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back to article Criminal record checks could hit over 14 million people

If we had suggested, ten years ago, that one day soon, the government would draw up a list of prescribed occupations: that they would build a database of millions of people who would need to register for those occupations; and that a committee of Public Safety would be set up with power of absolute veto over every individual on …

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Pirate

Just turn Blighty into one huge, open prison.

Problem solved - in theory, except that some people keep wanting to break into the prison. Pesky critters...

Although, that's not so bad now that a lot of Eastern Europeans are looking to return to their homelands, leaving Britain behind.

(That's a comforting thought, isn't it? That the darkest corners of Eastern Europe are now considered superior to the once-shining beacon of the British empire?)

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Black Helicopters

Joined up thinking?

I volunteer with a couple of organisations and our response to this will be easy.

We don't accept any volunteers under 18 years old. There. I assume that youth groups, etc. will start having a bleed out of volunteers, so any efforts by HMG to reach youth gangs and other disaffected young people through such groups will fail miserably.

I run a web site or two - same there. Won't accept users under 18 - not sure how to prove their age but I'll have to investigate methods of doing so.

Nice one, HMG - go and disaffect a few more young people whilst you're at it....

I have no problems with a CRB check as appropriate, but why am I getting the queasy feeling that this is yet another attempt by HMG to grab another tranche of people in their 'trawl for data for a basis for ID cards' operation?

I'd like to see the opposition parties state unequivocally that they would dismantle this legislation - and similar knee-jerk legislation inflicted on us by New labour - as early as possible in a new parliament.

Other governments who've sown this sort of distrust in communities were the Nazis, the Stalinists, Mao's China and the Khmer Rouge. Good company you kepe these days, Gordon.

The Black Helicopters are on the wing...

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Geez

The UK really does sound like it's going down the gurgler doesn't it. I left two years ago and I'm sure it wasn't as bad as all this then.

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N

And the final phase of the project is...

Copy all 14million records onto CD & despatch by TNT?

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Anonymous Coward

@Misc: Childminder Partners 100,000 (estimate)

My wife is a registered childminder and part of the process is to get a check for partners. I can therefore assume this report refers to non-registered childminders.

As a side note, my son has just turned 16, he now counts as a young adult. He has also just had a check.

H.

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Stop

Trust

"A measure designed to regulate and restore trust in society could, in the end, destroy it utterly."

It already has.

I used to be a First Aider. I have now let my qualifications lapse and should anyone be unfortunate enough to be injured around me I will call for an ambulance for them. I will not touch or aid them in any other way.

If I should see a lone, distressed, child in a street or store, I will not try to help. I will call for a female. I believe it would be far to dangerous for me to go near the child. I could be accused of _ANYTHING_.

I will not volunteer for _any_ activity which might require a CRB check. I _KNOW_ that I ***should*** pass such a check, but what if my name is accidentally cross linked with another who wouldn't pass such a check? I am not going to risk the possible consequences of such a 'mistake', job loss, being viewed as a 'perv' by the neighbours. No the consequences of failing a CRB check are far to bad.

So I now spend more time in the pub, occasionally wishing that I could be doing something more productive with my spare time, but knowing that I won't. I wonder how long it will be before I have to be CRB checked before I can live with my disabled wife?

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Anonymous Coward

Testosterone is a controlled substance

Why not just go for it and make testosterone a controlled substance. Possession of testosterone an arrestable offence with optional prison sentence.

*******

Look at Tony & Cherri Blair. Her biography has him fingering her in the upstairs of a double decker bush. That would be a sex crime under the new laws and it would ban them from many jobs, and entitled the social workers investigate/confiscate their children in their later years.

But it's not just sex, it's everywhere:

******

A woman was run down by a cyclist, hit her head on the road and killed on the street.

She was in the road, he shouted at her to get out the way, she didn't, he ran into her and was prosecuted for dangerous cycling. The cyclist was punished with a 2000 quid fine. The 'victims' mother demanded the penalty be imprisonment because her daughter was dead. Blair decided we must count the victims loss when applying punishment, so perhaps some dickwad politician will introduce one.

Alternate outcomes for that scenario:

1. The male cyclist fell and hit his head and died. In this scenario she would be prosecuted for Jaywalking, and fined. She was afterall in the middle of the street when an oncoming vehicle was in the road. It was slow too, a cyclist, so she had plenty of time to get out the way and he did shout to warn her.

