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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  2. JoePritchard
    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...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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.

  4. N Silver badge

    And the final phase of the project is...

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

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  8. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
    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?

  9. goggyturk
    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?

  10. PaulK
    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?

  11. GettinSadda
    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"?

  12. Mark

    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.

  13. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    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.

  14. Hegelworm Messerchmitt

    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?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC

    Except jaywalking isn't an offence per se.

    Which is it then; Daily Mail or Daily Express?

  16. Steve

    @ 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.

  17. Mark
    Joke

    "SVGA"???

    Sounds like something they SHOULD monitor!

  18. Mark

    "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?

  19. 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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    And just like the normal SVGA

    this is a godawful resolution...

  21. 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.

  22. peter
    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.

  23. Matt
    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.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    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

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  26. 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.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    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).

  28. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  29. Sarah Bee (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.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

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

  31. David Cantrell
    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.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @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.

  33. Wonderkid
    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.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vote of support for Ash

    "Jawalking" What a twat.

    Pedestrian always has the right of way.

  35. Dan Keating
    Linux

    Bonkers!

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

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Her Biography

    fingering her in a double decker bush?

    Always thought she was a bit weird...

  37. Frederick Karno

    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.

  38. Matthew
    Unhappy

    Sh*t Chit

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

  39. Chris
    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.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  41. Mark

    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.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  43. Sarah Bee (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...

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Superiority points???

    WTF!

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

  46. Sarah Bee (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.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  48. A J Stiles
    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.

  49. Nigel
    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!

  50. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Out of here

    I've decided to retire abroad - only got to get through the next 5 years

    Byee.

    Mines the one with "get out while the goings good" on the back

  52. lIsRT
    Joke

    "Look at Tony & Cherri Blair ... him fingering her in the upstairs of a double decker bush."

    "double decker bush"

    What, George and Laura?

    That would explain the expressions when Blair was at Camp David then...

  53. Adam Foxton

    @A J Stiles

    The public's reaction to the smoking ban wasn't that extreme because it sort of made sense to those of us who don't smoke or don't smoke heavily- who are, I believe- now a majority in the UK.

    Also, annoyed as they were, the smokers tried to run to the phones to organise some sort of rally against the legislation, but were out of breath before they got to them...

    This isn't anything like the smoking ban, as it will end up affecting everyone- not just smokers, not just motorists, everyone. And to try to buck the system means you're a sex offender (read paedophile- there are other sex offences out there but no-one cares about those).

  54. Craig Dewar

    CRB Craziness

    I am on my 3rd CRB in 10 months as i have just finished a PGCE. 1 for Northamptonshire, 1 for Warwickshire and now having to do one in Hampshire for my first teaching job. It is about £56 for an enhanced check. I teach business studies and I am jealous I did not think of this money making scheme. I will be doing a 4th check for working with Young Enterprise, which will be for working with the same kids in the same school. I will also have to get 5th CRB for my private Hypnotherapy practice, my school ones won't cover that!!

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Cyclist

    "And, well, the guy sounds like the worst kind of cyclist arsehole who gives other pedallers a bad name."

    But did he hit her deliberately? Or was it accidental? Try swapping the characters, rereading the story and if you come to a different conclusion, then ask yourself why?

    "What if he was in a car and he honked but didn't stop?"

    He would hit her, so the situation isn't comparable. As I said I don't reckon he intended to hit her, he expected to *not* hit her.

    "I fear you lose superiority points by not posting under your own name"

    What's in a name? Either the comments hold weight or not, you either agree with them or disagree with them. The comment shouldn't hold more weight if you agree with me in my previous 100 comments on unrelated stories, equally it shouldn't hold less if you disagreed with me...

  56. Francis Fish
    Happy

    T-shirt

    I did suggest, as a joke, on a mailing list I use that people (well, men) are issued with a special T-shirt saying "not a paedo" when they pass a CRB. I wonder if a tatto on the forehead would be better? What do people think?

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    RE: "CRB all new parents"

    Great idea, should be implemented immediately!

    I always said people should have to licenses to have children! I mean we used to have them for Dogs and we still have them for cars but any cretin can drop a footy team worth of sprogs on the publics shilling (thousands and thousand of shillings more likely) and they are far more dangerous than any any dog or car.

    I would of course change it so we didn't exclude the hippies with spent weed convictions, they are all right really and i would instead include a questionnaire with questions regarding their attitudes to tracksuits and baseball caps as fashion or if they consider Elizabeth Duke a "Jewelers" or not.

    I am sure they would call it eugenics or something, i probably wouldn't disagree, i'd be too busy building my lair with a decent games room.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    As a volunteer

    .. I absolutely resent this whole f***ing CRB crap. I did not sign on to do "charitable works" (I'm in St John Ambulance). I signed on to help people out in a Medical "oops I'm bleeding" sort of emergency. NOT because I want to work with kids (I don't.. can't stand 'em). NOT because I want to work with vulnerable adults.

    So now, because I feel like being nice for once in my life, I have to get lumped into the "probably guilty, deserves an ID card" category this effing Govt is so keen on expanding!!!!

    Yes I know I got CRB'd when I joined, but since I am transferring area, I've got to be f***ing CRB'd AGAIN!!!! It'll probably even have to be one of these CRB+ things.

    This is a joke. Once I can live with in a basic "is he unsafe/criminally minded" way, but mutiple times???? For things like a single "posession of happy smokes 16yrs ago" kind of way?

    How do I get out of this whole Nu-Lab PC "everyone's a crook" world?

  59. Timothy Slade

    @nigel

    details of employers (I think) places you've lived, etc. First one I had done, they asked me to come in and provide a fingerprint, as my details were apparently similar to someone else. As that was for a voluntary post, I nearly spat the dummy, as I don't trust the assurance that my prints will only be used to verify I wasn't that person, then destroyed and not held on record, but swallowed it instead. The next one I had done, there was no request for fingerprints.... How they could tell I wasn't the person with similar details, seeing as how they didn't have my fingerprints on record, I am kind of curious.

