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back to article Home Office shifts feet as vetting database looms

With just one month to go before the new vetting database goes live, the public appear finally to be waking up to the threat to civil liberties implied – and they are not happy. Well, Home Office... we did warn you. It was just over a year ago that we did, in fact. Although the scale of the disaster about to hit the buffers is …

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Anonymous Coward

New Labour's Poll Tax?

Could this turn out to be New Labour's Poll Tax?

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Two systems

You always end up using both systems in the period before a new system gains industry trust because they at least know where they are with the old system. I don't see why the number of people on the database really matters, whether it's 11.3m, 16m or 60m.

What we really need is for the database to contain enough data for the CRB to be abandonned and common sense to be applied to this (as it probably will be, the media will stir it all up as they do and pick on the occasional example where something stupid happens.)

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Silver badge

Sounds a bit like Communist Party membership ..

... where the best jobs, juiciest opportunities and greatest rewards go to the "approved" people who are party members. The rest of the population, the unprivileged masses, have to get by doing any jobs that they, as second class citizens, can get.

Of course, those who are "on the list" will have a vested interest - not just in keeping the undesirables off (not, you understand because of any harm they might do to the children - gotta think of them!, but simply as a jobs preservation strategy). They will also become beholden to the gummint for their jobs - to the point where it wouldn't be hard to see the link: vote for us, keep your privileged status. Hmmm, you voted for the other lot --- sorry: hand in your security pass and don't let the door bump your arse on the way out. Oh yes, you'll be deemed to have resigned - so no state benefits for you!

Now, the headline: that this is to protect children from baddies is easily subverted. The proposal is already that doctors and other professionals have to be on it. It would be very easy to extend it's scope so that any desirable job is described as having an element of child-contact in it and therefore only a party-member, sorry: approved person can be granted it.

Even better. If, like enhanced CRB checks, hearsay and unproven allegations are allowed, all you have to do to get a promotion is to rat on the boss (or your competitor) for their status to be withdrawn. Better still: get your kids to do the dirty work for you: "Now children, you remember when we invited my boss over last sunday? well, Johnny he *did* brush up against you, didn't he ...." Could you just tell that to this nice policewoman (as all the police_men_ will be long gone: excluded or out-promoted by their own laws) what happened.

Presumably, submitting a DNA sample and owning a voluntary ID card will soon be on the list of prerequisites, too.

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Coat

Raise a glass to Stalinism

Some fundamental flaws with this particular Big Brother initiative "to protect children" ...

If a parent applies for vetting and is rejected then surely the state is failing in its duty to protect that parent's children by allowing even greater contact with them than they'd have with others. So, logically, vetting should include all parents ( and possibly close relatives ), and the state should become pro-active in taking children into care. If parents won't register, they've got something to hide, and need closer investigation.

If a parent who is vetted takes children in their car where vetting is required, what if they also take their partner who isn't vetted ? Is that breaking the law and a £5K fine ? What when they stop at a petrol staion, the parent vetted gets out, leaving the children with the non-vetted person ? Another £5K fine ? Best not carry an A-to-Z in the car as that's, "an item which may be of use to a terrorist" on top.

How does getting a vetting rejection - which may be on the grounds of nothing more than malicious rumour - affect ones life, future career and family relationships ?

Ironically, for all that's planned ( at huge expense ), it appears it still wouldn't have stopped Huntley's crime, nor many others, and it's unlikely those police officers investigating Soham would have failed CRB checks and two ended up in court on child porn charges.

This is government knee-jerk legislation which goes too far, with little logic, and with little effect. Any gains in child protection will be largely lost elsewhere. Children will end up walking home down roads and dark alleyways fending off sex offenders themselves as people refuse to register on principleand through fear of that we'll keep children locked indoors.

People are scared to even help, let alone accidentally look at a child, lest they are labelled a paedophile.

At least Christmas presents will be cheap this year; "Santa couldn't come as his vetting hasn't gone through the system".

Mine's the one with a puppy, a bag of sweets and a "not a paedo" vetting certificate in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Tale of a Mr Modern Alan Turing

Mr Alan Turing is a normal guy, he contributes to society, does a good job, and never hurt anyone.

However he likes to look at dirty pictures of perverted women, some consider this extreme porn, while others consider it to be normal sexual visual male stimulus.

But Prudes decide its against nature, powerful prudes, political prudes and rozzer prudes. Their morals overrule everyone elses they think, in their own minds. So he is prosecuted for gross indecency or possession of dirty pictures or such.