2. The cyclist was a young woman and the person in the road was a man. In this scenario the man would be charged with Jaywalking and there would be a call for prison sentences for jaywalking. He's a man, there is less sympathy for him.

It's two things, the idea Blair introduced that the punishment should appease the victim or family of victim, the religious eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth shit. Plus the general points scoring of victimhood. Girls count more than boys, young count more than full grown, old folks count more than adults. Essentially if you measured the testosterone level, that would inversely correlate to the sympathy level and directly correlate to the punishment level.

It's not a measure of guilt, it's a measure of testosterone.

******

The CRB check claim '0.086%' challenge rate or some such low number. But that really is a deception, because the essentially point cannot be challenged. Should a web designer need a CRB check? No, if he is rejected because the CRB says he has a prosecution for petty theft, or fingering his girlfriend on the upstairs of a bus, then he cannot challenge the substance of that rejection, only the accuracy of the record.

I tell you Blair was a disaster, turning Britain into 'victim culture' Britain where everyone pretends to be a victim to gain the special treatment associated with victimhood. He created a juggernaut and Brown is a weak leader that can't stop it.

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Gates Horns

Remember IR35

I ought to have been unafected by IR35 since my little company had many clients and I did work for more than one at a time and I had an employee as well as myself. That did not stop my client insisting on doing everything by IR35.

I think you are correct with "The unintended consequence to cap all unintended consequences could, in the end, be that abusers will simply refocus their efforts into areas of maximum informality and maximum trust. A measure designed to regulate and restore trust in society could, in the end, destroy it utterly."

Except that I think the meaning of 'unintended' needs to be expanded. For the organisatins seeking to have staff CRB checked, it makes sense to them to have no sex offenders, so any undesirable consequences would be unintended. The problem comes when you look at the bigger picture, the consequence that children can nolonger trust adults unless the adult has special permission is tragic and intended by the government. You would have to be particularly nieave to believe they are doing this for the good of the children, Huntley was just the pretext they needed, not the thing they are trying to stop.

Has this man been CRB checked?

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Stop

Now we're all presumed guilty

Another erosion in civil liberties.

The CRB check will become worthless as the system will be overwhelmed with 'false positives'. Worse, many innocent people (especially teachers) will see their careers ruined by scurillous 'complaints' made by people with a grudge. But the same thing happens already with ASBOs - if you don't like your neighbour you can get the authorities to pursue your vendetta for you. Just make up some stories about them and the council will be at their door in no time.

This smacks of Maoism - denounce your parents, teacher, neighbours... How long until we reach year zero at this rate?

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Stop

It's really not funny

I was just about to quip that soon you'll need a CRB check to get your end away, and then I saw that you do. It's no wonder that nobody stops to help a kid in distress these days. How much does a CRB check cost these days? £25 a throw? More?

Multiply by 14,000,000... More tax, vicar?

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Alert

More like 60 million!

> ...a person engages in regulated activity if they have the opportunity "in consequence

> of anything [they are] permitted or required to do in connection with the activity, to

> have contact with children".

and:

> regulated activity only occurs if someone does it intensively or "at any time on more

> than two days in any period of 30 days".

and also:

> Another large tranche of individuals likely to be drawn into registration is anyone

> who might be viewed as being in a position of authority.

So, lets examine the list of occupations used by moneysupermarket.com for car insurance quotes (which handily breaks them down into categories:

* Accounting / Finance - pretty much all of these are going to be covered by CRB checks because you could be an embezzler

* Administrative / Customer Support (which includes: Accommodation Officer, Aircraft Cabin Crew, Bank Clerk, Booking Office Clerk, Cafe Worker, Leisure Centre Attendant, Librarian...) you can argue that most if not all of these will come into contact with the public as part of their job and that sometimes includes children - so check

* Business / Strategic management (which includes: Bank Manager, Chartered Accountant, Company Chairman, Editorial Consultant, Finance Director, Hospital Manager, Project Leader, Public Relations Officer...) these all seem to be figures of authority of some kind - so check