  60. Glyn
    Flame

    Worthless

    The CRB check is worthless. From the moment it leaves the printer it is already out of date. That and the CRB check only records people who've been caught.

    I knew someone who ran a local youth team for 20 years before being caught, god knows what the total victim count on that was. Now his life's a shambles which is some small comfort I s'pose

    Because of the way they've been touted as a panacea, people think of CRB checks as a magic shield that will protect there kids from harm. Many conversations I've had where the subject has arisen have ended up with the other person saying "You wouldn't understand, you're not a parent" [shakes head]

    I too have stopped doing volunteer work as have a lot of people I know, which is causing problems with all the local social/scouting/sports teams. The local footy team has only got an adults team but demands everyone involved has a CRB as kids *sometimes* come and watch :S

    If anyone can explain that one, lock yourself up in a padded cell

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right of Way

    Where did all this stuff about pedestrians always having right of way come from? In the UK, pedestrians have right of way on roads only at zebra crossings and road junctions. Even there, according to the Highway Code, you technically still need to claim your right of way by actually setting foot on the road before motorists are legally obliged to stop. However, drivers of vehicles (cyclists included) have a duty of care to pedestrians. It's that which should stop drivers indiscriminately slaughtering them, not some imagined "permanent right of way". This isn't the bloody Netherlands, thank God.

    Oh, and while I'm ranting, will someone please tell kids who cycle across pedestrian crossings that they are on a vehicle and so I don't have to stop for them...

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ AC Re: Cyclist

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

    There was a group of people... while approaching the cyslist shouted "move because I'm not stopping", which suggests that he had seen them and there were maybe 3-4 seconds before the collision, during which time he didn't try to stop or avoid them. He said that he was aiming for a narrow gap in the middle of them and she happened to step into it.. he didn't attempt to stop. This is what came out in court.

    Some witnesses said he came onto the pavement but there was conflicting evidence about this.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    We are governed by morons

    My wife volunteered to do the posters for the bingo night of our daughter's nursery and was told she needed a CRB check. She was a primary school teacher for 15 years and has got better things to do in the evening than fill out forms. She won't be doing any more volunteering.

  64. dreadful scathe

    @ silly anonymous coward

    re: jaywalking - the idea that crossing the road should be illegal is ridiculous ! For a driver who is quite aware there are pedestrians on the road, proving it by shouting/beeping - for them to then NOT slow down is quite rightly criminal - that cyclist should have got 3 months at least,; the incident was of his making and he could have prevented it.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Errors in your facts - or at least someone's!

    Every time the Soham murders come up, we get another collection of errors in the way things are worded.

    I don't count two girls who came to a house of their own accord as abducted. I know what happened next was appalling, but also remember that the girls did not know Huntley and did not attend the college where he worked. They went to a different school and knew his girlfriend, and perhaps that last is the only reason that this insane plan is being played out.

    This is very simple in its effect, eventually a CRB enhanced check will be valued just as much as a wad of used toilet tissue, IOW it will be total crap and no one will trust you whether you've got one or not. Remember how in Catch-22 Captain Black's loyalty oath crusade was run, no one who wasn't already seen to be loyal was allowed to sign an oath to that effect.

    I despair of this insane country, but equally having looked at Privacy International's map of countries I see that only Greece has any level of protection against arbitrary measures in law and I don't imagine that this status will last for long now.

    Presumably the only way out left is to go out in a blaze of glory by doing a Guy Fawkes on the bunch of clueless scum that govern us.

    Posting AC because that last statement probably means I'm on the list already, and Black Helicopters for obvious reasons.

  66. goggyturk
    Unhappy

    Cyclist...

    I don't want to comment on this but...

    As a cyclist myself, I think this entire case has been overblown by the media, which seem to jump on any story about any cyclist breaking any law, anywhere and turn it into a headline. But... he saw the group step out into the road (he shouted a warning) and made no attempt to stop. Reports say that he was doing 17-23 mph when he went into them. Forget about all this 'who was at fault' crap, simple humanity demands that you don't deliberately plough into a group of people in any vehicle at any speed, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation. Don't know the person who did this, but he sounds like a classic example of a cycle nazi.

    The family were pissed because he wasn't prosecuted for manslaughter, and I can totally sympathise with that.

    There, that's off my chest now.

  67. Tim
    Alert

    Sorry if I'm covering old ground...

    ..can't be arsed reading 60 comments, although I'm sure they are very entertaining... anyway it seems to me that the government is moving toward a society where they can abduct...er arrest anyone and spend the next 24 hours thinking up a passable reason why. It will take mere seconds while their accusatron is operational.

    Trust? The legal world destroyed it.

    It's getting to be a "pick yer witchunt" kind of world.

    So... seeing as we no longer have trust... or privacy for that matter, is it too much to ask that my records are used to recommend me for my ideal job? If I was the ideal candidate I should be paid handsomely? Yeah, I know, pie in the sky, but I thought I should put the idea out there, maybe someone will pick up on it.

  68. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Huntley lied

    He lied about his name when arrested previously. This is why his background check gave him the all clear.

    It's pretty simple to get around such checks. I suppose the ID card advocates will say this is more reason for ID cards.

  69. Andy Enderby
    Thumb Down

    common sense ?

    I volunteered some time ago to assist with maintaining the IT infrastructure and website for a charity. They are now in the position of paying for 5 CRB's per week in addition to every last one of the 20 or 30 or so folks working for them in paid positions and untold numbers of volunteers. The charity runs projects that work with drug addicts (more successful than most) and some of those working with these folks have had a colourful past of their own. Each of these CRB's regardless of the background of the individual concerned is subject to yearly renewal.