Lots of lies are told, the women are trafficked, Guatamalan snuff movies are on sale in sex shops...lots of lying bollocks to punish him.

And the extended background check of the government 'blacklist' database, means he cannot work in any job where a lawsuit might result if things go bad. His life ruined for looking at pictures, he commits suicide to end it quickly, aged just 41.

50 years on the British Prime Minister of the day apologizes for the stupid selfish moralizing asss**te that was Jacqui Smith. People wonder what benefit there is in him apologizing, when the ass*at herself was adamant it was for a greater moral good... but nevertheless public opinion is strong on the matter and he is a weak leader.

Plus ça change plus c'est la même chose.

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I do love it when

Humphrys or Paxman stick it to the man.

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Wot I heard O'Brien say

I heard this morning's Radio 4 interview. At one point O'Brien said that Soham was entirely due to two police authorities failing to exchange information about Huntley and that the new, monstrously intrusive, ISA scheme was designed to plug that gap. What he didn't explain, and that Humphreys unfortunately didn't ask, was why they didn't simply bash some police heads together instead of spending money they no longer have to build a vastly expensive surveillance database.

I am left wondering if the ISA is merely a front for yet another attempt to entrap the whole population in the NuLabour police state's database.

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Two words...

Common Purpose.

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Flame

sparkyboy

So what happens when they make a mistake.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/03/crb_errors/

Not only will they ruin peoples lives, They run the risk of having someone who has been falsely identified having their house being torched.

Our local paper always prints the name and address of offenders and the militant nutters round here have so far torched every one, But not always the right one.

http://tinyurl.com/lgd76o

Got to keep the kiddies safe.

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Grenade

Missing masses?

I'm confused - most abuse occurs in the home. So why aren't PARENTs required to be on the register?

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FAIL

A nice little minefield

One immediate example from my personal experience springs to mind...

At my 6 year old's primary school, you have to tell the school who will be picking the child up from school. It can be a parent, or someone else as long as you warn the school.

Since this information is held by the school and is submitted in writing by parents I suspect this could be classified as a formal arrangement mediated by the school. Which means that I will need to be checked before I can collect my daughter and her friend every Tuesday to play.

Ho hum.

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Big Brother

crystal ball time

If this takes off, I foresee ghettos - those who are 'approved' and those who are not. Given that it is now regarded as a sign of criminality if you protest or even complain about the State it will mean those who are 'approved' will fear anything which may affect their status. It can mean nothing but trouble ahead. Gattaca anyone?

Big Brother ....nuff said

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Big Brother

If your names not down you're not coming in

Apart from all the civil liberties issues associated with yet another database consider the social implications. With this card comes suspicion and eventually people without a card will be treated with suspicion.

Imagine having dinner with your friends and its suddenly discovered that you are the only person not to been VETTED(all the rest are teachers).

They say: 'You should be VETTED 'then you can be safe like us and volunteer at the school. Help your families education'.

You reply ' I don't want one, I don't want to help at the school'

They reply 'Have you been refused?'

You say: No I've never applied, I don't want to work at the school, I don't need one.

They say: I would NEVER trust someone that failed Vetting.

Next thing you know you aren't invited to dinner any more.

Maybe a little paranoid but most people starting smoking through peer pressure. And we all know what happened to the kids that didn't or couldn't smoke.

And what would happen if you failed your VETTING. I hate to imagine.

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@Tale of a Mr Modern Alan Turing

@Tale of a Mr Modern Alan Turing, correction, he would have liked to look at pictures of men; other than that, just so... this kind of database will allow minor crimes, or even just typos, to ruin a person's life.

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Big Brother

Failure Built In

"On this morning’s Today programme, John Humphrys established that where parents made "informal" arrangements amongst themselves to ferry children to and from school, no vetting would be required. Where a club organised it, failure to be vetted could result in both parent and club being fined £5,000."

Oh, this has failure built in, on a potentially truly epic scale.

Those with "nothing to hide, nothing to fear", may well go along with formal arrangements, while kiddy fiddlers and other undesirables will stick to informal arrangements.

The result is that the vast majority of those "on the radar", being checked, monitored, etc, are going to be sqeaky clean - innocent people treated automatically as suspects. The kiddy fiddlers, etc, will keep below the radar, avoiding checking, tracking, tracing, etc, by sticking to informal arrangements where no vetting is required. And it will be really easy for them to justify preferring informal arrangements: less hassle, less red tape, cheaper, more flexible than all the rigmarole of setting something up formally...

