Sorta a statue of limitations type thingie

Former prostitutes are set to sue the Government over criminal records checks which stop them volunteering with Brownie groups.

A group of women will argue that policies which leave convictions for soliciting on their records are discriminatory and intrude into their private lives.

The women, most of whom are anonymous, say their convictions become known many years after they stopped working as prostitutes and have prevented them from taking up volunteering and job opportunities.

One anonymous claimant said: “It doesn’t matter what it is – trying to help out at my kids’ school or the local brownies’ coffee morning, trying to be a governor or a councillor, applying to education or training or employment – even volunteering in so many fields – with children, with the elderly, in care, with vulnerable people, with youth work, with social work – all need a DBS and then you get treated like some sort of pariah or sex offender.

It’s not limitations, that’s about how long after something you can potentially be prosecuted for it. Rather, spent convictions. But the idea/both ideas seem useful in an actual and real society. “Long time ago, it’s over, done.”

All too many people just don’t think that way though, which is why we’ve not got it in these records checks.

21 thoughts on “Sorta a statue of limitations type thingie”

  1. It’s a bit ridiculous to bar whores from being involved in the moral guidance of young girls, when open homosexuals are allowed to molest young boys in the Scouts.

  2. The voice of public opinion insisted long and hard [sic] that we be tough on sex offenders.

    And we can t do gender discrimination, can we.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    There was a women on Today who claimed she was groomed as a 15-year-old and then taken to London by her pimp/boyfriend and made to walk the streets. She picked up some soliciting convictions and even though she now claims to be an upstanding member of society with a grown up social enterprise business she still has to declare her convictions from 30 years ago.

    Although I’m wary that the BBC and Guardian aren’t very good at picking their social justice examples, she did seem reasonably articulate she does appear to have a case.

  4. The logic by which prostitutes are both victims and perpetrators at one and the same time is mind boggling.

  5. Solid Steve 2: Squirrels of The Patriots

    Probably should’ve thought of that before they became freelance mingemongers.

  6. Paul Rain

    Stop being an arse. There are certainly cases of paedophiles abusing kids in all manner of situations and it is obviously an incentive for them to get involved in children’s organisations, but the idea that the scouts explicitly “allow” it to happen – rather than be absolutely horrified by it and work hard on safeguarding procedures that aim to stamp it out – is wrongheaded.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    MyBurningEars – “but the idea that the scouts explicitly “allow” it to happen – rather than be absolutely horrified by it and work hard on safeguarding procedures that aim to stamp it out – is wrongheaded.”

    Is it? The Scouts know that sex offenders are disproportionately homosexual. And that homosexuals have no obvious innocent interest in young boys.

    And yet they still caved and let them share a pup tent with young boys.

  8. Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974, amended 2014), convictions are “spent” and don’t need to be disclosed after:
    – 1 year for community orders;
    – 2 years for custodial sentences up to 6 months;
    – 4 years for custodial sentences of 6 to 30 months;
    – 7 years for custodial sentences of 30 to 48 months.
    Custodial sentences of over four years will never become spent.

    Prostitution of course isn’t a criminal offence, but some related things are (e.g. soliciting in a public place); convictions for that are going to be at the lower end of that rehabilitation range.

    However there are lots of exemptions to the rehabilitation Act, including applying to do pretty much anything relating to children (paid or volunteering).

    So it isn’t that this hasn’t been considered, it’s that it’s been considered and specifically rejected. Rightly or wrongly.

  9. There is also the fact that just because a conviction is declared on a DBS check shouldn’t automatically be a disqualification for the role. So the question is why do schools/brownies/etc have a policy that a long ago conviction for prostitution is sufficient to deny the volunteer?

    I’d guess they think it is easier just to say no than take the risk that it will come out and a massive fuss made over it in newspapers such a the Telegraph.

  10. I’d guess they think it is easier just to say no than take the risk

    That. Very much that. Too many organisations take the view that the only appropriate DBS result is an entirely clean (or clean of everything bar some traffic convictions).

  11. SMFS

    The only “obvious” reason that anybody at all might want to work with or volunteer with children is that they intend to abuse them, surely? “Obvious” to a pitchfork-clasper anyway.

    There weren’t many chaps working at my primary school, and a substantial proportion of them were very gay indeed – though oddly the kids largely didn’t pick up on it, though parents did. Nobody was calling on them to quit, there were no protests outside the school gate, and this was decades and decades ago. You may not approve of the dawn of the 21st century but the idea of it being socially acceptable to discriminate against gay people by banning them from roles involving kids is one that died a death a long old time ago.

    If that’s the kind of society you want to live in – much as I struggle to see why – you’re way too late, and it’s never coming back. A serious question: If modern life is going to be such an eternal disappointment to you, have you seriously considered emigrating? There are some corners of the world – even of the Anglophone world – where your mores are less uncommon, maybe even a workable majority. Wouldn’t you be happier there, rather than railing against social changes you’ll never overturn?

  12. @SE

    “Too many organisations take the view that the only appropriate DBS result is an entirely clean ”

    Is both a balancing of assessment of risk of harm (for which minor offences half a lifetime ago may be but the weakest of indicators) and political/publicity risk (whether it looks like an error of judgment, especially if something does happen to go wrong).

    But “blank slate or out” effectively ends up handing back responsibility for risk management to those who decided what the rules for disclosure should be.