    My wife worked in education as a teaching assistant through an agency - Supply teachers and assistants have to be CRB'd.... for all of the agencies they are registered with, and at their own expense with no promises regarding whether or not they'll actually get any hours.....

    Someone, a contracting company I suspect, is getting rich off of this, whilst those that have to be CRB'd are going to end up stealth taxed. Oh....and we have ID cards around the corner. More dollar for idiots in sharp suits, another tax on employment for those least able to pay..... great

    Next we'll be expected to submit to a CRB at our own expense simply to apply for work in any of these areas. Whatever happens all taxpayers end up paying for this stupidity.

    Disgusted of Birmingham

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "spent" convictions

    I was under the distinct impression that convictions became "spent" after so many years and you no longer had to declare them on any job application...

    secondly, I was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medal after 15 years of service in the forces with no blemishes on my conduct record... the joke being that everyone in the know refers to that medal as the 15 years "undetected" medal. It really meant I hadn't been caught... not that my conduct was really good... this is the same thing with the CRB check... it just means that you haven't been caught, not that you aren't doing it...

  71. rick
    Unhappy

    And then add all the sports

    So we will have to register all the coaches, refs, umpires and in quite a few clubs the members too

    Wonder when the system will have everyone on it !!!!

  72. andy
    Thumb Down

    @Adam Foxton

    Actually, I can identify with the Smoking Ban analogy.

    It's NuLabours usual way of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

    Smoking ban - They could have allowed some smoking bars if all employees/employers were happy to work in a smoking establishment, but no, thay had a total ban.

    Then Gordon B wants to ban happy hours and cheap drinks in supermarkets - same sledgehammer cracking everyones nuts.

    More recently he wants to stop 2 for 1 deals on supermarket food because according to GB most people dont eat the stuff or freeze it to eat another day -- they just waste it!!

    This latest hairbrained scheme is just another sledgehammer...

  73. Bob Foster
    Unhappy

    don't assume malice where incompetence will do just as well

    Apart from being a good generator of revenue, this also seems to be a gigantic arse covering exercise.

    I've noticed this pattern with Nu Labor, something shocking occurs, the media discuss a multitude of ways it could have been avoided, happily filling all the air time they now have to fill, then the cretin, oops sorry, minister responsible introduces new legislation or process to say "we've got it covered".

    Look at shootings, ban gun's and the problems disappeared, and Nu Labor have "acted decisively" to eradicate the problem -NOT!

    Typical crap from a government that are controlled pretty much totally by the media and sound bite journalism

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Testosterone ranter

    While you may have a point about men being demonised, the example of the cyclist who knowingly ran down a pedestrian is not a good one.

    Stopping distances didn't enter into it. The cyclist stated their intentions to collide with anyone who didn't give way, rather than modifying his progress. I'm sure he didn't mean to kill her, but he *was* cycling dangerously. If while driving, someone has pulled out from a turning halfway across a road and you make no effort to avoid hitting them and they die from the impact, you are liable, even though they shouldn't have been where they were. If you didn't even touch the brakes and were leaning on the horn as you hit, then it's worse.

  75. Mark White

    Does this include bar staff?

    I see children when I'm working behind a bar, so does that mean every member of bar/waiting on or even shop staff has to have a CRB check? This will stop a lot of students and other casual labour from applying for these sorts of jobs and probably increase the number of unemployed youths and reduce the number of people who can afford to go through university.

    Smells more and more like big brother is watching you.

    At the cycling issue, I cycled round a corner last night to find 5 or 6 people walking along in a line across the entire width of the road. I had to go into the mud at the side because even after ringing my bell they did not even look round to see me. I expect it would have been my fault if I had hit them and I did not want to risk it.

  76. Harry Stottle

    The Connection with ID Cards

    is twofold.

    First, as some have pointed out, the information they need in order carry out a CRB includes most of the data they want to put on their National Identity Database (excluding - thus far - biometrics)

    But second and more insidious, it is a trial run of the process of introduction of the "voluntary" cards. As the article spells out in painful detail, the very existence of CRB checks is forcing more and more people to use it in order to stay in the marketplace. That is precisely how they will force everyone to use their ID Cards.

    What they're learning here is just how much resistance they can expect to such tactics. The answer seems to be "not much"...

  77. Tom Willis

    what a bureaucracy

    14+ million people needing CRBs, some of them multiple (because the CRBs are not transferrable) and renewed every year. Makes well more than 20M issued per year, or more than 2/sec. Exceeds even the workrate of getting us all NIRed up.

    £50 per CRB, more than 20M per year, sounds like a £1bn+ industry to me. I'm impressed.

    Could be made more efficient though. I know, make the CRBs person-centric not document-centric, like say passports. Hmm. Need to disambiguate them for that to work - say using biometrics like fingerprints or whatever. Perhaps have a network of interview centres? Oh and make the CRB an actual card thingy, with pictures and all.

    Places of public entertainment are a problem, there are kids all over the place, football matches say (and clearly swimming pools, shudder). If the CRB is an actual card then we should ask to see it to permit entry. Must be swipeable then, because it would be nightmarish to have to inspect each one visually every time.

    With CRBs so handy and omni-present, who needs ID cards? Bit like drivers' licenses in the States. Hardly worth designating them, even, but heck one might as well - that way they pay for the CRB *and* for the ID card! Wonderful.

    Laugh or cry? I think I've decided to laugh, otherwise would have to avoid every news site, blog, TV programme or chat in the pub. Actually, perhaps we all need to be a bit more European in these here Isles - laugh uproariously and ignore the law, if not actively try to subvert it. How else to stay sane?

  78. Mark

    Re: @Cyclist

    "But did he hit her deliberately? Or was it accidental? Try swapping the characters, rereading the story and if you come to a different conclusion, then ask yourself why?"

