Monday, August 03, 2009

Is the Criminal Records Bureau becoming a well intentioned failure?

This morning's Telegraph has revealed that the number of people wrongly accused of having criminal records - and thus restricted from working in all manner of areas - by the Criminal Records Bureau, has doubled in the last year.

No surprise there. I know people that have worked in recruitment in the health care sector, and have heard absolute nightmares about the CRB where people are refused work because they've failed a check when to their knowledge they've never committed a crime.

Frankly, the CRB is a joke. Admittedly it is well-intentioned, it sounds perfectly fine on the face of it to have checks on those wanting to work with what we today call "vulnerable people". However, the CRB has been extended way beyond its original goals, you need a full background check to be a driving instructor for example.

There has also been at least one report by the Manifesto Club think tank which has argued CRB checks have made people less willing to help out with clubs and other worthy organisations such as the Scouts. The Telegraph tale has reminded me of my favourite CRB madness though.

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