    That might not be such a bad thing in fact – if disclosure rules were to be based on serious statistical analysis (maybe an isolated conviction for soliciting or shoplifting 20 years ago has no discernible effect on child safety today, and the rule of “disclose everything for roles involving children” should be tweaked to accommodate this – or maybe it is still a useful signal and disclosure is still desirable) then no doubt decisions would be fairer than if they were left to employers to decide on without the benefit of the data.

    Can’t see it happening though because of the political risks for the politicians themselves if they agree “convicted criminals can work with kids without even disclosing their convictions”.

  13. It’s legit for the record to remain, but only disclosable for certain restricted cases. It’s down to the interviewer/etc being sensible about it. When I was on licensing we had a handful of cases that were always refered to the Board because of ancient convictions, the the process was essentially: Have you done any of this recently? No. Ok, granted. With these prostitution cases it’s essentially the interviewers/etc being dicks.

  14. A group of women will argue that policies which leave convictions for soliciting on their records are discriminatory and intrude into their private lives

    Thus, for men, convictions for rape on their records are discriminatory and intrude into their private lives

  15. If they are anonymous, what’s the problem?

    I should think any criminal lawyer . . . uhh . . . criminal defense lawyer . . . could get the record expunged after a time.

  16. So Much For Subtlety


    There are a lot of reasons why people might want to work with or volunteer to be with children that does not involve abuse. But I am not sure those reasons are likely to be prominent among people openly contemptuous of breeders. As I said, homosexuals have no obvious innocent interest in other people’s sons.

    I love the argument that history is moving towards the Guardian and I have to get on board. I tend to think the future is what we make it. Unfortunately what we are making of it is not good for homosexuals. At the rate things are going either we will be out-bred by people with darker skins who prefer to kill homosexuals or science will come up with a gene test or a cure or whatever. But either way. If we are moving in the wrong direction it is sensible to say stop. It is not that people do not think sensible things, it is that the media bullies them into silence and then claims a changing social consensus. The future is not going to be good for homosexuals because they are not happy people.

    “A serious question: If modern life is going to be such an eternal disappointment to you, have you seriously considered emigrating?”

    A lovely bit of shaming there. I am impressed.

    None of which is relevant to the point – most sex offenders are Gay, having them share tents with young boys is a very high risk. People have been bullied into pretending they accept it. But they don’t.

  17. SMFS

    You’re right – the march of the right-thinking people isn’t necessarily where we end up, and certainly isn’t necessarily where we ought to. In the intellectual progressive types once believed that society was striding confidently towards the enthusiastic uptake of eugenics and birth control – one out of two ain’t bad, but I wonder if those who lived long enough to see how their once respectable views would now have them cast out as pariahs, actually rethought their position or simply found it convenient not to argue for it.

    But much as I admire the fervour and commitment, some of your last ditch defences are just gone, dude, they’re just gone. That bus departed loooong ago, and has rusted to pieces in the interim. The bus stop you’re waiting at is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

    Take the statement that “men with homosexual inclinations should be banned from working with children in case they interfere with them”. (I leave aside the issue of whether its premise, of a correlation between homosexuality and paedophilia, has any scientific backing – been discussed in Timmy’s comments sections in the past and I doubt anything new would come to light from a repeat performance. Just whether the statement represents a lost cause, or not.)

    I reckon within living albeit distant memory you might have got a majority to express agreement with that statement. Your problem isn’t simply that this has dwindled to a minority, even fringe, position, but that it has passed into the realms of the unsayable in polite company. The controversy has moved on from whether the statement is true, to whether uttering the statement is permissible, or even silently agreeing with the statement would render you ineligible for various public positions.

    About 20 years ago I recall a lone protester – an evangelical Christian – who had a weekly slot by the market square, with his sandwich board and placards and 3 hour sermon, ranting at the evil that a gay man might adopt children. He was in a fringe minority by then. The passers-by thought he was a nut. He was, though, tolerated. I don’t know whether he would be now – certainly his claims about homosexual deviance would be more likely to provoke challenge, quite possibly legal. The police could easily get involved on public order grounds, but how far away would he be from a prosecution for hate speech?

    A UK in which gay teachers are disbarred from the profession, in which kids adopted by gay parents are seized back by the state, in which applicants to teacher training college must declare they have had no gay or bi experiences or inclinations… just ain’t gonna happen. You might think that would be a great idea but the chance is long, long gone. And okay, major demographic changes might re-tilt the balance – I actually considered making that concession in my original reply. But even if you believe there will be no integration and no moderation of opinions in second and subsequent generations, the numbers simply aren’t there for this to happen within our lifetimes.

    On the other hand there are plenty of places in the world where your favoured lost causes in Britain are still actively in-play politically and the weight of your arguments might have some chance of making a difference. There are even places where your opinions might be considered the uncontroversial majority view.

    Somewhere out there – perhaps in the great expanse of Flyover Country – is a small town with your name on it. You could be the local intellectual, the eloquent but straight-speaking mayor, whatever took your fancy. People wouldn’t think you were mad or backwards and you’d have no need to check over your shoulder in case the Thought Police were out to nab you for hate crimes, for holding opinions that would not all that long ago have been perfectly unremarkable.

    So yes, quite seriously, I don’t understand why you want to stay in the UK. Surely not the weather, or the feeling you “fit in” with the way society here has evolved. Trying to persuade British teacher training colleges to ban gay applicants? There is no future in that, no bloody future at all. More efficient to devote that energy to inventing a time machine. But 21st-century Britain is not The World, not even especially representative of it. There are other places, other peoples, other opportunities out there where world-views may correlate more far more closely with your own. Aren’t you ever tempted?

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