The innocent end up being watched, while the criminally inclined avoid it.

So then there's another Soham. And, of course, it'll be because of some kiddy killer who was involved in some informal arrangements, so as to avoid all the vetting stuff. That "loophole" will have to be closed...

I sometimes wonder how many of these future "loopholes" are deliberately built into this evil government's legislation, just so there will be the need to close them in the future with even more extreme legislation. It's like laying crazy paving until there's a straight edge, but only ever using irregularly shaped paving stones.

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Anonymous Coward

@Tale of a Mr Modern Alan Turing, correction, he would have liked to look at pictures of men;

Actually what gets me is that there was a moral standard, and that standard was that sex up the poopshoot between men was a crime. That resulted in consenting adults being prosecuted and his life ruined for no good reason for consensual acts.

We have the same thing today, the exact same thing, only worse. Nurses being barred from jobs for drunken nights out, criminalization of men having sex with prostitutes, men being criminalized for seeing girls doing dogs...

It's not even a sexual act that NuLabour is prosecuting people and baring them from work for, it's A PICTURE OF a sexual act. And yet the chief rozzers defend this, and there seems to be no connection there, they just can't see that its the same thing only they've taken it to a greater extreme.

I bet the chief rozzer will be appalled at Turins treatment, and simultaneously agree with Modern Turings treatment and see no contradiction in that!

Let me quote Wikipedia and examine what Brown apologised for:

"In January 1952 Turing picked up the 19-year-old Arnold Murray outside a cinema in Manchester. After a lunch date, Turing invited Murray to spend the weekend with him at his house, an invitation which Murray accepted although he did not show up. The pair met again in Manchester the following Monday, when Murray agreed to accompany Turing to the latter's house. A few weeks later Murray visited Turing's house again, and apparently spent the night there.[32]"

"After Murray helped an accomplice to break into his house, Turing reported the crime to the police. During the investigation Turing acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray. Homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time,[6] and so both were charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, the same crime that Oscar Wilde had been convicted of more than fifty years earlier.[33]"

"Turing was given a choice between imprisonment or probation conditional on his agreement to undergo hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. He accepted chemical castration via oestrogen hormone injections,[34] which lasted for a year. One of the known side effects of these hormone injections was the development of breasts, known as gynecomastia, something which plagued Turing for the rest of his life. Turing's conviction led to the removal of his security clearance, and barred him from continuing with his cryptographic consultancy for GCHQ. At the time, there was acute public anxiety about spies and homosexual entrapment by Soviet agents, possibly due to the recent exposure of the first two members of the Cambridge Five, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, as KGB double agents. Turing was never accused of espionage but, as with all who had worked at Bletchley Park, was prevented from discussing his war work."

It's the exact same thing.

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Stop

Not another database.

This scheme seems to be another way to criminalise and stigmatise the decent majority. It doesn’t address the problems it’s supposed to.

It doesn’t;

1. Stop malign individuals that have no criminal record. In fact it will give them a “certificate” to carry out whatever they want – being that there is only going to be a one off check.

2. Stop family “friends” that have other malicious intentions.

3. Address the statistical likelihood that abuse is usually carried out within the wider family circle.

What it does do is;

1. Raise questions about people who decide to stop volunteering, for privacy reasons, or whatever – because the State’s assumption will be that they have something to hide.

2. Create database of individuals – as far as I’m aware nothing has been mentioned about how the “Vetting and Barring Scheme” is going to be managed, relating to the data collected.

From a sceptical point of view the government know they’re not going to get their National Identity Register so they’re finding another way to make sure the people of this country get indexed.

The scheme should be scrapped and the money ring-fenced for it put into policing and social services.

This government should stop inventing unworkable cures and focus on prevention. Though the adage is obvious I’ll state it anyway: prevention is better than cure – and cheaper: you won’t have to create organisations like the “Independent Safeguarding Authority” to attempt to solve the problem after the fact.

Why is it that this government, when attempting to crack down on issues, always come up with schemes that penalise the decent majority and avoid tackling the real problems? — a revenue stream from people they can validate? – very probably.

Just like Health and Safety – though a good idea – The Vetting and Barring Scheme is based upon subjective scenarios rather than real science (and reality), namely the mathematics of the probability.

This government’s only ideas are about big government and the control of everyone. They have no concept of the decent majority and this is the reason why you’ll never hear a government minister stating percentages such as; how many children there are in the UK versus how many are unfortunate to be abused by people such as the ones the scheme wants to identify.

