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To think all this criminal records checking is at best pointless

(15 Posts)
igivein Wed 04-Nov-09 14:04:43

and at worst is actually counterproductive?
A CRB check does not mean that you are 'safe' to work with children, it just means you haven't been caught doing anything wrong.
I worry that people will start to trust the CRB check rather than their own instincts ... 'x makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, but they must be ok because they've been checked ...'
The thing with the adventure playground beggared belief in my opinion, the idea that children are safer with some 'play ranger' who's been checked than with their 'unchecked' parent is ludicrous.
After all, nursery staff are all CRB checked, but that didn't stop the vile goings on at the Little Teds nursery.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 04-Nov-09 14:05:59

YANBU at all. I knew when this idea was first proposed that it's pointless and potentially dangerous, but I had no idea it would spread so far, so fast.

meltedchocolate Wed 04-Nov-09 14:17:39


igivein Wed 04-Nov-09 14:17:56

I'm even starting to get a bit conspiracy theory paranoid - is it all just a ploy to get us all registered / tracked / controlled? (cue spooky music).
Seriously though, I think it's all getting a bit out of hand. I read a comment from a government minister that although it wasn't compulsory, some self-employed people might choose to get themselves checked because it would give them a commercial advantage. They gave the example of piano tuners. Piano tuners ffs! I want my piano tuner to have perfect pitch and to turn up on time. It would never enter my head to consider whether he had been CRB checked, what's he going to do, molest my piano?

TheCrackFox Wed 04-Nov-09 14:32:41


I would always trust a good friend more than a stranger with a certificate proving he has never been in trouble with the police.

CRBs do sieve out the obvious criminals but a lot of paedophiles could go their entire life without ever being caught. It does seem to tie in with Labour's obsession with control.

PixiNanny Thu 05-Nov-09 20:09:13

YANBU. I also hate that with everything I do I need a new one, I bounce between volunteer placements but each placement wants me to have a seperate CRB, which is a bitch as I'd only had one a couple of months earlier!

gingernutlover Thu 05-Nov-09 20:17:42

worst thing is that a CRB check last 3 years yet only proves that on the date it was done you hadnt been caught doing anything wrong - how does that ensure that you are then not going to do anything for 3 years?

heartmoonshadow Thu 05-Nov-09 20:31:59

Whilst I agree a CRB is a useful tool to assess a snapshot of someone I can't see that it is ever going to be 100%.

If you ask me a CRB check is just another money spinning ploy. As a student I had to purchase my own - which I did, valid for 3 years or so I thought. But no, I graduated and still had one year to go when I started a PGCE - same university. Anyway I had to get another for my PGCE course. Then when I started work - 1 year later I had to get another, as work was only temporary until January I had to get another to start my new job. This job took me to the end of my NQT year covering maternity and when I got my new job I had yet another CRB check done. Then to top it all off I had a CRB done in July and got married in August before I started my new job - I called to tell the CRB people about my change of name (only 2 weeks after they issued my check) and yes you guessed it as I got married the check would need to be carried out again.

So in less than 4 years I had 6 checks - what a waste of money.

sweetnitanitro Thu 05-Nov-09 20:52:09

YANBU and your point about people trusting their instincts is a good one. I used to be a playworker and I was amazed at the pointlessness of the CRB check. It's like everyone else says, just because you've never been arrested it doesn't mean you're suitable to work with children.

igivein my dad's a piano tuner, I will ask him if piano molestation is a problem in the industry.

igivein Mon 09-Nov-09 11:36:30

Yeah! My first AIBU, and everyone says I'm not. Maybe I was just stating the bleeding obvious!

MillyR Mon 09-Nov-09 11:48:32

I think they are pointless because:

1. Where I used to work we were told that we were going to be CRB checked. Lots of the staff then went and informed management that they had criminal records. When the CRB forms came back, nobody had a criminal record according to the forms.

2. Lots and lots of men do stupid and illegal things when they are young. They end up with criminal records. The whole CRB things puts people with criminal records off from applying for an ever-growing range of jobs that are CRB checked, because they don't want an employer knowing that they once stole a chocolate bar from Woolworths. Although this might not be on the CRB form when it comes back, as part of the process of doing the CRB you have to declare any criminal convictions.

3. Lots of the jobs/positions people are not getting CRB checks for have little or no contact with children or vulnerable adults anyway.

slug Mon 09-Nov-09 12:10:37

The CRB checks came about as a result of the Soham murders. The cruel and peverse joke is that Ian Huntly would not have been picked up with a CRB at that point because, although he had been arrested several times over assult, underage girls issues, no charges had ever been laid.

If, however, the police and the CPS had treated assults on women and girls with more seriousness than they do at the moment, there would have had a conviction, he would have been in prison so the girls would not have been murdered and we would not have this, quite frankly, ludicrious system we have nowdays.

Papering over the cracks anyone? biscuit

squirrel42 Mon 09-Nov-09 13:48:24

Enhanced CRB checks do have a section for any information of concern the police think it's useful for your employers/the volunteer agency/whoever got you to do the check to know about. That includes allegations that were investigated but never got to the charging or prosecution stage. Of course whether it's "right" for such unproven information like so-and-so was once accused of rape to be used in that fashion is another question. Sure sometimes people do "get away" with things and the fact that they've been accused three times is quite suggestive even though they've never been caught, but equally whats to stop someone just making dozens of false allegations against their neighbour/ex/whoever knowing that it'll sit on file and show up when CRB checks are done?

Anyway, anyone who does think "oh, Jenny has a CRB check so she's fine for me to leave my toddler with even though I've only just met her" is clearly bonkers or doesn't know what a CRB check actually is. It's a very basic tool to highlight people with certain convictions so the person requesting the check can then decide if they are willing to take on a person with a conviction of shoplifting when they were seventeen/ABH/drug trafficking.

queenofdenial2009 Mon 09-Nov-09 20:49:07

Sorry, but YABU. I worked in a hospital and we recruited someone for a not highly paid job. His CRB showed he had cautions for dealing Class A drugs. He explained that a friend had got him involved and he was short of money (I believed him and he really wasn't very bright). BUT his job meant he had access to lots of controlled drugs which have street value.

The CRB meant we could let him have the job, but with restrictions on his access to the drugs which improves patient safety. CRB is not just about kids.

nighbynight Mon 09-Nov-09 21:42:23

That would seem to be an example of CRB checking being useful, but I share other posters' unease about it being used as a security blanket to protect children from abuse.
The current system isn't right, but I am not sure what would be the best improvement.

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