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Roger Thorne
15.04.2007, 07:27
Following on from a comment in the 'Auditioning for a new MD' thread, there was a reference to MD's undergoing CRB checks prior to being appointed - an interesting question! But the CRB topic was recently raised at my own band, with the suggestion being made that every member of the organisation should now be checked?

We have two Youth Bands at Wem and everyone involved with the organisation/running of the Youth Bands (including parents) are checked through this system, but with the large majority of Senior Bands having youngsters within their ranks I feel that the original comment that everyone should be checked is not such a bad idea.

Unfortunately in this day and age we can't be too careful, especially where children are concerned, so do we continue to presume that all adults in the band don't have Criminal Records and do we consider changing our audition process to include the words 'pending the CRB check'?

I would certanly be interested in reading your opinions on this one.

;)

barrytone
15.04.2007, 10:32
Part of my job involves ensuring that CRB checks are done and then re-done every twelve months. In my opinion it's essential that anyone involved with children and vulnerable adults on a regular basis should have a CRB check; however to extend that to every member of the band is perhaps excessive. Anyone under the age of 18 in a band needs an adult member who will be responsible for their care and wellbeing, this individual should have a CRB check but can act as guardian to several under 18's in the band.

Another factor to consider is that maybe there are members within the band who do have a criminal record but the offence/s are non-child related; the band would still receive a full, or enhanced, disclosure regarding this individual. Would the member be happy knowing that at least one band official knows their previous history? People have to consent to CRB checks, maybe members don't wish give their consent, how would the committee deal with that? Have they something to hide or do they consider the matter to be unrelated to their musical activities.

Finally there's the cost, they don't do them for free, maybe the band consider it to be an unnecessary expense and would much rather spend the money on something more band related.

Big Twigge
15.04.2007, 11:53
Finally there's the cost, they don't do them for free, maybe the band consider it to be an unnecessary expense and would much rather spend the money on something more band related.
I thought that if the organisation was a registered charity then CRB checks were done for free?

I also thought that CRB checks were transferable, I have one that is still valid but I still have to have another one from Buckinghamshire County Council for my new job. I don't mind, except everytime I manage to fill something wrong in on the form!!

Lewis Chris
15.04.2007, 13:08
I have several CRB checks, as far as I'm aware you should have one done for every job/organisation that you are in that involves working with children because they are not transferable. Although if you don't help regularly or have just changed job/organisation then if you have one from before then that is fine until a new one is done.

To be honest though, although it is important to protect children, providing someone is CRB checked in the senior band I feel it is a costly and pointless exercise to have everyone CRB checked.

I also echo barrytones' sentiments in regards to some people may not want people to know their past. Their offence may not be child or sex related. I know someone who was involved in a nasty car accident in which another person was killed. This came up on their CRB and they were then asked to leave the organisation.

Lizzy :)
15.04.2007, 18:34
I have to be CRB-d for working at the Hospice (so it's not just for kids, it's for all vulnerable people) but also for when I do GB which is working with 8-11 year olds - but for GB as I've already got a CRB I can transfer it, all that was needed was to contact the countersignatory as written on the form and cross reference the details and numbers etc.
Also you can have different types you can do the normal one or advanced ones.
Finally (lol!) both mine were done for voluntary organisations so they could do the checks for free.
I know at my band there's been loads of confusion over all this stuff. And I know it's a pain, but if anything were to happen and the checks hadn't been done it would be awful!

Aren't I full of useless information!

xx

mcmacca69
16.04.2007, 16:28
I also echo barrytones' sentiments in regards to some people may not want people to know their past. Their offence may not be child or sex related. I know someone who was involved in a nasty car accident in which another person was killed. This came up on their CRB and they were then asked to leave the organisation.

I completely understand the concerns and issues regarding cost and administration etc... but as an organisation (and more specifically the trustees) you would still be seen to have a duty of care to any minors within your band (or wider organisation). The organisation should have a child protection policy specifically detailing the bands view point as to whether you deem a child / sex offence to be prohibitive to whether that person is entitled to join your organisation.

I fear that this issue will crop up more and more, and it will only take one or two public instances of a child having been taken advantage of, or for someone to have been groomed through tuition or brass band forums (as others may be unmoderated) to wreak havoc, and cause a huge administrative dilemma. We either take the stance, write the policy and procedures and be prepared now or accept the consequences if and when something does go wrong.....

An under 18's football team coach now has to be CRB checked. Why should the Brass Band fraternity be any different? How do we, or the Brass Band Association cascade the requirement to bands, and how is it enforced?

It's going to be a very complicated and in some cases intrusive issue.

Col
16.04.2007, 17:10
I work with The Boys Brigade and other junior sports organisations as well as my banding connections and not only are most far in advance of the Banding world with CRB checks most have compulsory training on child welfare for volunteers.