What we need is holistic legislation, not the piece meal tripe that seems to be this government’s only idea for the betterment of all the UK’s citizens.

If you look at all the logging schemes this government has proposed and has tried to establish, over its term, you will find only one architecture, and that is the architecture of guilt, and this is the reality of how our government perceives all of us; innocence is not in their lexicon.

But to have a steadfast view such as this Government's in fact speaks volumes about the psyche of the people currently in government, trying to push it forward.

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Headmaster

And what about music?

I play in a number of brass bands and orchestras, regular rehearsals etc, and there will inevitiably be children in them (some of those 16/15/14/13 year olds can play a mean fiddle/cornet etc). I guess that all the members of the orchestra (100 players?) will need to go through the checks as well - or do we just chuck out the kids?

And what happens if one of our members fails? Why get rid of the best musician money can buy because of something that might have hapened in the past - but they are no threat to the kids? Once the pandora's box is opened it will lead to other disqualifications. What if they were falsely accused of something - still get a fail on the ECRB.

I'm not going to stop my music - most music organisations could not afford the £5000 fine (and why should they have to pay if one of the people who joins them has not bothered with the check) and ..... oooooohh, I'm starting to get annoyed!

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Big Brother

@ Two words...

Too right. All these databases that NuLabour are trying to establish stink of a common architect, an architect who wants to control. And who better to be behind it than Common Purpose - an organisation that defined a gap in government hierarchy, from the top to the bottom, then sold this gap as a problem and funnily enough proposed a way to fill it.

I mean, NuLabour isn't clever enough to think on this scale or such a long term.

CRB database, National ID Register, DNA database, ContactPoint, NHS care records, "I"SA database.

Unfortunately we'll only know if all these still go ahead after a change in government. And if that happens, what then?

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Soft information and Dangerous Pictures...

Remember that this "vetting" can include "soft information" ie hearsay and malicious gossip whereby it's enough that a kid with a grudge can accuse an adult of trying to groom them or similar, but, even if (or when) it turns out to be a complete lie, that accusation *still* remains on record.

Not only that, but the "Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act" from where this database comes, included the ability to bar someone from working with said "vulnerable groups" if they had engaged in "conduct involving sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings (including possession of such images), if it appears to IBB that the conduct is inappropriate" , yet the SVGA was introduced *before* the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act which made the possession of extreme pornography illegal!

In other words, it seems that the Independant Barring Board will want to know what porn you like to look at before they will allow you to work with these groups!

Of course now that these laws are *on* the statute books it's going to be a very difficult job to do anything about them.

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Anonymous Coward

the problem is.

there's loads of let's face it, spineless poncey common purpose educated w*nkers who would rather cause ten thousand child molesters to become unemployable, thus starving their innocent children, because they can't get a job, than torture real child molesters to death, to discourage others, and also let their wives find another real man who isn't a child molester to settle down with. This is the mediocrity of the short termist liberals I guess.

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RW

@ Simon 40

Quote: "All these databases that NuLabour are trying to establish stink of a common architect, an architect who wants to control."

Once, just once, during the ludicrous tenure of Jackie Dimwit Smith as Home Secretary, a news article (perhaps here in El Reg, elsewise probably the Beeb, the Times, or the Grauniad) mentioned the name of some dire high-ranking police functionary who has the ear of the Home Secretary. IIRC, this asshole is supposed to represent the interests of the police to the Home Office.

Why are the police involved in making law? That is the fundamental question. The cops need to be told pointblank that they do NOT make law, and they need to be kept on a very short leash by a Home Secretary or judges who take no shit and no excuses from them. The Home Secretary needs to tell the cops "when I want your opinion, I'll ask for it, now fuck off."

I wish to the devil I'd saved the web page so I could give a more precise report, but I didn't so this vague recollection will have to do. Perhaps someone else remembers the same article.

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Two systems becoming one?

Sorry, Tom. I thought this at one point. But no: that is not what is happening. In the early days of promoting the ISA and the vetting database, the impression was allowed to grow that it would do away with the imperfections in the crb system.

However, what is now clear is that the two systems do quite different things.

The database sets a single gold standard for everyone on it. You either pass, or you fail...and my guess is that the fail bar will be set high, otherwise the database would become a major scandal.

So what employers will know from the database is merely...that the individual has NOT been barred from working with kids or the vulnerable. So what?

I very much doubt Huntley would have been barred: so this base fails its initial objective right there.

