, which takes place within the family unit, but let us not allow such trifling inconveniences detract from such a noble cause, and being seen to be doing something, as well as building a nice juicy database.

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Coat

Andy Hamilton

Andy Hamilton put it so well on a recent Radio 4 appearance:

"The trouble with this government is that they still think Computers are Wizard!"

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Re: CRB

I had to fill in a CRB when working in the outsourced IT department of a major city council on the grounds that I had access to servers that belonged to the education department. Would that potentially see me added to the child protection database?

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Re: Speed Kills

***"A "speeder on a phone" is considerably more likely to kill someone than a burglar is. I think stopping the former _should_ be a police priority."***

I made exactly the same point to some twunt who was complaining about people who were obeying the speed limit and making him late (me being one of them) I suggested that he should tell me his address and a suitable time when his house would be unoccupied so that I could pop round and relieve him of his stuff as that was far less likely to kill someone that his asshole tailgating.

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Its all cobblers

It appears this will be more like the original CRB where you only need one certificate rather than as at present where each role you undertake requires its own CRB check. At least if the data is retained it will hopefully mean quicker and cheaper checks.

Like many others on here I'm seriously considering leaving the country because of the way Labour have screwed this country over the last 10 years.

CRB (I have just been checked) proves nothing, zilch, actually I lie, it proves you have never been convicted (or I believe now) are subject to a investigation with regards to children. Even then its a point in time check so could still potentially hod your coaching post for quite a while after being convicted.

It does however (in Scotland I'm told) record the fact you were caught speeding whilst driving a minibus full of children.

This legislation also affects children who are now tarred with the same brush as Adults. They too have to have a CRB check if teaching others. Innocence is dead.

So it appears we have endless red tape to prevent people who will surely be on the sex offenders register anyway working with childen. We make the 99.999999999% of volunteers who are above reproach do all this in the hope we might just stop someone abusing a child which I doubt we will.

Just like the passport vetting procedure I doubt they have ever 'caught' anyone but that must mean its working. Just to be sure they are going to make it a crimial offence. I'm sure that will work too!

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Paris Hilton

So it's ok to rob someone, but going 31 in a 30 is jailworthy...?

@AC

Coward about sums it up.

How many speeders on a phone killed someone last year?

How many burglaries went bad and ended up in Assault.

Given the choice of being burgled, or someone somwhere doing 31 in a 30 with a phone in their hand...I'd take the latter, as 99.999999% of the time there is no victim.

In 100% of Burglaries, there is a victim.

So I guess you're one of these loonies that doesn't care about real world crime victims, but is worried about any sort of speeding despite almost all of it being harmless.

I'd suggest in a straw poll, you'd find a number of people who have committed the offense of speeding, but haven't killed anyone..

Paris Icon, as she' s as much of an airhead as you.

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Another group

How about the CCTV operators? They will have footage of children. Lots of children. They can turn cameras to follow children. They are off in a little cubby hole all by themselves, with videos of little girls and boys blissfully unaware that someone is watching them...

"Think of the children! Get rid of CCTV!!!"

They'll at least have to be vetted to see that they aren't perverts.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC - Speed kills

"A "speeder on a phone" is considerably more likely to kill someone than a burglar is"

Your logic is flawed.

Consider the number of people that speed whilst on the phone.

Then consider the number that kill people whilst doing so.

Next, consider the number of people that commit burglaries.

Then the number that kill people whilst doing so.

I'm sure the % of speeders that kill will be significantly less that the % of burglars that kill.

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CRB checks

They're pretty standard. I had to have one when I volunteered as an administrator at a day care centre for older folks, so no children involved - it's about protecting the vulnerable, which is to be lauded.

As to the "make one mistake and you're on the database forever" comment - I was convicted of a handful of youthful misdemeanors, as are most of us. I did these before I had the CRB check, and the fact that I was a nasty little miscreant in my previous life didn't actually make any difference to my volunteer application. I can't imagine this new wheeze will change that much.

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are they admitting to no confidence in the NIR?

if the NIR was any good, it could contain a field for this sort of thing - compare that to the DVLA database which shows what a person is qualified/provisionally qualified to drive/ride

can't see the need to have a whole new database for this - apart from adding another carriage to the gravy train

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Weird ? !