    Doesn't really matter. It's called "defensive driving" in cars. You assume that whatever person is impinging on your line of travel is an asshat and will pick exactly the wrong manoeuvre. And so hitting the pedestrian is still what you should have been able to avoid.

    It's what annoys me about cars passing too close or staying too close behind me cycling: I'm now more worried about what the audible signals mean with this car nearby rather than the space in front of me. A distraction that could lead me to wallop into some other road user (pedestrian or no) because I'm thinking about whether this car is going to cut in front or get just a little too close and not if there's something coming up which may require me to move out of the way.

  79. Anonymous Scotsman

    on pesimism

    Surprised no-one has mentioned registering the contents of your local church/mosque/temple/standing stones under this. Hell, until they start having registered religions you could potentially work around this volunteer nonsense by claiming religious impunity, or simply lack of organisation. I dont doubt that at some point some funky politician is going to require CRB checks to be a member of a body of worshipers.

    Me, I'm worrying that my miniature wargamming hobby which occasionally has me in the company of folk of indeterminate age will put me on some blacklist in the future, for no crime other than having less sense than money, and not spending it on legislated, controlled and taxed chemicals.

    Anyone want to join me in emigrating to, say, Bhutan ?

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I dont get it

    I guess its because I'm a yank. But whats going on with brown.

    Hmm is it just me or is there a race between the UK and US to pass the most asinine laws. With any lucky those crazy gun owners in south make take out a crazy politician

  81. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    An easy solution:

    If the Gov has to pick up the tab for vetting volunteers, then the solution would be for ANYONE who thinks that they might apply for a job demanding a check take a volunteer gig first. The government then pays for all CRB checks and... okay, here I'm probably being overly optimistic... rethinks the need for the whole megillah.

    (Yes, I know: they'd probably just decide to start charging for those checks... but one can hope, can't one?)

  82. Glenn Charles
    Dead Vulture

    As for this CRB check...

    why was it members of the Register staff had to undergo it? what sort of test was that??

    --Glenn

  83. Mark

    @Sarah Bee and "Distortion of Victimhood"

    The distortion is that just because something terrible happened to someone that any pointing out of how the idiocy of the victim was, in fact, partly to blame is *exactly the same* as saying the perpetrator is not guilty.

    It's a distortion that because there was a victim that they can have NO RESPONSIBILITY for their actions just because the actions resulted in some terrible consequence.

  84. David
    Black Helicopters

    Did I read that correctly?!?

    Bottom of Page 4

    Allow Single Mothers to check out the sexual history of their new partners

    WHAT!!!

    While it's understandable (if a little overly paranoid) that you don't want to start dating someone who's only after you for your kids, what does that say about the state of Britain today? You want to go out with a yummy mummy so you're automatically a pervert? I assume any single dads out there will be allowed to check on the history of their new girlfriend's to make sure they're not prone to displays of Munchausen syndrome? Of course not, because that hasn't (if you'll pardon the expression) been "sexed up" by the tabloids to make people more accepting of the big brotherness that's highjacked the NuLabour manifesto. Can't think of an intelligent way to solve this problem, lets spy on people! It's for their own good (and we cant blame everything on terrorists)

    /rant

  85. Nano nano

    CRB free for volunteers

    From crb.gov.uk:

    "If you are a volunteer, the CRB will issue the CRB check free-of-charge. "

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And just to prove how insecure the system is.........

    have a look at the website that this new system is going to be using !.Something tells me this is going to be about as secure as the CD discs that they lost.

  87. Steve Hosgood
    Unhappy

    After-school clubs are disappearing...

    It's certainly happening. My 7-yr old son's judo club just packed up. One of the two (female) instructors was pregnant and had to take a break (obviously). The other instructor couldn't carry on because "the rules" dictate that there have to be two CRB-ed qualified people on hand at all times *and* the club needs a "young persons' officer" (also CRB checked) *and* this *and* that *and* the next thing.

    This club works in a sports hall where about 60% of the parents of the children present sit along the side watching! There's no real need for anyone to have a CRB, or for a "Young Persons' Officer" or any such crap. Any youngster with a problem can step off the mat and have a parent sort it.

    Sledgehammer meet nut. However, as others here have observed, I'm of the opinion that all this CRB stuff is an under-the-radar attempt to populate up the NIR to critical point. And (as others have suggested) to gauge the likely level of opposition once they go public with the NIR and ID Cards data-grab.

    Is there one of those "Downing Street Online Petition" things set up yet for people to start protesting about this?

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a nightmare

    I have had a CRB check (passed - whatever that means) and as I am self employed I no longer need one - yet. My work within the voluntary sector has presented a number of occassions when clear evidence has been presented that the current level of CRB checking has resulted in a downturn in volunteers for voluntary sector organisations, lack of parents taking part in school trips and other 'socially cohesive' activities upon which a healthy society relies.

    My colleague's CRB check was still active when he was asked if he could attend a Social Service fete (he has a part-time fast food business). They asked if he had a CRB check (required) as he was working for 'social services'. When he replied in the affirmative they were delighted stating "we have asked lots of fast food sellers if they had CRB checks and none have!" what planet are these people on? He did say to them that as he intends to serve a huge amount of food and make money he had little time to kiddie fiddle.

    This is going to be an absolute disaster. Where are this is coming from and what the Governments thinking is I have no idea.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:"spent" convictions

    There are areas where you still have to fess up to them. I applied for a job in a school many years ago and the tell us about convictions page clearly stated to include all convictions even if spent.

  90. Zorro
    Stop

    @Mike Moyle

    Mike Moyle,

    Unfortunately the GOVERNMENT has NO MONEY. IT'S ALL OUR MONEY. This is the fundamental problem with Brown Trousers and Labour. THEY THINK IT'S THEIR MONEY TO SPEND. IT'S NOT. IT'S OURS.