Meanwhile, employers are still going to need crb checks a) because they give far more detail about an individual...and some employers might want that detail when making employment decisions and b) because the whole compensation/negligence culture means that even if the vetting database says someone isn't barred, an employed doesn't want to end up employing someone who commits a crime and, it turns out, had dodgy crb info on them.

Therefore, the value of this base is that it will bar from working with kids and the vulnerable about 20k people over and above those already effectively barred. Assuming every one of those is a new barring who would not be caught by other means, that puts a price tag of £50k per person barred.

Assuming that maybe half to three quarters of those would have been picked up simply by extending the range of work for which crb is required...you have a system in which maybe 14 million people go on a database in order to control the behaviour of 5,000...with cost per person barred now a staggering £200k per individual.

Common sense? Or arrogant stupidity?

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Will cause more damage to more children than it protects.

What are the likely results?

Kids' clubs finding it hard to get helpers. Clubs closing or redusing what they offer.

New over 18 rules on other clubs to avoid the trouble.

More alienated kids. More kids going round in gangs. More unhealthy kids - video games instead of sport.

As if they haven't damaged kids enough by making adults afraid to give a kid a hug when they are upset for fear of being labeled.

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AC@15:58

Could this turn out to be New Labour's Poll Tax?

No. That will be the ID card scheme.

Lots of people recognise that one is a bad idea.

People are still believing the propoganda that this will prote ctchildren/elderly/mentally challenged ("Vulnerable persons" covers a very *wide* area if you want it to).

Of course unlike the Community Charge both are (in theory) "Voluntary."

Just like breathing.

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Big Brother

Flag the wrong way up?

I was thinking, that for this story, the icon of the flag needs inverting.

But then, on reflection, maybe not, as that would mean that someone is acknowledging that they are in distress, and the trouble is that the Home Office certainly isn't capable of admitting this, quite likely not even capable of realising it. (Heck, but neither is any other department or politician. Full steam ahead, icebergs or not).

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Megaphone

Re: @Tale of a Mr Modern Alan Turing, correction, he would have liked to look at pictures of men;

Here's how I think it often works.

Once upon a time, male homosexuality was criminalised, and remained criminalised, largely because a lot of people found it disgusting. Decades after decriminalisation, it's no longer "politically correct" to say that homosexuality's disgusting. These days, homosexuality is officially not disgusting. It's part of the established dogma that it's not disgusting.

But we've now got a government, and a broader establishment in its various forms, that mistakenly think that homosexuality's okay not because it's a private matter between consenting adults, but because the established dogma is that it's not disgusting. So, when faced with something that is still regarded as disgusting (such as, say, consensual BDSM (mis)interpreted as violent and degrading mistreatment of women (even though it's many years since Annie Lennox sang, "Some of them want to be abused")), they see no problem in criminalising it. After all, most people find it disgusting.

As AC and others have pointed out and explained, the government, etc, just don't see that this is the exact same bigotry that was behind the persecution of Alan Turing and so many, many other homosexual men in the past. Homosexuality was rightly decriminalised not because it isn't disgusting, but because, no matter how disgusting many of us might find it to be, it's a private matter between consenting adults.

And let me say this: I do find male homosexuality disgusting, along with cabbage! But just as it would make no sense for me to persecute cabbage eaters on that basis, it makes no sense for me to support the persecution of my fellow human beings simply because some of them are gay, either. I recognise that the disgust I feel is simply a part of my own sexuality, and not something for me to impose on others. I wish the government would adopt a similar attitude.

Perhaps CAAN, and other campaigners, could take this opportunity to make the point that the government is being extremely hypocritical here. I wonder if Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart (Eurhythmics) would agree to Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) being used for campaign purposes by CAAN and the like? Perhaps it could be re-released as an awareness-raising single along with a suitably kinky video.

"Sweet dreams are made of this

Who am I to disagree?"

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FAIL

Yet another database

Here we are again... Another database by a Government, sorry, Dictatorship to keep us all in check, cost us money and criminalise innocent people.

With every new database coming online they're building more and more of a surveillance infrastructure to watch our every move, what we look at on the internet, every car journey taken, who we carry in our cars, every credit/debit card transaction we make. And not to mention, yet another IT project from Labour who have a long, long track record of IT project FAILS!

I predict they'll leave loopholes open deliberately for people to exploit. Then they can force or scare people into accepting it eventually by saying "told you this stuff happens". Then close the loophole and charge more for new checks.

