Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime

An audit shows that tens of thousands of choir members, bell ringers, flower arrangers and grand parent volunteers at schools are being forced to get Disclosure and Barring Service checks, five years after Theresa May, the Home Secretary, promised that the number would return to “common sense levels”.

We have criminal records checks on bell ringers.

So, St. Tone’s true statement was that we shall create a bureaucracy that disappears up it’s own arse.

Well done there, well done that man.

12 thoughts on “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”

  1. And the worst of it all, is that all those checks do bugger all in diminishing the risk of abuse, given that a true predator knows, or very quickly learns, how to camouflage, and won’t be caught by a system like this.

    It’s just a way to allow the bureaucrats to state: “but he checked out all right, so it can’t be Our Fault.”

  2. I’m one of the bell ringers with dbs checks (most ringers don’t need one, only if you are teaching kids, possibly as a separate session for the early stages). It is a hassle to get done, especially if you teach at a few places, but there are 1 or 2 ringers I know of who would fail due to previous activities.

    The process itself is mad though; far better would be something like a credit check, which does a similar thing but can be done in seconds, by private firms in competition.

  3. Tweet from police in Hackney last night:

    “Unit has spent the last hour dealing with a unhappy 13 year old screaming and shouting at parents because she didn’t want to go to bed.”

    So to hell with them. They waste their OWN time.

  4. The purpose of CRB/DBS checks is to give a bit of paper that management can wave about when something happens. It’s about avoidance of blame not about actually stopping anything.

    That’s it.

    It is completely useless as a checking system. The old system, List 99 was done by the Police (via the DfEwhatever in Mowden Hall) and was actually done properly – so if you submitted “Tim Worstall” they would check under “Timothy Worstall” “Tim Worstell” and so on. But they wouldn’t check anyone who had only low levels of access.

    I have actually had a CRB check come back clean for someone I know had a conviction (a very minor one admitted at interview).

    The reason was he had the middle name “Leslie” which CRB/DBS central typed in as the female form “Lesley”. Because this named person “x Lesley y” did not exist, he did not have any crimes registered against him, leading to a clear CRB check.

    My estimation is there are errors in about 20% of the forms returned by CRB/DBS – i.e. they typed names in wrong – really obvious things like arbitrary letters in the middle of names. If the name is at all complicated (we had one fellow of African origin) it can be much worse ; his form was submitted *five* times before they typed it in correctly.

    That’s if you do it properly. Public Sector bodies are fairly lazy about such things and don’t bother to check the returned forms for errors.

  5. Ecksy

    You are right. I was involved with the local branch of a national charity. A few of us had DBS checks from other roles or jobs, but these checks are not portable, as the jargon goes. Anyway, the dozen of us simply refused to comply, saying head office had a choice: no local branch or no DBS checks. Head office chose no DBS checks.

  6. I just got a Police Search certificate from the ACRO for la Migra here. They wanted, inter alia, NI number, passport number, proof of address, everywhere I’d lived in the last 15 years, scan of my passport with the machine readable section and an endorser in a list of approved occupations. It was a very fast turnaround, but it cost &pound95.

  7. Point of order: the Soham murderer was checked out by plod, given the all clear.

    Security is good, a false sense of security can be disastrous. And the govt are only selling us the second option.

  8. Good old Australia is right up there with the poms. At age 58, I was required to get a “Working with Seniors’ clearance. Three years later I was required to apply again aged 61. But now although I was a senior, THEY were not required to get a similar clearance. I can’t sleep at nights now because of absolute fear!

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