    Just remember whenever a politician says "I put 1 billion into blah" - thats YOUR MONEY. YOU put that money into whatever, NOT the politician.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Not hard to see where this madness will end

    "It's hard to see where this madness will end"

    No it's not, it will end on November the 5th when we all storm the houses of parliament and hang every labour MP from the nearest lamp post. (Get your V masks from ebay!)

    To the septic AC - Yes quite amazingly we have a PM who makes Bush look good. Don't gloat please we have really not had a chance to get rid of the brown trousered one so far. Given the slightest chance we will remove the one eyed c**t.

  92. Moonwolf
    Black Helicopters

    Paranoid? Nahhhh

    "A mother has been told she cannot travel to school with her severely epileptic son because she has not been police checked."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/south_east/7500376.stm

  93. A J Stiles
    Dead Vulture

    @ Mark

    EXACTLY! "Stop blaming the victim!" has become a mantra.

    The problem is that people chant it even when the victim is in some measure responsible for what happened.

    Now, considering that (1) you can get your name onto the Sex Offender's Register for taking a leak in a deserted alley and (2) councils are closing public toilets right, left and centre leaving little option, it's surely just a matter of time before everyone with a Y-chromosome is rendered unemployable.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    CRB = TSA = total stupidity and you'll never get your life back

    Sorry for the Anonymous out there who got the Moderatrix stirred up. A pedestrian is not equal to a bike. A bike is not equal to a car, truck or bus. Any driver who fails to yield to the lesser vehicle is such a rude ignorant sod they don't belong on the road...period. I don't care if the pedestrian was 14, 17, or 70. I've made a point to teach my kids when driving that pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way, even when they're in the wrong. It's a lot simpler than having to ever worry about whose life you took for no good reason. As for the cyclist in that story; it's a good thing that wasn't my kid (and most likely that I wasn't even at the scene); or he likely wouldn't have made it to court (in countable pieces).

    It sounds to me (yes, I'm American), that the CRB is like being on the TSA list. You can get there for things you'll never know about (like this posting) and never be able to get off; especially if they use "secret" sources and "national security" and "terror" and "paedo" as keywords to frighten the senseless of the nation into submission.

  95. simon maasz
    Alien

    Anyone see a connection?

    Adult males deciding they no longer want to do any constructive youth/charity work - sports, scouts, duke of edin, clubs etc because the perceived risks and CRB hassle are too high.

    Disenfranchised youths running amok with knives because they have no role models/nothing to do that allows them to obtain some social standing/personal reward/satisfaction

    Alien because I feel like one in this country

  96. Geoff Hirst

    Another cash trail for the lawyers...

    How much does this government owe lawyers? It seems to be all they do now is generate new lines for lawyers to cash in on.

  97. Nano nano

    Tax exempt registration fee ?

    According to HMRC.gov.uk:

    "Deductions for fees and subscriptions paid to professional bodies or learned societies

    ...

    A statutory fee or contribution shown in the list is allowable where employees:

    * pay this out of their earnings from an employment

    * are required to pay this as a statutory condition of following their employment."

    Presumably these CRB fees should be tax-allowable due to their being a condition of "following the employment" ....?

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    "Any adult acting as an escort will, in the public gaze, be viewed as acting with the full acquiescence of the council and hence with its implied authority.

    "For the protection of the council and all vulnerable persons in its care it's essential all those endowed with an authority, implicit or explicit, should meet the security requirements within the transport contract provisions."

    Best not take a kid outside... sibling, offspring or friend of the family.

  99. Graham Marsden
    Stop

    Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act

    Not many people are aware that this legislation brought in the "extreme pornography" criteria before that was even enacted in UK law. In its criteria for someone being excluded from working with children *and* adults, it says:

    "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"

    (The IBB is the Independant Barring Board)

    In other words, even before it was illegal to possess so-called "extreme porn" it could *already* get you blocked from a job.

    Oh and regarding the cyclist, I would invite people to consider the following:

    Whilst the National News was trumpeting how a cyclist who killed a pedestrian gets a two thousand pound fine (the family, unsurprisingly, think that's not enough of a penalty), a lorry driver in Portsmouth got a £275 fine for killing a cyclist when he (the driver) ignored a Give Way sign

    Of course the first story is the "big news" because cyclists don't actually kill or injure people very often, but cyclists being mown down by careless drivers happens on a regular basis and, as such, aren't newsworthy...

    <http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/Widow-outraged-at-39ludicrous39-sentence.4268357.jp>

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Trust

    >I wonder how long it will be before I have to be CRB checked before I can live with my disabled wife?

    I think your question might have been slightly tongue-in-cheek but a similar situation has already happened. Google "mother child crb taxi" without the quotes and you'll find some articles with headlines such as:

    "Mother stopped from travelling with son in taxi to school - because she hasn't had a criminal record check"

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    even temp paper shufflers

    Even office temping - no contact with children at all - requires a CRB check if you are working in the education department..

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Very Odd Response

    One of the posts said that if you saw a distressed child you wouldn't help? Why? I would if you won't follow your convictions becasue of fear whats left? It interesting reading these posts because a lot of people say we won't be able to do X or Y whats everyone scared of? It strikes me that everyones getting wound up into a frenzy of indignation over people working with kids having some background checks so what. Whats more concerning is the fear that schools/LEAs have of being sued by us the general public (so I was interested to read today about that banning of sack races and 3-legged in northumberland I think being ascribed to the PC gone mad when in fact that was almost certainly down to fear of being sued in the LEA). Anyway thats enough from me. I'll just write my letter to the solicitors.

  103. Watashi

    British caste system

    When my last car had a faulty starter motor (this is about five years ago), I left it parked outside the Chinese with the engine running. I was stopped by the police and told to go to the police station to show my documents, as apparently you're not allowed to leave a car parked this way. When I got there, the policeman on the counter expressed surprise, as I was 'not the sort of person' he expected to see. I was a little confused by this, because I was still labouring under the naive belief that the police didn't explicitly descriminate against different social groups.

