back to article NSPCC blurs lines as vetting debate kicks off

As debate on the future of the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) gets under way, the NSPCC is demanding the right for authorities to carry on hiring and firing on the basis of uncorroborated "soft information" about employees. In a statement issued today, the charity further muddies the water by blurring the distinction between …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    Shouldn't the NSPCC be busy trying to help children in poverty and working on the task of making sure teachers and other professionals who care for children are properly trained in spotting danger signs and then that there is a proper non sensationalists mechanism in place to properly investigate such matters sensitively?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Nope leave that to Shelter who are real charity making a real difference to child poverty as opposed to a PC (politically correct - read "Thought Crime") outfit who rail against corporal punishment , the hidden world of paedos and generally sell self full - filling proficies to ensure they all stay in job.

      Now we have few, if any, male teachers teaching students below the age of 11. With many of those students having no fathers to speak of, and therefore no male role model other than footballers, we wonder why they can't behave. By 11 it is too late to adjust their behavior patterns and everyone wonders why we have the problems we have in society.

      I feel sorry for the numbers of abused children but I also balance the needs of the many over the few. You can put as much legislation place as you like and it WILL NOT stop abuse. I doubt that many of the checks in place have hugely reduced the abuse and harm, as most goes undetected, because no one wants to make a fuss and if someone is wrongly accused their life is utterly ruined. We have also overlooked females as a threat to our children; as was recently noted, but men are automatically targeted this leads to a male bias in investigations.

      AC cause well these ideas might be a bit radical for th PC crowd

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Soft Intelligence, Hard Consequences

    I know (knew?) a bloke who was recently accused by the mother of a 4 year old of abuse.

    I've no idea whether it was true or not. It comes down to his word against that of a pre school child. He hasn't been charged or prosecuted by the police.

    The consequences of the allegation have been absolutely horrific.

    He is facing divorce, isn't trusted with his own daughter, his wife is on the verge of a mental breakdown unable to face her friends, and the familly home is on the market.

    And his reputation is in tatters.

    And absolutely nothing he does or says now will ever restore normality.

    Which - if he was truly guilty - is obviously tough shit for him.

    And if he's innocent - as he claims and we must presume - enough to drive someone to the brink of suicide.

  3. Peter Galbavy
    Big Brother

    burn the witch!

    I know someone who said that someone told them that he once consorted with a duck!


  4. Anonymous Coward

    Protection of Freedoms Bill - PUBLIC READING STAGE

    For those interested, the Protection of Freedoms Bill is currently undergoing a pilot version of the proposed Public Reading Stage:-

    You can submit comments on the Bill, supposedly so that the government or Parliament can take them into account.

    For this "think of the children" stuff, you'd probably want to look at Part 5: Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups, Criminal Records etc.


    1. BobGoon

      The duck of Taunton...

      ...was a tragic circumstance...

  5. Mycho Silver badge

    My biggest complaint is this

    1) Inappropriate behaviour is meaningless and allows a catch-all excuse to explain why you blocked someone for being black/gay/tall/bald/whatever.

    2) Vulnerable Adult, thanks to the mish-mash of legislation left by the last government, is a term which covers William Hague and Tony Blair. Most likely the majority of politicians actually, but those two have admitted things which drop them within the category. Technically all politicians should require vetting to work with the likes of them.

    1. Anonymous John

      It's worse than that.

      Being over 18 and receiving any form of health care makes you a vulnerable adult. A regular dental check-up would seem to make you one.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Off-topic, but...

    The NSPCC seems to be very fond of those charity muggers you get accosting people on the street - probably four out of every five I see work for them. It doesn't really endear the charity to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      #Off-topic, but...

      Well if the average victim puts 50p in, that needs to happen 240,000 times just to cover the chief execs salary+perks.

      [Though its probably more like half a million times if you factor pension contributions and non-benefit expenses.]

  7. h4rm0ny


    And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why for the last eight years, I have been making a regular monthly donation to BARNARDOS.

    I cannot stand the NSPCC. They help run Child Line (in association with another body) which is good, but apart from that all I've ever seen them accomplish is to suck up vast quantities of the finite amount of money the British public can spare for charity, and blow it all on ad campaigns designed to provoke hysteria and the instil in all adults an anxious fear of being seen talking to a child (let alone one that isn't theirs), or you know, being alone and male when walking past a school, etcetera.

    NSPCC - teaching the world that adults are evil at great expense. True, Barnardos sign these sorts of things too, but at least I know that most of the money I give to Barnardos is being actually, you know, spent directly on kids.

    FAIL for NSPCC. I know they do bits of good here and there, but mainly what I see from them is fearmongering.

