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mjgrieveson

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I feel that this is a fundamental erosion of civil liberties.

 

As a member of Liberty and one who has protested in the past I disagree strongly. The fundamental erosion of civil liberties comes when we decide to investigate people without evidence, not when we go through checks for our safety as well as the safety of others. I fundamentally oppose ID cards as an erosion of civil liberties, but I agree that checks should be done to prove identity when applying for a driving licence, passport, or a bank account.

 

Jonathan

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The trouble with these checks is they only confirm that the 'checkee' hasn't been caught - it doesn't mean he or she is innocent.

 

Mention has been made of multiple checks. I have two CRB checks, one for the church as I am a Reader and it is a requirement of my ministry that I am checked - quite rightly. The other is for my Daughter's foster children - a requirement of the local council if I am to be allowed to be alone with them - again, quite right. Those in positions of responsibility can't take risks, and while it smacks of 'Big Brother'and 'guilty before being proved innocent', I can't see an alternative.

 

While on the subject of multiple checks, I understand that a full report is sent to the authority in question, showing all convictions, not just those for abusing the vulnerable. These other offences do not show on the certificate received by the applicant - perhaps they should, but they don't. So a check might show that Fred is perfectly safe to be in charge of children, but that he has six points on his licence for speeding, so it might be advisable not to let him drive a minibus full of kids - or the elderly come to that. This information is only revealed to each authority, and that, I understand, is why a full check is carried out individually.

 

But it all does seem rather authoritarian I must agree!

 

Regards to all

 

John.

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The trouble with these checks is they only confirm that the 'checkee' hasn't been caught - it doesn't mean he or she is innocent.

 

Yes, again, a very good point, but sadly this is the only way it can be done. The question may be asked, how many people out there have clean CRB records because they haven't been caught yet. I'm afraid people would be shocked by the number. It is absolutely essential we follow best practice at all times, in order to protect ourselves, as mentioned by Malcolm a few posts ago.

 

Jonathan

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...The fundamental erosion of civil liberties comes when we decide to investigate people without evidence, not when we go through checks for our safety as well as the safety of others.

No, the fundamental erosion of civil liberties comes when we presume that people are potential sex offenders until they can prove that they don't have a conviction for such a crime.

 

While on the subject of multiple checks, I understand that a full report is sent to the authority in question, showing all convictions, not just those for abusing the vulnerable. These other offences do not show on the certificate received by the applicant - perhaps they should, but they don't. So a check might show that Fred is perfectly safe to be in charge of children, but that he has six points on his licence for speeding, so it might be advisable not to let him drive a minibus full of kids - or the elderly come to that. This information is only revealed to each authority, and that, I understand, is why a full check is carried out individually.

 

But it all does seem rather authoritarian I must agree!

That's utterly ridiculous. Why on earth should - for example - a priest be told that his organist has points on his license, say, 15 years ago for going at 40mph in a 30mph zone?

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No, the fundamental erosion of civil liberties comes when we presume that people are potential sex offenders until they can prove that they don't have a conviction for such a crime.

No such assumption is made. The principal purpose of the CRB is to protect ALL parties, including the person being checked.

 

Jonathan

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That's utterly ridiculous. Why on earth should - for example - a priest be told that his organist has points on his license, say, 15 years ago for going at 40mph in a 30mph zone?

 

The result that is passed to the parish priest or child protection officer does not give specifics and is relevant. If someone has points on their licence for speeding, the CRB will come back clear. The result of the CRB check is pass or fail, no specifics are given, and it is then up to the person making the appointment to decide whether to make the appointment. There is nothing that can prevent them from doing so, but it would be very unwise to do so.

 

The point mentioned is a spent conviction anyway, and wouldn't appear even if the details were passed on.

 

Jonathan

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No such assumption is made. The principal purpose of the CRB is to protect ALL parties, including the person being checked.

And how on Earth can it do that? A CRB check cannot prevent false allegations in any way, shape, or form. The only way to try and avoid false allegations is by taking great care to ensure that one is not in a situation where one could have allegations made, which includes having at least another adult around at all times when dealing with children and "vulnerable" adults.

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And how on Earth can it do that? A CRB check cannot prevent false allegations in any way, shape, or form. The only way to try and avoid false allegations is by taking great care to ensure that one is not in a situation where one could have allegations made, which includes having at least another adult around at all times.