    It seems that this descrimination has now become a government policy for social regulation. New Labour wants to create two lists - one for 'good' people and one for 'bad' people. The 'good' people will be allowed to have nice jobs, the 'bad' ones will have to do the shitty jobs that the 'good' people don't want to do. Presumably, there will be so many 'bad' people that subcategories will be created - sex offenders, criminals as teenagers, credit defaulters etc. Your access to people in your job will depend on what anti-social activity you've committed.

    The next step will be to make these lists available to everyone from call centres to credit companies. Mr Smith, who was caught possessing drugs as a teenager, will be allowed to work as the office cleaner, but not as a manager. Mrs Jones will be able to borrow enough for a new car, but only at the highest rate because she once stole a CD from a shop when she was clinically depressed. Some people won't even be allowed into shopping malls, and family members of known sex offenders won't be able to buy pictures of their kid's school play.

    Basically, the government wants to control society by creating a caste system like the one the Indian government has been trying to get rid of for so long. The very bottom of the pile - paedophiles, gun and knife criminals etc will be barred from pretty much all activities that are classed as non-essential to survival. Then there will be a big group of several million people who have varying amounts of social restriction as a result of being pulled up for anti-social behaviour (not necessarily convicted), then there will be the rest of us who can sneer at those beneath us and congratulate ourselves on how great we are... right up until one of our children gets caught downloading a few mp3s illegally and finds she can't get into a good University despite being a Grade A pupil who spends her spare time doing charity work.

    The long-term result will be a highly divided and constantly suspicious society where parents check the criminal records of their daughter's would-be husband and where many people are unable to get jobs simply because they would spoil potential employer's claim of 100% CBR checked staff. When you look at a road sweeper you won't be thinking 'he's uneducated', you'll be thinking 'he's a convicted criminal'. Then will come the slums, the sink schools, generational poverty, widespread racial discrimination... and then the riots and the social chaos and police with guns beating young black men to death because they were carrying a knife and came up as a false positive on their list of 'bad' people.

    Brown wants us all to be proud of our Britishness. Well, he can f*ck right off, because I see nothing to be proud of.

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not all bad - there's One Good Point....

    Seems that at every election & by-election Politicians revel in the photo-opportunity of picking up babies or having school kids sit on their lap.

    Now, they'll get prosecuted for doing it without a CRB certificate, or, stop the sickening activity.

    Either way, a Win-Win situation for Joe Public.

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Depression

    Reading the reg depress me at time. Warning to rest of Europe dont let them turn your country into a giant penal colony.

    Yes I know America is screwed up to, but this yank is begging to think she failed Geography . I thought Australia was the British penal colony I guess I was wrong.

    Oh by the way on this side of the pond males are now so scared of being accused of touch a girl inappropriately its hard to find a male that is willing to be a teacher in any thing under college .Oh and don't be gay and teach elementary school Sounds like you Brits are headed that way

  106. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Final estimate...

    ...will be about 67 million people.

    This will be followed by the incorporation of all voluntary organisations, youth work schemes and schools into a single government regulated body; anyone refusing to join will be imprisoned as a danger to the community as a potential paedophilic terrorist. May I suggest calling it the Brown Shirts? Such a snappy name it's hard to see why they haven't used it already.

  107. RW

    Allegations, anyone?

    "Allo, Ossifer Plod-snoop? I 'ave this neighbor, name of Gordon Brown, who I think is a kiddy diddler. And I'm sure he runs a kiddy porn ring with a gal named Jacqui Smith. Better put this in the criminal records, you never know what such people might do if given the opportunity."

    It might be esp. amusing to send in allegations of assorted misconduct for every Labour MP and watch the resultant sideshow.

    Too bad the system isn't something like having an intelligence check before being allowed to stand for office!

    How did NuLab end up with so many idiots in positions of authority?

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trivial cases

    I have been required to have a CRB check for volunteering (through my employer) to help out for one day per year at a local high school (13-16 yr olds). Although theoretically I have a free run of the school on that day, in practice I am essentially required to help out in a classroom already supervised by one or more teachers. In brief excursions when I'm out of the classroom, I am extremely unlikely to be with less than 5 students at a time - and other teachers/supervisors are never far away. Besides which, I'd have thought children of that age were pretty streetwise anyway.

    It seems particularly bizarre that they do the CRB paperwork on the day of the visit, so any unfavourable result wouldn't show up until a week or two after the event anyway. Daft.

  109. Goat Jam
    Black Helicopters

    Harry Tuttle

    How long before they start handing out bills for "Information Retrieval"?

    I wonder when the shooting revolution will begin?

  110. Terry Blay
    Alert

    RE: British caste system

    "Brown wants us all to be proud of our Britishness. Well, he can f*ck right off, because I see nothing to be proud of."

    You summed it up nicely there. Pure gold.

    BTW I quit the UK just in time to watch this police state develop from afar.

    My advice: Come to Spain. Here the govt. seems to mind it's own f*cking business, and it works just nicely.

  111. Richard Scratcher
    Thumb Down

    CRB checks: slow, expensive, unfair & pointless.

    My staff need to have CRB & PoVA checks before I can employ them. Recently, CRB checks have taken many months (over 8 months in one case) to be processed. Few employees are willing (or can afford) to hang around for months before they are allowed start their new job. If staffing levels become low, then a PoVA check can be done in lieu of the CRB and this only takes a matter of days, but the newly recruited person needs to be "supervised at all times" until the full CRB arrives. If I could spare a person to supervise another at all times, then my staffing levels would not be low!

    CRB checks are not transferrable and so even if someone was employed in exactly the same capacity at another nearby premisses, he or she cannot work at mine unless a new check is done. Agencies seem to be able to get "magical" CRB checks that allow their staff to work anywhere.