* Construction / Engineering (which includes: Aircraft Designer, Building Engineer, Clerk Of Works, Door Fitter, Fireplace Fitter, Landscape Architect, Radio Engineer...) this is a bit of a rag-bag that includes some people that are figures of authority and some that come into contact with the public regularly and a few more difficult cases - lets be on the safe side and check them all

* Creative Design / Writing (which includes: Art Dealer, Beautician, Circus Worker, Dancer, Fashion Photographer...) all seem to be likely to come into contact with the general public, of all ages - so check

* Food and Beverage - again lots of contact with the public so check

* Installation / Maintenance / Repair - oh, public again, check

* IT / Software Development - already covered in the article, if web designers need to be checked then surely so do all IT workers that may have access to any private or personal data - check

* Legal - check

* Logistics / Transportation - mentioned briefly in the article. Drivers come into contact with the public - check

* Marketing / Product (which includes: Conference Organiser, Fashion Designer, Marketing Director, Market Researcher, Photographer...) some are not exactly clear cut, but they all seem to either involve the public or could be classed as figures of authority - so check

...

Need I go on?

What on Earth is there that doesn't fall into either "definitely check" or "bit of a grey area - best to be safe and check"?

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More madness

Once again the actions of this government leave me utterly speechless and send a cold shiver up my spine. It's hard to see where this madness will end, but that it will be very, very ugly with a trail of broken and lost lives in it's wake seems inevitable.

We really are the land of the doomed.

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Flame

Re: going down the gurgler

The parallels with the 1970s are quite dramatic. Ordinary people feel that they are no longer in control because an ideologically driven group are doing everything they can to circumvent the usual consitutional centres of power and impose their own standards of behaviour on everyone else by law. The backlash will be the same. Expect the next decade to focus a lot on individual responsibility (otherwise known as "look after yourself, coz no-one else will") and to have very few Labour politicians in positions of power.

Somewhere in between these two poles is a fairly pleasant society that the UK seems to become about once a decade. Sadly it is always en route to hell in a handcart, so it doesn't stay nice for long.

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Holey Dragnet

As a peripatetic music and multimedia teacher I've currently got *three* identical enhanced CRB documents, each requested by borough councils in the *same* county. This suggests that there's still no centralised mechanism in place for the checking of an individual against a single record - essentially a huge dragnet full of gaping holes.

So even if you do have a clean, current CRB, there's no guarantee that a new employer will be satisfied with it, demanding you get another. At £40-£80 a pop, depending upon the channels you go through, Gov skeptics might see this as another revenue spinner. Although I believe volunteers are entitled to free checks.

More dirty old men grooming us for an ID-centric nation?

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

Except jaywalking isn't an offence per se.

Which is it then; Daily Mail or Daily Express?

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@ Trust

"I will not volunteer for _any_ activity which might require a CRB check. I _KNOW_ that I ***should*** pass such a check, but what if my name is accidentally cross linked with another who wouldn't pass such a check?"

I worked for the council when they introduced the personal licences for selling alcohol and they needed a CRB check. I met a taxi driver who was trying to apply who had CRB checks done every year for a decade for his taxi licence.

When it came to applying for the alcohol licence, he sent of for a CRB check about four times and every time received a letter addressed to Mr Memood attached to the criminal record of a Mr Mamood. Unfortunately, the guy they mixed him up with had committed virtually every crime on the list of reasons to deny someone an alcohol licence.

In the end, I had to get the police's licensing officer to write a letter confirming that the guy hadn't done anything just to satisfy the paperwork.

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Joke

"SVGA"???

Sounds like something they SHOULD monitor!

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"Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA)"

How about

Policing Commumity Industry (PCI)

Anonymous Groper Prosecution (AGP)

Does anyone think that the government has run out of TLAs?

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Pat

Data protection?

Are the CRB granted exception from data protection laws? In other words, can an individual find out what a CRB check would return on them? It appears from the CRB website that one cannot do a check on oneself without involvement of another body (a potential employer for example). I can see the logic of this - it might turn up the occasional target who, had they known they were going to be identified, might have gone on to offend in less formal circumstances. However, if 14m are going to get checked, then given the rather absolute number of false positives, surely an overall better outcome would be to just check EVERYONE, disclose to them in private and let the false postives get worked out without the agony of public stigmatisation. A more realistic second-best would be to let people ask independently what is held on them, with the expectation of a formal dialog if they are known to the system.

