back to article CRB checks can take years to complete

The Criminal Records Bureau has revealed that the longest 'enhanced disclosure' checks take more than four years to complete. David Hanson, the minister for crime and policing, said in a parliamentary written answer to Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake that although the majority of applications for checks on individuals against …

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Bronze badge
FAIL

So, after 4 years or more....

....just what use is the check? I can't imagine that anyone, whether employer or employee, is going to wait that long for the results.

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Stop

How often?

How often is a CRB check required? It does sound too strange to me that there are 20-some million people checked every year?!

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Moz
Grenade

Easy Solution

If the CRB had to pick up the tab for the person's salary for all time over the 28 days then either the will move a lot more quickly or, even better, the whole dodgy business would come crashing down.

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Coat

And even then, we might not tell you why you've been turned down ...

And after you've waited however long, don't imagine you habe much recourse if they cock it up, or if they tell you requesting authority that you're dodgy, but they can't say why, really, or tell you .. Still, I'm sure a national database will cut down the number of these errors!

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Megaphone

Rubbish

Bullshit stats like this are to fight the case for biometric inclusion.

My Enhanced CRB check came through in a week, the same as every other member of staff at this school, and the previous school I worked at.

I'm not buying it.

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1,606 days != 4 years and 5 months

No, I know what you're thinking, but I'm not from another planet. This calculation assumes that there are 365 days in a year and 7 days in a week. There's only 5 days in a week as far as the civil service is concerned, so that application presumably took a bit over 6 years.

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Terminator

Think about the children

With an increased number of checks won't the queue get longer?

Methinks it's time to submit a CRB application on behalf of your child as soon as they are born.

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Re: How often?

A CRB check is requested by each organisation that a person works/volunteers for, and a CRB check will be performed when you are promoted or change job within an organisation.

I know my wife has had at least 5 CRB checks performed because she has changed jobs and works with children on a voluntary basis. ( 3 in the last year as far as I know.)

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Big Brother

CRB check ..

How does one go about getting a CRB check ?

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Anonymous Coward

@How often

Part of the problem is that a CRB check is valid *only* for the job/activity for which it is requested and is *not* transferrable. Thus you here stories about people applying for jobs in teaching/childrens work etc who end up submitting several (sometimes dozens) of CRB requests in a matter of a few weeks because each employer they are interviewed by need to do their own check.

I'm not certain whether this is addressed by the new "safeguarding vulnerable people from everyone else" scheme that's coming in soon ... maybe having a central register means that you only get check once to established if your licensed by the government to talk to children.

N.b. (enhanced) CRB checks aren't a simple matter of yes/no as they reveal any encounters with the law. Via church work I raised some issues with our Diocese officials over the way CRB checks were handled and one interesting point that came across was that, for example. if a report came back with no direct "child related" issues but did show the person had had convictions for dangerous driving then the result could be a decision that the person was ok to work with children but that they were not allowed to drive them anywhere. On this basis I can't see how you can avoid the need for each organisation to perform there own check ... unless once registered your entire history of encounters with the law is available via a database and you can easily guess how that will end.

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Thumb Up

Simplez....

Compare the IDcard.com, compare the CRB.com - Simplez. Sergei will get a new Computamabob and that way we can link your CRB check to your Biometric ID card guarenteeing 100% accuracies and a 1hr turn around time.

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Gold badge

Re: How often?

"On this basis I can't see how you can avoid the need for each organisation to perform there own check ... unless once registered your entire history of encounters with the law is available via a database and you can easily guess how that will end."

The law only recognises one version of reality. Why should the CRB be different?

I see no problem with a history of unspent convictions being public knowledge, since the actions of a court of law ought not to be secret anyway. I see problems with *spent* convictions being used by busybodies ^H^H^H concerned citizens to impose additional extra-judicial penalties on offenders. This defeats the object of having the notion of "spent" on the statute books, so if you really don't believe in the notion, speak to your elected representatives. (But stick within the bounds of the current law until it is changed.) Likewise I see nothing good at all with the idea that "encounters with the law" should be public knowledge and anyone who disagrees should be considered guilty (of something) until proven innocent (to my vigilante satisfaction).

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Bronze badge
FAIL

The Unlucky Few / Many

"In 2008-09 the CRB ... issued 88 per cent of all enhanced checks in 28 days" - So 12% are having to wait longer than 28 days.

That 'greater than one in ten don't' doesn't look as impressive as the '88% do' figure does it ;-)

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Paris Hilton

@Jason Bloomberg

I like "one in eight / has to wait" ;-)

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Gold badge
Black Helicopters

Competing incompetence

My CRB check was submitted in November last year, and came back (finally) mid-April this year. Rather more than 10 days, or even 28. However I'm reluctant to blame the CRB for incompetence when it could so easily have been social services' cock up instead.

I also remember when my Mum retired from teaching, and decided to do a bit of supply work, to earn some beer money. Each Agency she went to required a different CRB check - as did the school she worked for directly, and the charity she also volunteered for, so she ended up needing about 5 CRB checks in a 6 month period, at least two of which took over a month to arrive.

One of the given reasons that each check has to be done separately is that should someone's criminal record change, then each employer should be informed about any relevant change in status. I must say I'm not personally very hopeful that this aspect of the system will be terribly reliable either, especially as I've a horrible feeling a lot of this work is processed manually - rather than automatically and then flagged up for human approval.