True, and when I was a DofM we ran a very rigourous policy to ensure this, but it doesn't always work in practical situations. By fulfilling the requirements of the CRB it shows you are using the principal of good practice, which whilst not directly preventing such things, nothing can, will help should a false allegation be made. I'm not saying its a perfect system, but in my experience, it made my job much easier, as I knew I didnt have to watch my back all the time.

 

Jonathan

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The problem, in answer to Ron Poole and his 3 exclamation marks, is that in playing the organ I am doing a favour - not practising a profession. It is not good manners in my view to ask someone to do something for you and then inquire into their background.

The whole business of CRB checks has been shown from the interesting comments here, to be a bit of a racket, only exposing those who have been caught, and having to be repeated endlessly. The trouble is, everyone has signed up to it and it has become respectable - so much so that anyone who declines is considered suspect or 'difficult'.

 

I am thankful that I shall not hear the howls of derision when I remark that it is unchristian to single out those with a 'record'. Are only those with an unblemished history to be allowed in our organisations? I will allow it is prudent to follow good practice such as not being alone with children or vulnerable adults and would have no argument with this.

 

But in the same way that I cannot approve of universal DNA registers and ID cards, blanket CRB checking is to me a requirement too far and I have filled in my last form. I only filled it in because I had made an appointment with the vicar to check some ID and it seemed discourteous to cancel at short notice.

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I am thankful that I shall not hear the howls of derision when I remark that it is unchristian to single out those with a 'record'. Are only those with an unblemished history to be allowed in our organisations? I will allow it is prudent to follow good practice such as not being alone with children or vulnerable adults and would have no argument with this.

Unfortunately the reality of this world is that people do things we don't like or agree with, and it is our Christian duty to abide by the laws of the land (there is Biblical precedent for this) and to do our best for people. However, taking the worst case scenario, when a convicted child sex abuser turns up at the church and wants to join the thriving choir, involving perhaps 30 children, would we be doing our Christian duty to allow him (or her). My conscience wouldn't let me.

 

I must say, having been a professional organist for a good many years, in parish church and cathedral, I would not take up any appointment where I wasn't required to fill in a CRB form. But, I would feel the same if I was offering my services in a voluntary capacity, I just wouldn't feel safe.

 

All changes in a year or so though, when the new system comes in, with one check, and a card you show the organisations who have to make the check. It still doesn't stop those who are clever enough to commit the offences and get away with it, and believe me they are, look at how Ian Huntley managed to con the system in Soham. It does however help us do they absolute best for all those we have to deal with, be they children, vulnerable adults and the elderly.

 

Jonathan

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But in the same way that I cannot approve of universal DNA registers and ID cards, blanket CRB checking is to me a requirement too far and I have filled in my last form. I only filled it in because I had made an appointment with the vicar to check some ID and it seemed discourteous to cancel at short notice.

 

Neither do I, and despite following the Christian principles of living within the law of the land, I will never carry an ID card, even if it means I will never be able to get a passport, or healthcare, and the retention of DNA evidence is a fundamental invasion of our human rights, unless a 'safe' conviction has been obtained. I believe the recent European Court ruling is greatly significant.

 

Jonathan

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Unfortunately the reality of this world is that people do things we don't like or agree with, and it is our Christian duty to abide by the laws of the land (there is Biblical precedent for this) and to do our best for people. However, taking the worst case scenario, when a convicted child sex abuser turns up at the church and wants to join the thriving choir, involving perhaps 30 children, would we be doing our Christian duty to allow him (or her). My conscience wouldn't let me.

By the same argument, there's also a Biblical precedent about forgiveness, is there not?

 

However, in one of my church choirs, I do have a convicted sex-offender. He's an absolute pain, however, and, if a CRB check would enable me to evict him from the choir, I could *almost* be persuaded to support CRB checks. :unsure:

 

I must say, having been a professional organist for a good many years, in parish church and cathedral, I would not take up any appointment where I wasn't required to fill in a CRB form. But, I would feel the same if I was offering my services in a voluntary capacity, I just wouldn't feel safe.

How on earth do you think that filling in a CRB form makes you feel safe? :blink:

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And how on Earth can it do that? A CRB check cannot prevent false allegations in any way, shape, or form. The only way to try and avoid false allegations is by taking great care to ensure that one is not in a situation where one could have allegations made, which includes having at least another adult around at all times when dealing with children and "vulnerable" adults.