This country has been ruined by the installation of Labour into Number 10. Why don't the people of this country stand up and fight for their rights? (Can I say that without being accused of instigating civil unrest?!). Why do people just bend over and take it?

At the end of the day I don't think this will make the blindest bit of difference as the ones who are going to harm children will find a way to do it anyway.

Fail because it will.

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Stop

@the problem is.

Err, the Daily Mail comments page is over there....

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Big Brother

It's not all bad....really

I couldn't let this pass without commenting - in Ireland we already have this - if you work with children you have to get Garda (Police) clearance. If you want to go with the kids on a scouting weekend, or local football team same procedure.

You do it once, get your form filled in - sent off and if it comes back you can give a copy to which ever club or association or whatever, want to work in a school, got the form ok then etc

If it doesn't come back then no scouts trip for you. End of.

Yes the UK government seem even more adept at loosing the keys to the database doors than the Irish government, but have it no you don't need to have it if you are a parent for your own kids, but you do for other peoples!

It's not perfect - I don't think that you can have a perfect system, but it does mean that if you work with kids that someone somewhere has checked you before signing the form to say off you go.

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Big Brother

Idiots.

Any reasonably intelligent adult need only spend 5 minutes thinking about how this scheme will work to realise that it is absolute madness. It will not protect children at all, that much is fundamentally obvious. So the ministers who are backing this are either staggeringly, wilfully dense or this is part of a larger conspiracy within Whitehall to tag every person in the country, get us all on a database and start exerting control over how we live.

Either way the level of contempt it shows for the public is breathtaking. There will be another Soham and then the call will be made for everyone to be checked regardless. It's a big step towards presumption of guilt. We really need to stop this now. One by one these mentalist laws and schemes are introduced, anti terrorism law, id cards, talking cctv, extreme porn law, religious hatred law etc. all in the name of "safeguarding" us. This conceited government seems to believe that we will clap and thank them for protecting us from ourselves.

Who was it that said, "The death of democracy will be welcomed to the sound of rapturous applause."

They might be right.

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@the problem is.

> 00:04 GMT

Just in from the pub are we sir? You tell 'em. Bring back hanging too, never did me any harm.

Incidentally anyone know what happens with 18yo students? Do they have to be vetted to? They are adults coming into regular contact with children.

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Anonymous Coward

Ban Children

The easiest way out of all this is to totally ban children -that way no children can be put at risk.

If you think that is stupid, then so is this current state of affairs where you can no-longer smile at a child or say to the parents how sweet he/she looks. You dare not be left in a room with a child on your own. Hard luck on the child that falls down and cuts his/her knee because the risk of going to aid the child is too great.

Who would be a parent when school children are given a third degree by their teachers and do good social services gestapo to find out if anything untoward is happening in the home.

Yes abuse is wrong - but the investigation, suspicion and definition of abuse has got out of hand. This database which will record rumour and innuendo, interpretation of innocent actions into hard damning facts is going to ruin a lot of totally innocent families and lives.

Guilty unless proved innocent.

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Anonymous Coward

@the problem is.

Wow your a disgusting lunatic - hope you don't have children. Also hope you can find a shrink who'll give you a touch of humanity.

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Silver badge

How long before a 'vetted' person commits an act of child abuse?

And once someone who has been 'vetted' is convicted of a 'barrable' offence, how efficient will they be at alerting the organisations that they volunteer or work for of this?

The minister for the Dept of Children Schools and Families said the vetting is a 'once-in-a-lifetime' thing, thus they don't ever need to reapply and just keep showing the certificate.

A single oversight will make the headlines.

It is therefore absolutely certain that the ISA will fail quite spectacularly within a fairly short period of time.

Oh, and she also said that contact "twice a month" would require vetting. This increases the numbers needing vetting quite spectacularly.

Or it completely destroys almost every after-school hours organisation, as nobody wants to volunteer to help at the bake sale or any other regular event. Congratulations New Labour, you've destroyed Scouting, Youth Sports Clubs, Cadets...

I hope you're happy now.

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frank zappa

total criminalization; here it comes

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Home Office shifts feet as vetting database looms

The other point no one yet seems to have picked up on is that with unemployment up at high levels and not possibly due to come down for years, those who chose not to be vetted or those on the list who might just be naughty boys and girls with a few dirty photos, will find yet another block on the road to finding employment. The result either the taxpayer will have to pick the price for supporting them on the dole because they can't get a job, or pick up the price for keeping them in jail, when they go off the edge because they can't get a job!! Up go taxes to pay for the database and these support costs..