The trend in the UK at the moment seems to be an authoritarian imposition of a particular set of values. Blair has professed his religious convictions quite loudly of late, if only he'd done so while in power, we might have noticed how similar our country is becoming to belief-led regimes we previously pitied as retrogressive and oppressive.

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Joke

And just like the normal SVGA

this is a godawful resolution...

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Ash
Jobs Halo

@AC (Cycling example)

Sweet Jesus, what the hell was that? Not only were you TOTALLY factually incorrect (The UK has no Jaywalking law; Stop watching re-runs of Lethal Weapon movies), but it is LAW that pedestrians ALWAYS have right of way. ALWAYS. They are the most vulnerable, therefore they go first. Drivers have to stay well clear because they drive 70MPH 2.5 tonne death machines. Cyclists are not exempt from this law.

Pedestrian in the road? Move around them. Running them down is illegal.

If a woman driver ploughed down a guy walking down the road and killed him, but beeped her horn to "tell him to get out of the way", she'd be in prison. The cyclist deserves the same.

Boy I sure hope you have a job which doesn't put anything more dangerous than a toilet brush at your disposal; You might think shouting at somebody that you're going to stab them is fair warning when you murder them.

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Alert

homeoffice.gov

According to the Home Office.gov.uk. Those convicted of sexual assults against adults over 50% have known their victims for less than 24 hours. Those convicted of offences against children, in 70% of cases victims were confined to the offenders own family unit.

80% of those serving a sentence for an offence against a child , and 75% of those against an adult had no previous convistion for a sexual offence.

A third of those imprisoned for an offence against a child outside their own family had a history of known sexual offending.

Or 94% of child abusers will not show up in background checks. Of those who operate outside the family unit,

2/3rds had no record of sexual offences of any kind, Of the 1/3rd who did have a history of sexual offences, they were still able to commit sexual offences against children outside the family unit. The register did not stop them from reoffending.

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Stop

License to work

It seems to me that this is really a license to work. Its turning into a government approved workers list.

I lost my contract with a local PCT because I didnt have a clean CRB - got caught smoking weed 16 years ago. Im totally open about it too.

However 2 guys who I know got done for assault are allowed to work. Weird eh?

Now the agencies Im with (many deal with local government) wont touch me either.

Nice to see Im lumped in with the Huntleys et al of this world.

Must be this super crazy skunk - turns you into child killers. I know, I shouldnt have got caught......

Looks like I'll have to fork out under the data protection act to see what is on file.

This will be a nice revenue generator.

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Black Helicopters

Mistakes happening already.....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2248521/Hundreds-of-innocent-people-'wrongly-branded-criminals',-by-CRB-checks.html

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=209727&in_page_id=34

It doesn't fill me with confidence.....

Black helicopter for the obvious reasons

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Anonymous Coward

@Jaywalking

"Except jaywalking isn't an offence per se. Which is it then; Daily Mail or Daily Express?"

Neither is taking photographs in the street, or at least it isn't unless an officer says it is according to Jacqui Smith. Although you'd be pushed to find a *women* whose had her camera confiscated or been detained, it seems to be quite common to find *men* punished for it.

It's that testosterone gradient again. The anti-men legislation has largely been introduced by women in the cabinet.

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Dan

somewhat flawed

One major problem with CRB checks is that they only check against UK convictions, you could have a foreign conviction for rape and tourture but still get cleared to work with children in the UK. Obviously checking all foreign crime records is next to impossible but it is a big flaw in the system.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

"A woman was run down by a cyclist, hit her head on the road and killed on the street.

She was in the road, he shouted at her to get out the way, she didn't, he ran into her and was prosecuted for dangerous cycling. "

What I've read about this:

He shouted "move because I'm not stopping".

She was in a group of people, he was speeding for a narrow gap in the middle of them, which the girl (not woman) stepped into.

It's not clear whether he mounted the pavement at any point during the incident (there's conflicting evidence).

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Stop

This is the ID card database...

With this the government has the critical mass to make ID database a reality. That the database is/can be/will be wrong, prone to errors, incomplete and contain heresay is probably no bar to its widespread use.

Only the unworthy would object to being part of this project and they must be sought out and vilified. It will become a badge you can wear with pride! "I'm safe, I've been CRB'd!".