 

Sorry, but this view - and one or two others - are just ridiculous in my opinion because they are founded on the principle of weighing guilt and innocence, rather than of safety and danger. I am now going to rant at the keyboard, even though it is way past my bed-time.

 

Why should I expect parents to entrust their offspring to me for several hours each week without some kind of warranty that I don't have convictions for grooming choirboys?

 

If a stranger turned up at your service tomorrow morning and announced he was a semi-professional tenor who had just moved into the area and would like to join a choir, would you not consider it your duty to ensure this person hasn't previously abducted and raped a vulnerable person of any age or gender?

 

Having a policy which requires all to undergo a police check enables such things to be discovered in an impersonal way which doesn't imply any finger pointing or character asassination - it's just the way things are. Its existence would also prevent such a person from coming forward, whether as a volunteer or in a paid capacity.

 

Put another way, if someone were to donate an electric heater for your choir vestry, would you ask a six year old child or a ninety year old woman to plug it in for the first time without first having assured yourself it was safe? Could you live with the consequenses if it threw that person across the room and possibly killed them? Would you just shrug your shoulders and say "Oh well, and there was me thinking it would all be lovely in the end" if you had cheerfully waved off a minibus full of people in your care being driven by someone whose licence and fitness to drive you had not previously checked, only to learn an hour later they had ploughed drunkenly into an oncoming lorry?

 

If not, then why would you allow an individual into your organisation with exactly the same capability for harm - in fact, considerably longer-lasting, more profound and infinitely less visible harm?

 

 

Whistlestop wrote - "I am thankful that I shall not hear the howls of derision when I remark that it is unchristian to single out those with a 'record'. Are only those with an unblemished history to be allowed in our organisations?"

 

This is so fatuous it makes me want to weep. Never mind whether only those with an unblemished history are allowed into organisations. That's missing the point. It is the right of the organisation to make that decision when it has received the recruitment recommendation of the Criminal Records office. Your argument entirely counters itself because it overlooks the question of prejudice, about which more anon.

 

 

Holz wrote - "No, the fundamental erosion of civil liberties comes when we presume that people are potential sex offenders until they can prove that they don't have a conviction for such a crime."

 

It assumes nothing of the sort. It merely asserts the right of any organisation to know the safety of its individuals to work with other individuals. I, acknowledging that I am significantly less vulnerable than a 7 year old child or 85 year old parishioner with Alzheimer's or 40 year old male with severe learning difficulties, am quite happy to assure my organisation that I am a fit person to be help, teach, assist or care for any of the above. Refusing to give such assurance at no personal cost to myself ought to ring sufficient alarm bells to ensure I would be rejected.

 

As the body taking responsibility for the wellbeing of those vulnerable people, and giving assurance to parents or family or other carers that their charges are in a safe environment, I think it is the inalieable right of the organisation employing me to be able to make the decision that I am safe on the grounds of documented evidence.

 

Furthermore, we are in a society more alive than ever to the conflicting concepts of discrimination and of personal choice. As a person applying for employment, I would far prefer to have decisions about my suitability made on the basis of documented evidence rather than the assessors personal prejudices about, say, the colour of my hair or skin, the number of pierced facial extremities, crossed eyes, a pronounced lisp or two missing fingers. Someone walking down the street with green hair and a 'Glad to be Gay' t-shirt in 1950 would probably have been jeered at, spat at, and then locked in prison for being homosexual. No longer. That person now has just as much right to be considered on their abilities as you or I and to do what they want with any number of consenting adults behind their own front door. In a world where that change (as yet incomplete) is possible in a generation, how can you possibly claim that ensuring the safety of minors and vulnerable citizens is an erosion of liberties?

 

 

Conclusion - I am willing for my background to be checked as a person applying for (or volunteering for) activities involving vulnerable people, because it tells me I'm applying to an organisation which takes its responsibilities seriously, it tells me I'm being considered on merit not on prejudice, and it unquestionably enhances the civil liberties of more vulnerable people and asserts their right not to undergo physical, mental or sexual torment at the hands of those they are supposed to trust.

 

What can any right-thinking person possibly find wrong with that?

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Sorry, but this view - and one or two others - are just ridiculous in my opinion because they are founded on the principle of weighing guilt and innocence, rather than of safety and danger. I am now going to rant at the keyboard, even though it is way past my bed-time.

