Friday, 11 September 2009

25% of Adults to Be Police Checked!

The latest Government scheme to get those who regularly drive children for sports and social clubs will have to undergo criminal record checks or face fines of up to £5000, may well encapture 25% of adults.

This is so clearly another attempt at Big Brother by stealth. 11.3m innocent people are going to have to voluntarily submit to a police check. As Mark reckons is this a case of we are all dangerous until we are proven safe. What has happened to innocent until proven guilty? Or the principle of ei incumbit porbatio qui dicit, non qui negat*, not of course that people are denying anything they are in essence innocent with nothing to deny. As Chris Huhne the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman points out the government is "in danger of creating a world in which we think every adult who approached children means to do them harm" by implementing this move.

Also think of strain on police resources to actually run checks on one in four of the population. You’d have to ask for a start with all that time going on checking out so many people surely some police time is going to be lost elsewhere. You know time that would actually be spent actually solving crimes that have been committed, or patrolling our streets to prevent more taking place.

Also the Home Office’s Independent Safeguarding Authority** will undoubtedly be storing this data somewhere, and be looking for a regular update and rechecking on the individuals over time (as Nich points out the CRB checks aren't even transferable). So the data will be kept (how securely knowing Home Office records on this things is hard to gauge, but easy to guess) and revisited, DNA swab samples and all no doubt. It will but even more strain on the crime solving ability of our society as Big Brother Britain continues to delve deeper and deeper into our lives.

When I was involved in youth and childrens’ work they did bring in a Child Protection assessment of those who worked with the young people. These were carried out by a Child Protection Officer appointed by the Trustees of whatever organisation someone was working for and held by them. There was no central storage of these, and people didn’t mind going on regular updates and refreshers to maintain their position of trust. With the new scheme being controlled and regulated so centrally it is feared that will not be the case and that the people who will suffer most will be the children, as the range and options for their trips and events will be so much harder to arrange.

Update: Another issue is the fact that the error rare in vetting people who currently need to be recently doubled.

Update 2: I see that Child Line founder and wannabe independent MP Esther Rantzen has laso spoken out against these latest proposals. She says the whole population was being "blanketed with this extraordinary suspicion that they might be a danger to children."

Adding that she was worried that the checks might "take account of rumour, gossip, unfounded allegations which may be recorded on the police computer."

Update 3: There is now also a Facebook Group you can join to lodge your protest with others.

*The burden of proof rests on who asserts, not on who denies.

** That name makes you wonder what safeguards are in place to look out for the independence of the Home Office amidst this authoritarianism.


  1. We just can't allow this Stephen. I'm off to write to my MSP and voice my concerns.

    I know many grandparents who take the friends of their grandchildren to various events. What will happen is they'll just stop doing it.

  2. Indeed. There are also the practicality that there are times that a last minute change to the schedule is needed to uplift children. Definite over reaction to a problem which is nowhere near the amount of valuable police time and manpower this will tie up.