New World of Safeguarding

Relevant information about the ‘New World of Safeguarding’ including the Disclosure and Vetting Service , such as timescales, interim approaches and links to key documents can be found on the other pages of this section.  These will be regularly updated.  

Comments from ministers and other stakeholders about the new Disclosure and Barring Service will be added here.   

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg  

“The Freedoms Bill will protect millions of people from state intrusion in their private lives and mark a return to common sense government. “We inherited a messy criminal records regime that developed piecemeal and defied common sense. “Our reviews concluded that the systems were not proportionate and needed to be less bureaucratic. “They will now be scaled back to sensible levels while at the same time protecting vulnerable people.”  

 John O’Reilly, chairman of the Lancashire Police Federation, said Police in Lancashire believe CRB checks have potentially saved thousands of children being abused in some way by stopping applications from people with a criminal past.  

“Some members have expressed concerns about the dilution of the CRB checks and that the current systems in place have come out of best practice.  We know that the more checks we have on people, the more safeguards we can offer children. Some people might thing it’s a bit ‘Big Brother’, but our officers have vast experience about how people who want to get access to children can. 

The NSPCC said the reforms “strike the right balance”  

“Eliminating employees and volunteers having to undergo repeated Criminal Records Bureau checks every time they apply for a new job is right.  But, all employers should regularly check these certificates online for any new information. Flanagan added that the arrangements should only form part of good employment practices and that organisations must also have robust monitoring policies in place.  “Many people — in both paid and unpaid situations — pose a risk to children but do not have convictions so it’s important that non-conviction data continues to be part of disclosure certificates.” Andrew Flanagan, chief executive.  

Nacro, the crime reduction charity  

“This sounds like very positive, and great news for our Change the Record campaign, but we need to see the detail.  We need wholesale reform that will take in vetting and barring, CRB checks and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, all of which the Government has committed itself to. The level of checks has escalated disproportionately since they were established. It means that good people who have made a mistake and turned their backs on crime have their careers and hope for rehabilitation put on the line because the legislation policy is complex and confuses employers.”  

Barnardo’s described the proposals said as “a victory for common sense”  

“There is already enough safeguarding in place for people who have unsupervised, substantial access to children. This approach will make it easier for grandparents, parents and neighbours, who should be able to play an important role in a child’s life without unnecessary red tape.” chief executive Anne Marie Carrie  

The Scouts Association 
 “We still have very grave concerns about local operation now putting the bureaucracy into the communities rather than being centralised… “The onus is going to be put on the local volunteer in his or her community to manage everything to do with that check, as opposed to the organisation for which they want to come forward.”  (Derek Twine, chief executive) 

Mark Williams-Thomas is a criminologist and child protection expert who told Channel 4 News the decision will “undoubtedly put children at risk”. 

“This isn’t about safeguarding children it’s about saving money and pandering to certain individuals including civil liberties groups and authors. “We know a lot more about sex offenders that we didn’t know ten years ago. They’re cunning and they’re devious and they’ll seek out opportunities to be with children where vetting isn’t in place.” 

Big Brother Watch  

‘The Freedoms Bill is a step in the right direction towards ending these over-the-top and often humiliating criminal records checks.  ‘Employers should be discouraged from using intrusive CRB checks as standard and should only request them if they are absolutely necessary.’(Daniel Hamilton)  

Some of the different world views of Bloggers..  

“The Home Secretary Theresa May believes that the current system risks discouraging volunteers who want to work with children, but I certainly would not want any child of mine coming into contact with volunteers who have not been CRB checked. Volunteers who have a criminal record will not automatically be excluded from working with children. You can still work with children if you’ve had convictions for shoplifting or cannabis possession as a teenager, for example. You won’t be stopped from working with children if you had a drunken punch-up with a mate twenty years ago. The point of the CRB check is to ensure that nothing serious and relevant goes unnoticed.”