 

Why should I expect parents to entrust their offspring to me for several hours each week without some kind of warranty that I don't have convictions for grooming choirboys?

 

If a stranger turned up at your service tomorrow morning and announced he was a semi-professional tenor who had just moved into the area and would like to join a choir, would you not consider it your duty to ensure this person hasn't previously abducted and raped a vulnerable person of any age or gender?

 

Having a policy which requires all to undergo a police check enables such things to be discovered in an impersonal way which doesn't imply any finger pointing or character asassination - it's just the way things are. Its existence would also prevent such a person from coming forward, whether as a volunteer or in a paid capacity.

 

Put another way, if someone were to donate an electric heater for your choir vestry, would you ask a six year old child or a ninety year old woman to plug it in for the first time without first having assured yourself it was safe? Could you live with the consequenses if it threw that person across the room and possibly killed them? Would you just shrug your shoulders and say "Oh well, and there was me thinking it would all be lovely in the end" if you had cheerfully waved off a minibus full of people in your care being driven by someone whose licence and fitness to drive you had not previously checked, only to learn an hour later they had ploughed drunkenly into an oncoming lorry?

 

If not, then why would you allow an individual into your organisation with exactly the same capability for harm - in fact, considerably longer-lasting, more profound and infinitely less visible harm?

 

 

Whistlestop wrote - "I am thankful that I shall not hear the howls of derision when I remark that it is unchristian to single out those with a 'record'. Are only those with an unblemished history to be allowed in our organisations?"

 

This is so fatuous it makes me want to weep. Never mind whether only those with an unblemished history are allowed into organisations. That's missing the point. It is the right of the organisation to make that decision when it has received the recruitment recommendation of the Criminal Records office. Your argument entirely counters itself because it overlooks the question of prejudice, about which more anon.

 

 

Holz wrote - "No, the fundamental erosion of civil liberties comes when we presume that people are potential sex offenders until they can prove that they don't have a conviction for such a crime."

 

It assumes nothing of the sort. It merely asserts the right of any organisation to know the safety of its individuals to work with other individuals. I, acknowledging that I am significantly less vulnerable than a 7 year old child or 85 year old parishioner with Alzheimer's or 40 year old male with severe learning difficulties, am quite happy to assure my organisation that I am a fit person to be help, teach, assist or care for any of the above. Refusing to give such assurance at no personal cost to myself ought to ring sufficient alarm bells to ensure I would be rejected.

 

As the body taking responsibility for the wellbeing of those vulnerable people, and giving assurance to parents or family or other carers that their charges are in a safe environment, I think it is the inalieable right of the organisation employing me to be able to make the decision that I am safe on the grounds of documented evidence.

 

Furthermore, we are in a society more alive than ever to the conflicting concepts of discrimination and of personal choice. As a person applying for employment, I would far prefer to have decisions about my suitability made on the basis of documented evidence rather than the assessors personal prejudices about, say, the colour of my hair or skin, the number of pierced facial extremities, crossed eyes, a pronounced lisp or two missing fingers. Someone walking down the street with green hair and a 'Glad to be Gay' t-shirt in 1950 would probably have been jeered at, spat at, and then locked in prison for being homosexual. No longer. That person now has just as much right to be considered on their abilities as you or I and to do what they want with any number of consenting adults behind their own front door. In a world where that change (as yet incomplete) is possible in a generation, how can you possibly claim that ensuring the safety of minors and vulnerable citizens is an erosion of liberties?

 

 

Conclusion - I am willing for my background to be checked as a person applying for (or volunteering for) activities involving vulnerable people, because it tells me I'm applying to an organisation which takes its responsibilities seriously, it tells me I'm being considered on merit not on prejudice, and it unquestionably enhances the civil liberties of more vulnerable people and asserts their right not to undergo physical, mental or sexual torment at the hands of those they are supposed to trust.

 

What can any right-thinking person possibly find wrong with that?

 

Ok, so, tomorrow morning, I should make sure that none of my choir are likely to be child abusers before they sing. When I drive down to the church, I should find some way of ensuring that my car has actually been built by people who know what they are doing, and that my mechanic knows his stuff, and isn't some crackpot potential murderer who has cut my brake-cables in order to kill me.

 

And, I should ensure that the people who have built the roads on the way to church haven't incorporated death traps. And that the builders who built the church knew enough about what they were doing so that the roof doesn't collapse on me. Likewise the organ builders.