    If a CRB check returns some criminal history but the person does not feature on the PoVA list, then it is solely up to the employer to decide whether past crimes are significant to the role. So I can discriminate against "weed smokers" but decide that arsonists, burglars, thugs and drink-drivers have been given a bad press. The authorities do not indicate whether they think a is employable in the role described.

    CRB checks do not expire. The "recommendation" is to renew them every 3 years. The renewal process is the same pathetic rigmarole as getting a new one. There is no way to refer to a previous CRB certificate and ask "Has this person committed any offences since you last checked?" If a person commits a crime after a CRB check has been done, this is not communicated to the employer until the next check is done.

  112. s jackson
    Thumb Up

    Who will pay ?

    Congratulations for the latest government wheeze.

    They are about to succesfully create a permanently unemployable group in society that will have to be paid to not work, via social security payments.

    This government should give lessons in self mutiation, it is without peers in this domain now.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Great.

    I work at a school, have so for years, and last year got arrested for being too drunk and shouting at a bouncer who pushed me into a road..

    Not my most proud moment. And I take responsibility for being a dumb ass, and haven't gotten drunk since.

    I got an £80 fine and my DNA taken.. Which made me mad enough.

    Now I have the fear of getting tossed out of my job because I got a little too drunk.

    Thanks government. If you get me fired, I'm moving out of this country. I've had enough of your bullshit and your taxes.

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Viva Espana

    "Spain. Here the govt. seems to mind it's own f*cking business, and it works just nicely."

    Except when it uses trumped up planning laws to drive unwelcome interlopers off land fairly bought... Local authorities are absolutely riddled with corruption, and the Government are a buch of cowards.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Viva Espana

    >Local authorities are absolutely riddled with corruption, and the Government are a buch of cowards.

    So it's just like the UK then but with sun.

  116. Gary Hallam
    Unhappy

    Madness

    This CRB rot has created a whole market in CRB checks, wasting a vast amount of resource and money. Every time I turn around someone wants another CRB check and the form gets more onerous each time. I'm checked because I'm a retained fire-fighter, I'm checked again because I'm a football coach.

    I helped out one evening at my son's cricket training and as I left the field someone came running at me with a CRB form. Surely one check is enough, but oh no, it’s a check for each organisation in which I could potentially be accused of fiddling with children.

    I wonder what happens one day if I fail the check – would I have to give back all of my 5 children?

    Not only do they want my bank details and the name of someone who can vouch for me but they also want me to allow them to use the information for all and sundry to identify me – with no option for me to opt out of this little clause.

    It simply does not work, it's madness - please can someone make it stop!

    As far as I’m aware it's about £21 for a basic check and £31 for an "enhanced" one. Utter waste. We have created a monster uglier and more dangerous than Huntley.

    It is useful for the police though - it provides them with another line of enquiry if they are looking for someone.

    By the way I have also run someone over on my bicycle; I was cycling very fast on the road in a town called Lahore in Pakistan. The guy eventually came round and someone in the growing crowd suggested that I leave the area quickly lest the victim's family showed up and beat the cr*p out of me - that sort of thing tends to happen there. I limped off on my broken bike carrying the pieces of my broken spectacles in my hand. It was an accident, pure and simple he stepped out I swerved to avoid him and would have done so if he hadn't seen me and reacted and stepped back into my path.

    Difficult to comment on an individual incident without first hand experience but I find it difficult to comprehend that someone would be prosecuted simply for cycling along a road at the speed limit and running someone down accidentally, as long as all possible avoidance measures had been taken. Maybe he was cycling recklessly?

  117. Donald Freeman
    Thumb Down

    Remember yesterday?

    A couple of hundred Brits came out of the woodwork to damn us yankees for giving away guns at church. Today, you're all crying because your government is trying to get another manacle on you. Its pretty clear that your government isn't afraid of you. They own you and you'll wear whatever dog collar they care to put on you.

    Not to say that it couldn't happen here in the USA but we're notably fractious about this kind of thing. We're all skidding leftward toward the tyranny of "those who care" but you are leading by a mile.

  118. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Remember yesterday?

    Um, I'm not sure the best way to ensure your government fears you (respect would do nicely for me, thanks, in an ideal world) is to swagger around with a rifle. It seems kind of, I dunno, primitive? Maybe it's just me.

  119. Donald Freeman
    Coat

    Well, that's the problem

    There ya go getting all weasely. Why should they respect you? And you aren't making any plans to bring about your "ideal world." You are just waiting to absorb what comes next. Seems all very passive to me.

    Primitive? I'll tell you what is primitive. That is being dominated by whatever individual or group of physically strong, aggressive males happen to be around. To us over here if you whacked an offender with one of your legendary cricket bats it seems assured that it would be you getting hauled off in chains rather than the other guy. Your government seems to not miss an opportunity to harshly punish citizenry who defend themselves a little too successfully. Over here we call them public service killings. With a little luck you can get ammo for life!

    Applying the 'primitive' label to the principles of self-reliance indicates to me your unwillingness to accept ultimate responsibility for your own personal well-being in extremis. Not saying we don't need government and police but that they can't be expected to protect you in all circumstances.

    Your government is preparing to develop a set of records on each individual that East Germany would have thought was excessive. You are entering an age where your every move will be tracked and recorded. I find the whole thing pretty frightening. There are those in my country who will find it to be a good idea after you pilot it.

    The only point I am trying to make is that I believe there is a connection between an armed and suspicious citizenry and inoffensive government. The system works best in tension. Your government no longer feels in any way constrained by your wishes.

  120. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Well, that's the problem

    I accept no pompous lecture from a man who suggests that not being a gun-waving constitution-misinterpreting blowhard is "weasely".

    And yeah, I find the ID stuff pretty scary, but I'll resist it without resorting to - I don't know, are you suggesting some kind of McVey-esque direct action, or what?