We should have a wobbly black helicopters icon really, to signal that the best defence we currently have against New Labour's plunge towards a police state is incompetence. The fuck-up fairy will save us all...

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FAIL

1,606 days DOES = 4 years and 5 months

@Indomitable Gall

The only fault in your "logic" is that when calculating the time taken to process a claim I would be willing to bet that the calculation is "Date finally Processed" minus "Date Submitted". So your cheap jibe at civil servants only working five day weeks - just like most of the private sector - is rather stupid. And no, I'm not a civil servant.

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Flame

Think about the children

I suspect that it won't be far off that all parents will have a CRB check the moment their child is born. I mean why have a loophole where all other people who contact your child are vetted but you aren't. And because of Christmas parties/birthday parties and other family get togethers, all uncles/aunts/cousins/grandparents must have the CRB check as well. All these CRB checks to be analysed by a new government department (well we need more employment during these trying times don't we?) and if you fail, your child will be taken into care and you and your spouse will be sterilised.

I think this is perfectly fair as most child abuse occurs in the home from family and not from strangers.

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Happy

Incompetant arrogence of South Wales police

Having just started to get my first CRB check, back in July this year, I was surprised like may thousands of others in the UK to receive a certificate that has my details at the top of the page and the criminal record of someone else. South Wales Police who did my check are now showing the usual arrogance of the Police and refuse to admit the error and are demanding I supply them with records of where I lived, who I worked for and what car I was driving 20 years ago.

The CRB when I called them and told them of the error said they would "try and get it sorted out" What is this "try" part! I had to send in a passport and other documents to prove who I was but these are simply ignored and a criminal history made up at the whim of the officer entering the check.

I are glad that the "other guy" is not a child molester! or I would,according to South Wales Police also be a molester of small people too!

I would have been better off if Paris Hilton had performed the check.

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Happy

Can't the CRB centre take on more staff??

No because the new staff need a CRB check abd it takes so long. Who checks the checkers, mate??

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WTF?

@ I ain't Spartacus

You don't honestly think for one minute that the Tories,assuming they get in next time,are going to do away with this system do you after all they were the ones that first muted the idea of ID cards in the early '80s for footie fans (thugs) this is a nice little earner for the Exchequer.

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Nasty thing

Don't like the way it includes unfounded and unproven allegations.

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WTF?

How many years in a year?

"in 2008-09 the longest time taken to complete an enhanced disclosure was 1,606 days, about four years and five months."

and

"The longest time for a 'standard' check last year was 864 days, more than two years and four months."

So err, if it took 2.5 years last year, then it still has a year and a half to run? And how can they be sure it WILL finish in another 1.5 years?

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Anonymous Coward

It's a scam

CRB is nothing more or less than a scam to that was set up give some of Blair's buddies cozy jobs and to create the impression that the Government was "doing something".

They are not transferrable. A friend applying for teaching jobs had a new check for each job.

They have an unacceptable "error rate" - but we only get to hear about the errors which disadvantage the applicant, if there's an error passing someone as OK who shouldn't be, who will ever know? Is the applicant going to complain? No, they're teaching your kids.

There is no "recall" process so the woman that got a paedophile conviction the day after getting the CRB cleared is looking after your kids.

Most offences against children are committed by family members and close family friends - they aren't subject to CRB checks (yet?).

It is damaging to kids. The fee is a drain on the resources of volunteer organisations - money that should be being spent on enrichment activities for kids. The process acts as a deterrent to applicants fo volunteer work such as Scout/Guide leaders (there's a national shortage - what a surprise...). Yes I know there's an arguement that only people who should be deterred are those with something to hide but it's also a deterrent to those who hate needless bureaucracy.

I had a CRB check in order to teach military Cadets, I'm OK but I'd like to switch to Scouts, that would mean another CRB check, a few weeks delay and my response is I can't be bothered.

I'd like to be able to introduce kids to the local countryside, hill-walking, camping etc but the CRB check is only the first of many obstacles. I can't take the Cadets to the local park without advance notice and authorisation, risk assessments, maps of the route, adult to kid ratio of 1:6. And those adults must be suitably qualified CRB checked etc. can't just enlist a few parents. If I was to take a group with an unqualified unchecked parent as an additional helper I'd be restricted to a ratio of 1:5, for these purposes the helper would be regarded as one of the group I'm responsible for.

If we were to propose visiting the Derbyshire Peak district - that's considered "mountainous territory" and so I'd need a mountain leader's certificate. The BELA is inadequate (basic expedition leader's accreditation - a one week £600 course plus personal equipment purchases plus 2 day "outdoor first aid" course - some of that was funded by the organisation but I ended up a few hundred pounds out of pocket - and I'm just an unpaid voulnteer).

I'd rather make my own judgement about the people working with my kids and ensure that the kid will tell me of any concerns. The alternative is that we deny kids the opportunity to participate in even mildly adventurous activities under the watchful eye of an experienced adult.

Some of my cadets became so frustrated with the inability of the organisation to provide these activities that they have taken to doing them independently. So a bunch of relatively inexperienced teenagers hiked up Snowdon on their own because adult leadership was impossible to arrange. That's a great bunch of kids, showing initiative (and I hope the expedition training and map reading lessons I gave helped them). Other kids wanting a bit of excitement might choose the easier option of stealing a car to drive at 90mph around a council estate - surely we'd be better off making sure there are adults willing to help show these kids there are more positive experiences to be had.

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