 

Sorry, David, but that is utter nonsense. You have to assume that people are decent, well-meaning and can do their job unless proven otherwise, or constantly make ridiculous checks before you do anything in life.

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The object of the law is to protect children. The law sets out some occupations in which it is mandatory to have a CRB check. Unfortunately, there is a huge amount of 'gold plating' of the actual legal requirements as successive translations of statute into policy / best practice / national / local recommendations become local working practices. At each translation, the person writing the document needs to ensure that their back is covered in the event of a future problem.

 

This does not necessarily lead to better outcomes for children in the bigger picture: the increasingly onerous nature of this gold plating of sensible regulations is reducing the pool of volunteers willing to help out in Scouts, Choirs, etc etc and children are left hanging around on street corners where they are far more at risk.

 

In some situations it leads to total nonsense as when the Head of the school where I am chair of governors was told by the local authority that she couldn't have the school deep cleaned in the depths of August with no children on the premises unless every cleaner was CRB checked. However, members of the public may attend evening classes held several nights a week in termtime without even providing a name or an address.

 

I encountered a situation analagous to the choir one whilst serving as Company Secretary to one of the UK's leading Little Theatres: the same question arose in relation to the children who are members of either of our Youth Theatres, some of whom occassionally have the opportunity to perform in adult productions. There was talk that it might be necessary to CRB check the entire (400+) membership of the adult theatre, any of whom might appear in a show in which children were performing. That would have been unworkable - financially and administratively - and we would simply have had to stop having children appearing in adult theatre productions. However, having taken advice from people who knew the law, who knew what they were talking about, and who - critically - knew the difference between protecting children and protecting their own backs, and in consultation with the Local Authority (a different one to the one in the previous example), it became perfectly clear that there was no need either for blanket CRB checks of the membership or even of those who were appearing in productions alongside the children. In fact, CRB checks, other than for those in charge of such activities are a bit of a red herring and may create a false sense of security. The key is good chaperoning, to ensure that children are always in the presence of a nominated person, with all the appropriate accreditations - rather more than a clean CRB - responsible for that child's welfare. As well as being far simpler, this is also far more secure: it gets around the 'not caught yet' issue: if focusses the attention on the child. In the theatre example there are other regulations in terms of limits to the number of performances in any given period, a curfew time past which children may not perform and in any case permission for the child to appear must be sought in each and every case from that childs Local Authority. So if blanket CRB checking isn't required in a theatre I can't see why it should be in a choir.

 

I would be astonished to learn that there was any legal requirement to CRB your choir adults. I would also be very sceptical of any claim that so doing increased your level of child protection because if you're doing the chaperoning properly, you can have a back row full of kiddie fiddlers and they won't get the opportunity to do anything and if you aren't doing the chaperoning properly then you've got a huge gap in your protection and all the CRBs in the world won't help you if, as was said earlier, somebody who hasn't been caught yet joins your choir.

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David - there's a significant difference between being the person in charge of children and being another person in a room with children. I absolutely support the need to CRB check - though this is only a part of a policy - adults who will be in charge of children. I don't support blanket checking of all adults who will interact with those children, partly on civil liberties grounds but mostly because it creates a false sense of security. The key to security is to know that the children are under the supervision of fit and proper persons. Focus on the children, not the adults.

 

Continuing your 'heater' analogy: I would check the heater out more carefully if children were going to be switching it on or off than I would if it were to be on but the children were not to touch it and I had people who could ensure that they did not.

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David - there's a significant difference between being the person in charge of children and being another person in a room with children. I absolutely support the need to CRB check - though this is only a part of a policy - adults who will be in charge of children. I don't support blanket checking of all adults who will interact with those children, partly on civil liberties grounds but mostly because it creates a false sense of security. The key to security is to know that the children are under the supervision of fit and proper persons. Focus on the children, not the adults.

 

Continuing your 'heater' analogy: I would check the heater out more carefully if children were going to be switching it on or off than I would if it were to be on but the children were not to touch it and I had people who could ensure that they did not.

The CAS says otherwise, to quote from their website:

 

STANDARD DISCLOSURE

These are intended for those who regularly undertake limited roles which bring them into contact with children and young people but who have no supervising or training responsibilities. This includes those who prepare refreshments, caretakers and cleaners and similar roles as determined by the denomination. (Occasional helpers who are never left in charge, one-off helpers and visitors should understand what is required of them and are recommended to submit self disclosures to the local church.)