Why do we let out Politicians and Civil Servants do this to us? Answers on a postcard, please.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: cyclist

He still ran into her. Why is this her fault? What if he was in a car and he honked but didn't stop?

And I seem to recall the girl was 14.

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Anonymous Coward

heh

how long till you need a CRB check to leave the country?

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Stop

Bye bye local sports

I am not a cricket umpire because to be an umpire you need a CRB check. I'd pass, I'm sure (I only ever got done once for vandalism twenty years ago) but it's the principle of the thing. In any case, for cricket umpires it's stupid to require a CRB check. Umpires stand out in the middle of a field where everyone can see them, so they're hardly likely to be kiddy-fiddlers on the job.

And it's not just childrens' sports that will suffer. I'd still have needed a CRB check even though I had no intention of ever umpiring childrens' matches.

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@Her biography has him fingering her in the upstairs of a double decker

Tony and Cherie?

I just vomited a bit in the back of my mouth.

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Flame

Solution to this is simple...

...do not apply for a position where these laws or requirements are enforced. Just as one uses market forces to choose which product one buys, if one votes with ones CV, then eventually such laws will be scrapped because so few people will apply for these positions. We in the UK have become weak, disarmed and monitored so are unable to do as the French and Americans have done and revolt in the streets against such madness, but we can 'go on strike' - if that is an appropriate term.

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Anonymous Coward

Vote of support for Ash

"Jawalking" What a twat.

Pedestrian always has the right of way.

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Linux

Bonkers!

Yet more control freakery from the buffoons at whitehall. Am I out of touch with modern life or is it them?

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@Her Biography

fingering her in a double decker bush?

Always thought she was a bit weird...

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Is this right matt ???

"I lost my contract with a local PCT because I didnt have a clean CRB - got caught smoking weed 16 years ago. Im totally open about it too."

if this is the case then all the MP's who outed themselves for smoking cannabis at Uni in the hope to make themselves look cool and deflect critism should now step down.

I see no reason why an MP shouldn't have to pass these tests as they have to visit hospitals/primary schools etc etc. perhaps they do already i would doubt it.

The ordinary person would be forgiven for not realising how far down the police state road we are being takien.No doubt all this information will have to be shared europe wide too at some point.

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Unhappy

Sh*t Chit

How long before you need a CRB check to use a public loo?

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Flame

Eugenics anyone?

The obvious next step is to stop these filthy pedos from having contact with their own off-spring. Therefore, CRB all prospective parents and take their children into care if they don't pass.

What the fuck is going wrong with this country FFS!? Not only was the government content into dragging us into an illegal war we didn't want and thereby making us a target for revenge attacks, but now (on several fronts) they seem to want to criminalise everyone "just in case".

I'm still the same person I was pre-9/11, I have been found guilty of no crimes and I consider myself to be of no threat to anyone. So why is it I now feel that if I were to have a brush with the law in any shape or form I'm going to the run the risk of being found 'on a list' and that being treated as 'evidence', before any material evidence is investigated.

How do I get off this 'ride'? I'm not enjoying it anymore...

The only hope I have is that the IT implementations of all these UK.gov plans will be so poor that they will become unusable.

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Anonymous Coward

@Cyclist

"And I seem to recall the girl was 14. "

Was it anything other than a tragic accident? Sure it's seen through the victimhood glasses, (you've dropped her age to 14 from 17 for example) but does that change anything.

What if it wasn't a girl, but a man.

If she was a man, perhaps a city trader would it even be commented on? He did not hit her deliberately I reckon because he is far more likely to fall off his bike and die. He was close when she stepped into the road because she hit her head on the pavement (i.e. she's just stepped off the pavement). Presumably she didn't look before stepping into the road since nobody wants to be hit by a bike. I reckon without the victimhood distortion, it would be seen as nothing but an accident.

Still don't believe me that you're seeing this through the distortion of victimhood:

"Fund Manager Died After Cyclist Collision

A top city fund manager was knocked down by a cyclist and later died after stepping into the road without looking, an inquest heard today."

http://www.bignewsday.com/story.asp?code=SQ650788K&news=fund_manager_died_after_cyclist_collision

See the difference?

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Re: Re: cyclist

"He still ran into her. Why is this her fault?"

Well, if she hadn't walked into the road, she wouldn't have been run over.