  121. A J Stiles

    Re: Remember yesterday?

    You crazy Septics bang on and on about us Brits and the way we believe the right **not to get shot** trumps any supposed right to bear arms, and you always justify it by bleating the same old pathetic excuse that you need to be allowed to have guns just in case you ever have to bring down an oppressive Government.

    So why haven't you?

  122. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    @AJ Stiles

    It's a good point. But still let's not resort to the usual xeno-insults.

    'Limey' isn't too stinging, though, is it? Not unless you get it in your eyes.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No difference

    Lets get a little perspective on all this. If an Amercian blows the brains out of a someone he suspects to be a criminal on his property then that American will be arrested. I doubt even American police are so dumb as to take the word of a hyped up gun weilding maniac at a crime scene until the full facts are known. Given the circumstances of the situation the God is my witness gun weilding yank might even get is own brains a public viewing courtesy of the police if they conclude that he is the perpetrator. Now this is no different than in the UK but without the guns. The defender will be arrested until such a time that the full facts are known. If excessive force has been used then the defender will be prosecuted. If you yanks can't get your tiny little brains round this concept then think of Rodney King. It took a while and a mass riot but eventually you saw that the police officers used excessive force in the apprehension of a suspect, or maybe suspected suspect.

  124. Headwest
    Joke

    And then you can multiply it by ten...

    I've heard nothing in all this about the multiple CRB checks required for each individual. My wife is up to about 5 current ones so far (3 as a supply teacher in 3 different authorities, one to volunteer in prisons, one to host children - with their mothers! - from Belarus) and has a couple more to come (1 of which is for 'being a student' on an MA she is about to start). I've only needed about three so far for various voluntary activities so I've got off quite lightly. Interestingly one of the approved documents when applying for a CRB check is a CRB check!*?

    The really crazy thing is that as far as I can see I could get convicted tomorrow and no-one would know. So here's my suggestion to save several million quid:

    * When you need your first check with the CRB you get a reference number.

    * When one of the numerous organisations entitled to know about you does a check they 'register an interest' on your number.

    * If you get convicted all interest parties get told.

    Simple - you only need one check, they don't have to be renewed and interested parties find out immedately if there is a problem.

    Perhaps I'll set up as a fancy consultant and pocket 10% of the savings... (though I suppose it would be less of a money-spinner for the CRB).

    Joke alert since it describes the current system.

  125. Nano nano

    No2CRB

    Only trouble is, that if you were to set up a "No2CRB" your house would be marched on by vigilante stick-wielding red-top tabloid readers, chanting "if you've nothing to hide ..."

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Cross refrencing has already happened

    I read in some paper based media effort that a woman somewhere applied for a job as a dinner lady (could be something else) and that she had the same name as a local crim scumbag who had 19 convictions or so for various nefarious actvitiies, including drugs and violence.

    The whole process has taken about 4 months to get cleared up. Multiply all criminal "John Smiths" (no wonder he's bitter) with law abiding ones living next door to each other, monkeys doing the typing and you have a recipe for disaster.

    I did some voluntary work with senior citizens/homeless persons a bit ago; if I were still doing so, I'd require 2 CRB checks, possibly 3 as I did some web admin as well. I did the voluntary work because I could and because I wanted to. This will absolutely kill any goodwill built up over a period of years and as mentioned in the article, destroy any trust.

    @TLA's: some PGP would be good, but then its Proper Gormless Prats doing the legislation, spreading fear and paranoia, creating more problems rather than solving current ones.

    Stop, because I want it to, but it won't :( BTW CRB checks cost £30.

  127. Aging Hippy
    Linux

    It only needs one case ...

    One day a 90 year-old man (it is only men isn't it?) who committed a minor sexual offence 70 years before will make an improper remark to a Meals-on-Wheels woman. Result: anyone receiving voluntary help will need to register to protect the volunteers - then we're all caught.

    Anyone remember the 80's (?) cartoon series "Wait till your father gets home", where the 40 year old father gets arrested for hanging around with 15 year-old girls - 25 years before.

    Linux penguin because nobody's blamed this on Microsoft yet.

  128. Alan Fisher
    Black Helicopters

    You shall be guilty until proven innocent..well maybe less guilty...ish

    I'm also glad I left blighty behind for Ireland! I couldn't imagine this kind of thing getting off the ground here, what the heff is going on back there? It'll be black-clad cops in motorcycle helmets soon!

    "everyone is guilty of something, you just have to beat it out of them"

    that's what's coming next, you mark my words....

  129. Mark

    @Donald Freeman

    We don't need guns. With enough people caring enough, we can walk over and kill any police or army arrayed against us. NOTE: Even tanks unsupported are very vulnerable against infantry.

    Heck, we could just get a million together, walk up to #1 or the houses of parliament (during work hours), grab the government bodily and chuck them out. Couldn't be stopped.

    We wouldn't have to be much more motivated than we would to have a million people decide to use their guns on the government. And being unarmed is a better defence against the armed forces arrayed than any amount of legal ammunition.

    The armed US populace will only work if they undertake assassination techniques against the government.

  130. A J Stiles

    @ Mark

    Thank you.

    Once upon a time, the scenario that you describe would not even have been terribly hard to conceive. I am old enough to remember the Miners' Strike, the Poll Tax riots and the Criminal Justice Bill demonstrations. Those were the days when if you cut any one of us, we would all bleed.

    Sometime since then, some sort of rot has set in. We've turned into passive accepting sheep who bend over and take whatever the Government thrust up us. When exactly did it happen?

  131. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Article makes interesting reading

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4347220.ece

  132. David Cantrell
    Paris Hilton

    If you've got nothing to hide

    @Nano nano: my response to those who say "if you've got nothing to hide you've nothing to fear" is "if you've got nothing to hide, why are you wearing clothes? Strip. Now."

    Paris, cos she's obviously got nothing to hide.

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