  8. Tim Parker


    "The intent behind these changes is clear"

    No, at least not to me it's not. I do, however, bow to the insight of your self-declared omniscience.

    1. moochjones


      So you support an agency that has within recent history been involved in child slavery?

      I'm not a fan of the NSPCC or Barnados - both from personal experience - and don't get me onto the RSPCA who can also fast track child abuse claims!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        But I guess, unlike most child charities, when they talk about human trafficking they actually know of what they speak.

      2. The Cube

        Did you just cite the Daily Mail as an authoritative source?

        Irrespective of the truth or otherwise of your point, did you just cite the Daily Made up Bullshit Aaaaarrrrgh Homosexual Immigrant House Prices causes Cancer! delivery of unperforated toilet paper as a source?

        It would support your point more effectively if you gave a publication where less than 90% of the content is deliberately fabricated.

      3. h4rm0ny

        Re: BARNADOS

        I'm not going to stop giving to a children's charity because of events that happened long before I was born. The Australian government basically came to orphanages in the UK and said: "we'll look after these kids and given them a future in a new country." So of course many children departed for Australia. Many of them were then treated badly in Australia, unfortunately.That isn't a reflection on the important work that the charity Barnados do today in the UK.

      4. John H Woods Silver badge

        three quarters of a century ago...

        ... the Daily Mail was also a different organisation - an active supporter of the British Union Fascists (famous headline: "Hurrah for the Blackshirts"). But times have changed and Bernados now accept that they were wrong. Not sure about the Daily Mail tho.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fake Charity

    The NSPCC is a fake charity in that it gets a large proportion of its income from our taxes via government grants etc, (see for details). Therefore it is not surprising that it wants to keep up its toughing in the public purse.

  10. Richard Jones 1

    The Road To Hell

    We should remember that this mess was kicked off my a very bad case of 'no one doing what they should'. The school caretaker was subject to a number of reports of 'a highly dubious nature' but no one managed to follow them up. The few reports of record 'somewhere', remained in the place that they had been deposited and. those who could and SHOULD have made witness statements declined and so forth.

    As a result of these clear and blatant failings a whole raft of 'it should never happen again steps' were taken. Now we have some of the results,

    - human failings can NEVER be stopped by legislation

    - the more legislation of dubious clarity the greater the risk of more human failings

    - since doubt and hysteria have now been created and multiplied, it now breeds unchecked.

    Sadly rational analysis has not been a feature of the subsequent steps, (not helped by e.g. those unable to tell the difference between a paediatric practitioner and a paedophile). Human failings to follow procedure can only be limited by thorough designs of systems, helpful hint build in some fail safes, like checking on either an automatic basis, (best) or a manual check and sign off basis, (less good but could be workable).

    So what was created was not a lot different to the Nazi party, or anyone of the 'spy on your neighbour systems so loved by dictators.

    The crimes that took place, (remember as a result of human and system failures) were rightly condemned as terrible and unacceptable, but the subsequent 'soft' crimes that were perpetrated have been almost as bad. The children who are left to wander the streets least any stranger trying to help might be stigmatised, worse the vindictive child or adult who can create a whisper and gain revenge for some past slight. There was a time when the legal system relied on evidence to resolve issues of crime, not any more.

    I doubt that the genie can be put back into the bottle but who cares about the law actually working to sort out crime, no one in the crime business that is certain, they make too much money with the present (non) system.

  11. Desk Jockey

    Refuse to be checked

    My girlfriend is meant to work with kids. As she is a qualified lawyer, she has refused to be CRB checked so that she can never be left alone with children. It is too much of a risk and a rather sad state of affairs. I wont work with kids either, you can have the best and most honest intentions in the world, it means diddly squat should anyone make an accusation against you. "I was never alone with that child" is the only real defence there is.

    From what I hear, NSPCC are actively disliked by other children's charities as they are strident, waste money horrifically on campaigns etc and are 'too political'. I would not trust anything from them.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    " develop relationships of trust with children;"

    Erm, call me old-fashioned, but as long as that trust is paternal, isn't that a good thing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      um, you forgot half of them.

      Also, maternal is a another good example.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Tron


    Children .... 16 and 17yos.

    Spot the deliberate mistake. If I saw a small group of 16 and 17yo "children", I'd cross the road for my own personal safety. How vulnerable are they again?

    1. Jane Fae

      No mistake

      Nope. Under UK legislation, young persons are children until they turn 18. That dovetails neatly with the UN's view of things, which also has young people as children up to that age.