 

Jonathan

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The CAS says otherwise, to quote from their website:

 

STANDARD DISCLOSURE

These are intended for those who regularly undertake limited roles which bring them into contact with children and young people but who have no supervising or training responsibilities. This includes those who prepare refreshments, caretakers and cleaners and similar roles as determined by the denomination. (Occasional helpers who are never left in charge, one-off helpers and visitors should understand what is required of them and are recommended to submit self disclosures to the local church.)

Yes, and I think that utterly ridiculous, and a symptom of the Nanny State.

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Yes, and I think that utterly ridiculous, and a symptom of the Nanny State.

 

I think the Nanny State would lock people up before there is any evidence to do so, just in case they might at some point do this in the future. In a democratic state we have to take a balanced view of what we need to do to provide the safest environment, without unduly impacting people's rights. Some things go to far, i.e. ID Cards, but some are as balanced as we can get. Sadly the church, and its true in all denominations, has a history of abuse.

 

Jonathan

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I think the Nanny State would lock people up before there is any evidence to do so, just in case they might at some point do this in the future.

Yup, well, look at some of the policies our government were trying to push through a while ago about so-called terror suspects....

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The CAS says otherwise, to quote from their website:

 

STANDARD DISCLOSURE

These are intended for those who regularly undertake limited roles which bring them into contact with children and young people but who have no supervising or training responsibilities. This includes those who prepare refreshments, caretakers and cleaners and similar roles as determined by the denomination. (Occasional helpers who are never left in charge, one-off helpers and visitors should understand what is required of them and are recommended to submit self disclosures to the local church.)

But that's my point. CAS is making this recommendation, not the law, and IMHO this does not reduce the actual risk at all - because the actual risk should be far lower in the first place, through proper management of the children, not the cleaners.

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But that's my point. CAS is making this recommendation, not the law, and IMHO this does not reduce the actual risk at all - because the actual risk should be far lower in the first place, through proper management of the children, not the cleaners.

Yes, but if you allow any organisation to apply its own policy, some people will take it seriously and others won't. The church has a very bad history of abuse, but more important of covering up that abuse. CRB is a part of the process to minimalise the risk. Ian Huntley was of course the school caretaker, so if the proper level of supervision had been there he should not have been able to commit his crimes. But, as the children knew him from school, they were able to be lured by him out of school. Familiarity can be a negative think, especially in this case. I am concerned about the breakdown of child/adult relations becaus of this, but I have found, the level of trust I have had from the children mirrors the level of trust from their parents, part of which, especially at the beginning of an appointment, was helped by the CRB. If I had to work without that, I would have to work much harder, particularly with the parents. I used to say that upto 10% of my job was music, upto 40% administration, and at least 50% was public relations and diplomacy. Part of the diplomacy is putting over how serious I am about the protection of their children, CRB certainly helped. I inherited a sign up sheet for chaperones, which within eighteen months I changed to a rota, with a requirement that anyone unable to do their duty must arrange to swap with someone else, it worked much better, but you still can't get everyone on board. Often however, those who don't help with chaperoning on a regular basis are those that are first to complain. Sadly, this is the society we live in, partly driven by the state. Until I can walk down a road knowing I can trust everyone to be a law abiding citizen, whether it be murder or dropping litter, we need some way of helping this process along, hence CRB.

 

Jonathan

 

p.s. I think bed calls!

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Yes, and I think that utterly ridiculous, and a symptom of the Nanny State.

 

But you just don't know, do you. None of us does. If you ask nobody, you run a risk of having a sex offender in the room. (Down there you might not think you have many, but in other areas it might be different, more particularly in inner city areas where I have felt quite unsafe - particularly lunchtime recitals in parts of London.) If you only ask the ones with shifty eyes or that you just don't like the look of, you're discriminating. So you simply have to ask everybody the same question, whether they're in charge or merely in the same room as a matter of routine. It's the only fair and non-judgemental way of ensuring a basic level of safety.

 

If there really are people here who think that their right not to show their cards is more important than the safety of minors, then I'm on the wrong forum, and quite possibly profession.

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Guest Patrick Coleman

Spot on, David. Of course, the sad thing is that it's the outwardly respectable, the close relatives and other who are not obviously nasty who are the majority culprits. Having a means of establishing credentials clears the suspicion rather than adding to it.

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