Council leaders and safety campaigners have condemned government plans to relax the criminal checks designed to protect passengers from dangerous taxi drivers. Currently, prospective taxi and private car hire drivers must pass an enhanced criminal record bureau (CRB) check, which gathers information from local police records, the Police National Computer, child protection and sex offenders registers. The checks are repeated every three years to satisfy licensing authorities that these drivers do not pose a risk.
Under the Protection of Freedoms Bill, they would only be entitled to a ‘Standard’ CRB check which only includes convictions, cautions and reprimands, and would not show if they were barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. Transport for London, the capital’s licensing authority, rejected 240 drivers between 2002 and 2008 after enhanced checks uncovered incidents of rape, terrorist activities, organised crime and drug dealing. They say these incidents would have been missed by less rigorous checks. Continue reading Taxi Drivers no longer eligible for eCRB
South Lanarkshire Council has joinedwith 13 other councils to produce a TV campaign that they hope will offer hope to thousands of Scottish adults who suffer verbal, physical, sexual and financial abuse every day. It follows research carried out by Mencap, the charity for people with learning disabilities and their families, which found that 90per cent of people with learning disabilities reported being bullied in the last year.
Charity Action on Elder Abuse, recently revealed that property and cash worth nearly £8million, including 31 homes, had been stolen from UK pensioners in just one 12 month period. The figures were generated from 471 calls to the charity’s helpline. Continue reading TV campaign about vulnerable adult abuse
Details of the new Criminal Records regime will be announced today as part of the all encompassing Protection of Freedoms Bill. Points that are likely to emerge when it is published are:
- The need for checks to be drastically reduced to ‘common sense’ levels -now it will only apply to those who have the most close and regular contact with children or vulnerable adults, such as professional childcare workers or teachers. The total number who will need to undergo background checks will halve to around 4.5million, although who this includes does not appear to have been defined judging from the interview given by Nick Clegg his morning on BBC.
- Continual updating and portability will be enabled so that teachers and care home workers who do require checks will have their records constantly updated. This is seen as a key benefit and was already planned in by CRB.
- The content of CRBs will be reviewed – for instance the changes will also drastically cut the use of ‘soft intelligence’ when examining a person’s history. Unproven allegations will only be placed on a person’s record if a Chief Constable believes they are true.
Checks that are unnecessary and which breach an employee’s privacy could be referred to the data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner, and any employer found knowingly to have requested an unlawful check could face fines running to thousands of pounds. This will prevent the over zealous use of CRBs such as the school in Warrington that would not be allowed into the premises to see their children.
- the Independent Safeguarding Authority will be merged with the Criminal Records Bureau. Continue reading Reduced CRB regime announced
Councils in Kent and East Sussex have been accused of carrying out unjustified Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks for job applicants. Who the Councils are checking: Continue reading Unjustified CRB checks challenged
The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, raised five areas of concern about children being groomed for sexual exploitation. His question in the House of Lords was what steps are being taken to ensure the safety of children, especially of children in the care of local authorities, from being groomed for sexual exploitation. Continue reading Lords debate exploitation of children
The interim report on child protection by Eileen Munro has been published today. It signals a new approach which will focus on helping children rather than on regulations, inspections and procedures. The areas for reform in the interim report include:
Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s adviser on health and safety law and practice, published his report Common Sense, Common Safety His recommendations could have a huge impact on safeguarding culture and approach Continue reading Lord Young reviews health & safety