      This is the source of a great deal of legislative confusion, including some of the dodgier provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

      Thus, it is lawful for two 16-year-olds to sleep together and indulge in various sexual hijinks - but photograph the event and hand out pics...and the recipients of those pics, even other 16-year-old friends - are instantly criminalised.

      Hence, too, a lot of the strange surveying by charities like BeatBullying which talks of "children" receiving sexual material over their phones and over the internet.

      er, yes: seeing as the little darlings are lawfully sexually active for a couple of years before they reach the magic number 18, its hardly surprising that they get into all manner of sexual stuff. They can, of course, also get married at 16 and, i believe, travel to far off exotic places and kill people at 17.

      Nonetheless, they may not buy booze or ciggies until a year later.

      If you think of youth as reaching adulthood at 16, you will be very confused. Rather, see them as reaching adulthood at 18, with certain privileges (like sex) granted a couple of years earlier and the picture will be a bit clearer..


      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Steven Jones

    Remember "Satanic Rituals"

    It shouldn't be forgotten that the NSPCC played a pivotal role in the ridiculous and destructive "Satanic Rituals" panic of the 1980s, including the publishing of a famous document virtually inviting social workers to see evidence of abuse in normal childhood behaviour. That lead to cases such as Rochdale where the events might be described as farcical if they were not so damaging.

    There never was any evidence of any pattern of "Satanic Rituals" abuse, just some twerps with over active imaginations.

  15. Leo Maxwell

    I'm, sure it was in this pocket, I'll find it in a minute.....

    This CRB check thing has got ludicrous.

    From the London based Paediatric surgeon that could not operate on a sick baby in Birmingham because he needed a separate check for each health authority, to my engineers being asked for proof of one before they are allowed into a school to fix the photocopier in the Staffroom.

    One of our staff volunteers at school, for Brownies, etc, and has needed 7 different CRB checks.

    The way it was going, nearly everyone in the country would need one or more CRB checks to do anything.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    why? why? why?

    re: "the new legislation proposes penalising organisations that request a check on employees where they are not entitled to by law. "

    Wouldn't it be more intelligent to simply deny these requests, and state why?

  17. David 45

    Too far by far

    Seems to me there is more than a hint of paranoia creeping in here. All this talk about "think of the children" is only putting ideas into the heads of unscrupulous kids (and some parents too) that they can clean up by means of a simple unsubstantiated accusation against an adult or teacher they may not particularly like and the cases always seem biassed in the child's favour. All adults are evil, so it MUST be true, eh? On the other hand, perhaps slightly nervous or withdrawn kids WILL go around in this world thinking that there is a paedophile lurking around every corner after being molly-coddled by a nanny state. I might add that these thoughts are always in the back my mind in the job that I do. I drive for a living and have recently been covering a school run (paid for by the local education authority), picking up six unaccompanied kids with ages ranging from the very youngest primary school entrant to the oldest being close to leaving age. Needless to say, I am fully CRB checked but I get somewhat concerned that not only am I expected to drive but to take charge of the little cherubs (sarcasm mode) and keep control. Virtually impossible to do both with any degree of concentration, I would say. Safe driving has to take priority and it only needs for one of them to take exception to something I say when they're having a bad day, winding each other up and pick up the idea of an accusation from elsewhere and, phutt! Bang goes my life, job and everything. There have, presumably, always been weird folk around that get their kicks from "interfering" (there's an old-fashioned word) with children. I dare say there will always be such nasty people existing in this world and I would be the first to agree that they need to be sorted but don't you think we (meaning grand-standing politicians and organisations with vested interests) are getting somewhat paranoid about it all?

  18. Sam Liddicott

    Oppose the NSPCC

    I oppose the NSPCC since they started going after parents who smack their children (for things like running into the road - which I think is a fine "sample" of the sort of pain that children can expect if they carry on doing that sort of thing).

    But it made me think, that if the NSPCC have succeed to the degree that this is what they have left to campaign against, then they have either finished their work or are a bunch of vicious twerps who need opposing.

    So I oppose them, I argue against supporting them when they are mentioned as a target for fund-raising and I explain way. Strangely people agree with me!

  19. Ascylto
    Big Brother


    The head honcho at NSPCC get in excess of £105,000 salary.

    Full Stop!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the same people who brought you...

    It's thanks to this group we now have the cartoon law in the UK. And the strongest cartoon law as any countries which have a similar laws, have done it in such a way that having a drawing of a 17 year old is not a big issue. Not so here, yay.

    This is all part of their drive to eradicate abuse whether it be to non-existent children, children who are not children anymore, as they are over the age of consent, or future abuse by anyone who seems a bit 'dodgy'. Which is great if they would put the same amount of effort into stopping abuse which does not have a sexual component, which is the more common type....

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