The general public needs to get real. Life is harsh at times. Things happen. The state can't protect us from everything. We can and must to our best within reason to protect the young and elderly. However, the creation of yet another monstrous bureaucracy is off the planet.

The ongoing and increasing knee-jerk populist reaction by politicians to the baying hounds of the western media and lobby groups is frightening.

The solution is definitely unpolitically correct, but would work. Bring back hard labour and the death penalty for the most heinous of these type of crimes...(Sod the EU treaties on this.) Bring back profiling! The solution is more real policing on the beat and in the community, not vast Big Brother databases administered by faceless bureaucrats who, as as fast as you can say cd, will leave a usb stick with the entire database lying around on some train or bus.

It is not just in the UK this is happening. The case of the Italian father arrested in Brazil for kissing his own daughter while on the beach in the presence of the mother is unreal.

As a ageing single hetero-male who has never had kids and probably now will not, I can tell you that if I was in my 20's or 30's today, I'd say sod marriage, sod volunteering my time to help youth, leave me alone with my PC or my dog, and probably ostracise any friends who had kids younger than 18. An increasing number of men are thinking this way, and the implications in 10 years or so time of a sizeable unattached male minority in society reacting against political correctness is something neither politicians nor bureaucrats are capable of imagining or thinking about.

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What about education?

Now be honest everyone, when you were back at school; there were times you wanted to be anywhere but at school.

A simple remedy to this, grass on your teacher and quite simply even with an allegation, they are dust. Children these days are brought up to be like Damien from the Exorcist as it is; what's going to happen when we have no teachers?!

I can only hazard a guess that conditions will get worse meanwhile, the child molesters will go unchecked because this scheme quite frankly SUCKS! Whatever happened to taking someone out behind the sheds and beating them for committing acts of a Heinous nature?

Those that get caught sit in prison playing Playstation 3 on big plasma screens, those that don't simply carry on. The people in the middle are the only ones to truely suffer guilty of only one thing, shrugging at moments like these when we should be putting fear in to the government, not receiving it!

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No smoke without fire?

I drive kids around from time to time, for school, church, and my son's Cub Scout group (yes, I've been CRB checked for all three) so I guess I'd be required to register with this. I'm not going to do it on principle. Too bad for the kids, but I do think the people who are directly affected by this draconian backdoor Stalinism need to stand up to this spineless government and say 'Enough'.

My worry is that if I say 'no' then people will think I have something to hide. That will get recorded as 'soft information' and I'll probably end up on the database anyway - negatively not positively.

I'd laugh, but it's gone beyond being a joke now.

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Don't Panic People!

The thought police amongst us just have to keep an eye out for MP's who give children a lift, and make sure they are brought to account in the newspapers.

The one thing that MP's really hate is when they get adverse publicity by having the torch shone in their direction.

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FAIL

How many Sohams were there?

One. Will there be another? Maybe, but the circumstances will be different.

Did Huntley have a previous conviction? No, though he had been suspected.

There have been other child murders, but usually by parents, family or step-family members with no criminal record. Often the social services could have done something but didn't.

This horrendous database is a gross over-reaction to a unique incident that is unlikely to be repeated. If it had any credibility it would give a totally false sense of security. The next outrage will be committed by somebody who has been vetted, and of course something will have to be done.

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And another thing...

You can bet that the entire content of this database, ie peoples' names, addresses, bank details, inside leg measurement will end up being burnt to a CD-R and left on a train.

Would I ever volunteer to work with the Scouts/Cadets/random youth group? No.

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cannot include unsubstantiated allegations

ahem.. 'unsubstantiated allegations' cannot be included. say someone falsely accuses another just because he/she's bitter about something unrelated. this is never 'substantiated'. and now you tell me that false accusation is not only recorded permanently, but then used 'as part of' determining 'suitability', resulting in 'unsuitability' to be near any child? ridiculous. would never hold up in court.. oh, i forgot, gvt will make some new 'retrospective' (cough cough) law or other to cover that no doubt.

who will be 'exempt' from these checks? MPs? politicians? police?

what kind of law is it when it doesn't apply to the ones who made it? what gives them this right? are they somehow better, more deserving, and more trustworthy (cough cHoKE) than the rest of us? BOGUS !!!

thank you for listening.

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Worst Part is

The government is basically saying that in fact people are inherantly guilty until proven innocent. I haven't heard that line since RE class was teaching the concept of Original Sin...