So lying on the forms is an offence ?

But that assumes, since the gov is obviously assuming it, that paedophiles do not lie ?

And how long will it take them to realise that a person has lied about everything ?

If ever they realise.

Dodgy raincoats does not come into it, most stories in the 'papers seem to relate to priests, doctors, dentists and other seemingly "safe" professions.

I know two social workers, and both fit into the "weird" category, but presumably they will be in the "safe-weird" grouping ?

That's when they're not removing children from their parents care for later adoption, but not for the £1700.00 the gov gives for each child so placed ?

Weird ?

Does that not include practically everyone who works in social care and the gov ?

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Stop

Who is covered by this?

Depends on what they mean by working with children really. Does this cover things like sports centres? How about pastimes like Paintball, Laserquest or ice skating - all of these have a large throughput of children often in private groups. Would every single Saturday staff member working at one of these places have to go through a CRB check or be on this database? These aren't clubs where adults volunteer, they are commercial ventures where the adults are employed.

And how about sports centres, do all staff there need checks now?

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Anonymous Coward

Single people and wierdos?

Why would they be discriminated against.

In any real volunteer organisation they are the vast majority of the people.

I'd worry if a married parent had the time to raise kids and do weekly volunteer work (short of forcing - in a friendly manner - the kids to join the club. 'nout against this mind you). So, as a single guy who is definitely wierd I'd guess I'd be counted as low risk for working with children.

Managers - now they are people I'd ban working with children, they are just in it for power.

It's just another pathetic attempt at taxing the few of us willing to put something back into the community. I'm glad mine will always be paid for by taxes.....

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Anonymous Coward

Well, I've managed to slip through the system so far

I've spent the last three years working for a local authority and walked around about 20 schools / nurseries / children's centres - at times unsupervised - and never been CRB checked. I did ask to be CRB checked but they ignored my request.

Just as well that I'm not a paedo.

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@AC

"See you're wrong, you just think you hate kids, but you're actually a peadophile in the making!"

Nope, i hate peas too.

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@AC

"How long before it becomes 'peados like children, people volountering to work with children like children, people voluntering to work with children could be peados, flag everyone in the database as a potential peado!'"

On top of that there'll also be the "Anyone who isn't on the database is suspicious. Why wouldn't you want to be checked? What have you got to hide?" So damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Speeding vs Burglary

"I'm sure the % of speeders that kill will be significantly less that the % of burglars that kill."

That's because burglars wait until you are asleep and then come in with an axe, chop you and your family into pieces and then steal your TV. No, wait, my mistake, that was just some bollocks I saw on TV.

Burglars come when you are not there as it's easier to rob an empty house than one which is occupied. If a burglar tries to break in when you are there then he'll shit bricks when you turn the landing light on and is more likely to injure himself in his desperation to escape.

Using speeding as a comparison to other crimes is ridiculous as speeding is a crime that the government *expects* you commit. No speed is inherently dangerous, but higher speeds require faster reactions so the speed limit is set so that the majority of people have reaction times that can handle that speed on that road even though they know that statistically some people will be safer driving above that limit than some of those driving below it.

So if you want to use the generic term "speeding" then you also need to take into account every burglary down to the kid who steals a few sweets from the pick 'n' mix or someone who gets given too much change but keeps quiet about it (equivalent to 31 in a 30 zone).

They're incomparable.

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Unhappy

Registration will cost £64 per person

<waves bye bye to common sense, community spirit and social support networks>

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Flame

@clueless AC

"I'd worry if a married parent had the time to raise kids and do weekly volunteer work "

Er every single one of the volunteers on my school PTA is (of course) a parent. In my experience the people who volunteer /are/ the ones with families, singles are often too self-interested to step forward.

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Just a warm-up for the main event

This is just a wheeze to get the nation (an awful lot of them) used to being on a goverment database. They want those ID cards, pointless though they'll be, come hell or high water.

Whether or not they'll retrospecitvely change the rules and automatically transfer the info or not, in their own minds they are 'teaching' the nation to trust their databases. Of course, with all their gaffs, they are likely doing the opposite, but voters don't have that many choices, nor any per-issue resolution in their vote to have an effect. Democracy? Pah!

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