This does not absolve the driver from being

a) A dick

b) A murdering dick

c) A murdering dick in deep shit

If I walked down Harlem wearing a T shirt saying "I hate niggers", I will die. And many people will say "what an idiot! What was he thinking".

If you want an example closer to home and less obvious: there are places in Ireland I should NOT walk down wearing my favourite orange shirt.

In neither case did I cause my death. In neither case will the ones who killed me get away (except in the normal way of the police not finding anyone). In neither case did I have *nothing* do do with the act. In neither case am I absolved of being stupid just because I died from it.

Heck, we have the Darwin Awards for especially egregious versions of this.

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Black Helicopters

CRB

So do they give youy a little piece of plastic to confirm that you have been CRB'd? Has this bit of plastic got a photo on it and maybe a smart card with some biometric information.

Hmm ID cards via the back door - black helicopters in droves.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @Cyclist

I fear you lose superiority points by not posting under your own name (not that it even is your own name, unless you are standing for the Monster Raving Comment Party).

No, of course it's not objectively worse that it's a teenage girl and not a fund manager. I seem to remember rather a lot of sympathy for the Manhattan employees of Cantor Fitzgerald. Still, you didn't address the car issue. And, well, the guy sounds like the worst kind of cyclist arsehole who gives other pedallers a bad name. That kind of we-don't-stop-for-no-one attitude is bullshit.

Regardless, all that 'distortion of victimhood' (wha?) stuff makes me suspect that I should probably turn my attention to these Danish pastries and leave you to muse upon it on your own. I mean, I know that's less fun for you, but...

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The real tragedy...

(well, from my own selfish point of view anyway), is that our various governments down here (we have so many!) will feel inspired to copy this idiocy.

FFS, you used to set such a fine example - one of the first to abolish slavery, stood valiantly against Hitler, etc. What happened?

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Anonymous Coward

Superiority points???

WTF!

Never knew this was some kind of league table for posters ...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Superiority points???

Tisn't.

But you lose even more because your name is even less like a real one. Good one, though, you should show it off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Cyclist

I've not read anything about this case elsewhere but ....

...How fast was the cyclist going and how close in front of him did the girl step out?

Cycles like cars have a minimum stopping distance. If she stepped out in front of him then he simply can't stop. What is he supposed to do - swerve out into the path of a lorry?

Mind you - did his brakes work? Did he go through a red light?

It's kinda simple. Cyclists and cars - stay on the road. Pedestrians - watch out when you step out. You may have right of way but there is such a thing as a minimum stopping distance and the driver might not be paying attention and he/she might be trying to concentrate on all the other pedestrians and miss you.

The accident being the driver's/cyclist's fault won't help you when you're being scraped off the tarmac.

All road users - assume that all other road users are about to do something stupid that might kill you. That way you're more likely to notice in time when they do.

I say that as a pedestrian, driver and a cyclist. Especially as a cyclist who is bored of drivers overtaking me in order to turn left right in front of me or overtaking me when I'm turning right. And yes, I do look/signal/look/manouver.

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Unhappy

Obvious what the real agenda is

The introduction of checks for those working with children and elderly people is only the beginning. The real long-term agenda is to create a culture of "default deny" where a licence is required to do absolutely anything at all. This will, to all intents and purposes, create a National Identity Register.

What's more, if the public's response to the smoking ban is any indication, nobody is going to stand up and say "Enough already!" anytime soon.

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Alert

ID cards here we come

Can someone who has had a CRB check comment on what information you have to supply in order to get the thing done?

I'm concerned that they are filling in the ID database via the back door, storing and cross-checking everything that is supplied by what will soon be the majority of the adult population who are forced to get CRB checks. Do they ask for your NI number? Passport number? NHS number? Bank account details? Mother's maiden name? Everything else someone keen on ID theft would want to know?

In theory I would not be at all concerned about the result (though in practice, if they get it wrong and confuse me with a paedo, mud might stick). But also in theory, they should not store any of the information one provides after the check is complete. Frankly, even if they say this, I do not believe them!

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Unhappy

Looks a Lot Like What We've Had in the US for Years

Usually, you guys beat us in the Big Brother department, but it is possible we may have you beat in this one place.

A criminal record (even a minor infraction as a young [wo]man) can easily ruin you for life in the US.

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