What's worse is it gives an entirely false sense of security to parents, no one can guarentee the furture actions of person and it's foolhardy to assume this makes children any safer than parents actually taking responsibility for the safety of their children!

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Coat

I've just realised another possible effect.

Paedos will simply integrate themselves into "alternative" communities, hippy communes, travellers, or perhaps even close knit isolated villages where everyone knows everyone and they likely wouldn't bother with checks as even the club/association/playgroup would be informal in nature.

I base that on the following example of a similar "clampdown":

The rave/free party scene with the Criminal Justice act, which made certain music illegal. Yes, that's right, the UK government outlawed certain SOUNDS! The guvment clamped down on them (the generally peaceful lot who just wanted to have a good time) leaving criminals to fill the gap. Bingo, a massive boost to organised criminals, and the parties were shit. Many members of the original scene just buggered off elsewhere. There's quite a few in Portugal, for instance. Back then the excuse was all the eeeeevil drugs... much better that people go to extortionate sweaty cattle-market nightclubs where the only drug available is nice safe fluffy peaceful non-toxic non-addictive ethanol.

Luckily, the odd bit of field based boogeying can still be had when the plod are kept busy by the clubs and pubs:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=uktek

I'd have that freedom, acceptance of non-conformity, and fantastic value-for-money over nightclubs any day! Of course, slipping the farmer a few quid is reasonable, but would the police ever give permission for the event? Hell no! That's why they turn up, get set up, and then (usually) the only thing the cops can do is keep an eye on things and make sure nobody's driving home still off their bollocks. (which is perfectly reasonable of them)

At uktek 2006 they kicked everyone off the site in the middle of the cleanup at the end then ran straight to the news crews saying "Look what a mess they've left, those filthy little druggies!" Still, it was a fucking epic weekend :-D

Yeah, the one with the van keys and the ferry ticket, cheers!

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Muddle

The O'Brien R4 interview and the Baroness Whatsit interview and the Reg story all show what a muddle this is - and thus how dangerous. Humph never got to find out that the CRB checks continue. The idea that the new vetting is a one-off is laughable - like the CRB, its a snapshot. How then will the new vetting certificate be updated as and when new "information" is garnered?

One thing was clear, though: if you are only volunteering, the new vetting check is free - cue a sudden realisation that the vetting authority can't cope, so the volunteers are left in limbo for months. And will your volunteer's certificate show that you got it as a freebie? Should you, like a police officer, have to wear it's serial number on your shoulder? Or produce it on demand? - yes, its an ID card.

I think that recently I have detected in my neighbourhood a more relaxed attitude by parents about their small children, but this new "service" will bring back the fear and guilt.

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WTF?

I just don't get it...

In Australia, there is something known as the Bluecard system (because the card is, well, blue). The Government has designated some professions as requiring such a Bluecard be issued to its members.

Speaking as one who was involved in the software, what does it involve?

When you apply for a Bluecard your details are checked against the local State-level system against *certain types of crimes* for which you have been proven guilty (or have admitted to in order to avoid lengthy prosecution). While the local system does that, it has also submitted your name to the *federal* system for checks against other jurisdictions (for the same categories of crimes). Assuming nothing pops back out of the system, your card is approved and you are placed on a "watchlist" where the system regularly makes sure you haven't committed one of the 31-crash-and-burns (so to speak) since you had your card issued. Once your card is expired (every 12 months) or revoked, you are removed from the watchlist and thus are no longer checked until such time as you apply for a new card. In other words, you aren't so much "approved" as "not rejected" (i.e., "innocent" until "found guilty"). And the crime categories being checked were pretty specific.

Simple system; it took us all of 8 months to analyse, design and implement it (a fair chunk of that time was negotiating bandwidth to the federal system). *And* we bitched about how the batch-job latencies meant that a Bluecard check could take up to 36 hours (as opposed to an *Australia-wide* fingerprint check I also worked on which takes 15 minutes max) to process.

The UK government's system would be laughable if it wasn't so tragic.

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A step too far

While I agree children must be protected, we don't live in a society packed full of child molesters.

This is another example of how a failing government is trying to control the population.

Talk about the stupidity of educated people.

The freaks that want to abuse children will just go underground and it will become more difficult to track them.

Well done unelected government, another triumph.

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Big Brother

@Missing masses

Even better: Why not make it law that before you become a parent, you have to pass the vetting process(es) ?

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Been here before....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials

Go on, I dare you- tell me that this isn't the same thing.

Any bets on when spectral evidence is allowed (regression therapy/suppressed memory, perhaps?)

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