I've visited many Bandrooms but here are a couple of "Head in Sand Solutions to Child Protection"

1. Put a sign up in the Bandroom stating that it is parents responsibilty to supervise their own children. http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/images/icons/icon13.gif

2. Try and appoint the Conductor as Child Protection Officer for a weekend residential trip. http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/images/icons/icon5.gif

3. Allow youngsters into cars for trips to concerts with unchecked adults.http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/images/icons/icon4.gif

4. We don't need to have checks the Council say so!!http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/images/icons/icon8.gif

5. We don't need to do anything if it is a woman adulthttp://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/images/icons/icon3.gif

Organisations like the Scouts and The Boys Brigade still are regularly turning down applications for leadership for individuals with past problems and they have quite effective system. We in the Banding world are barely at first base in getting to grips. The BBBF Guidelines are a very good document. It is even better when read and acted upon.

BeatTheSheep
16.04.2007, 18:46
I think CRB checks may be free for volunteers, but not for employees of the band.

I agree with the problem mentioned earlier, that convictions other than child-related ones may become common knowledge. You would have to ensure that your child protection officer was able to keep a secret. There is a legal requirement to do so surely under data protection laws.

If your CP policy is up to scratch, no child should be in danger provided it is adhered to. If it is nor adhered to, then at least the band cannot be sued.

I Don't know whether you should check helpers every year. Once they are trusted surely they are still trusted after a year

Bob Thompson
17.04.2007, 08:23
I think it is essential that Bands have in place protective measures to ensure, as far as possible, that children and young people are protected. Obviously these safegaurds are not infallable. However, the very fact that they are in place sends a clear message that you do value the welfare of the younger members. It should also give parents increased confidence in your organisation.

There are a number of companies on the internet who will process the checks for an administration charge of approx £5.00 per person. You should also consider a child protection and equal opportunities policy, for apart from the obvious, many charitable trusts/grant bodies will now insist upon these policies being in place before consideration is given to your application.

Cheers
Bob

TheMusicMan
17.04.2007, 08:34
For everyone's benefit, here is the link to the CRB www site (http://www.crb.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=0) which contains a lot of useful information relating to this subject: http://www.crb.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=0

kierendinno
17.04.2007, 12:37
We have recently incorporated a commitment to ensuring all persons working with youngsters or vulnerable adults have undergone CRB checks in to our constitution. Our MD is a teacher, so will have undergone the checks, and we had our Training band MD and Chairman CRB cleared.

Obviously, where children are concerned, you can never be too careful and while it can be costly, it is definately worth it. Alot of our members are teachers, nurses, civil servants etc, where CRB checks are part of their jobs. As for the others, they generally don't come into contact with under 18's or vulnerable adults without 2 CRB checked adults present, therefore it would be pointless to check them.

It's a difficult area, but one which our movement is not exempt from.

tubafran
17.04.2007, 13:47
Obviously, where children are concerned, you can never be too careful and while it can be costly, it is definately worth it. Alot of our members are teachers, nurses, civil servants etc, where CRB checks are part of their jobs. As for the others, they generally don't come into contact with under 18's or vulnerable adults without 2 CRB checked adults present, therefore it would be pointless to check them.


But aren't CRB checks specific to each separate organisation? If you've got one for one organisation it cannot be used for another - if your constitution now says that you have to get them, then that's what you have to do. Before recent changes individuals had their own CRB check which could move with them to new jobs - I think this was changed 2 or 3 years ago so if you were a teacher and changed jobs your new employer would have to get a new check.

SuperMosh
17.04.2007, 13:48
I Don't know whether you should check helpers every year. Once they are trusted surely they are still trusted after a year

A CRB check is valid until the next day. Basically, a piece of paper that was created two weeks, two months, two years ago and states no criminal record does not mean that an offence has been committed since.

In my job, I have enhanced CRB as do several members of my band. This satisfies the Children's Services (formerly Social Services for Children) criteria - I know because I work in a child protection team ;)

Historically, the CRB came in to replace the bizarre Police Check system which only checked the local force's records for a job in that area. Thankfully lessons have been learned from the many documented cases both in and out of the statutory sector.

I may be wrong, but I think that the organisation that requests a CRB at enhanced (which for working with children you MUST have) level should get notified if an offence occurs. However, I am not sure if this is happening and in the meantime, each new position needs a new CRB clearance.

The golden rule of child protection is trust absolutely nobody. Just because XYZ has got kids is not good reason to leave them alone with a child in the bandroom. An open door rule is the only way and a well documented and enforced child protection policy which is followed and referred to regularly is the only way this important and potentially dangerous area can be upheld.

As for checking helpers every year, the best people to talk to would be your local child protection duty worker who should be able to advise / assist you on this. It does differ under each local authority and it is unfortunately a grey area. However, once a CRB gets to 3 years old, a new one needs doing anyway.

tubafran
17.04.2007, 13:56
As to who requires a CRB the BFBB Child Protection Policy states

"All band personnel (including non-member helpers) who will have significant access to children must be checked. The band Welfare Officer should keep a record of all such people and ensure that they have been vetted through the CRB or have completed a self-disclosure form"

I'm not sure exactly what they mean however by "significant access" - any suggestions?

SuperMosh
17.04.2007, 14:03
As to who requires a CRB the BFBB Child Protection Policy states

"All band personnel (including non-member helpers) who will have significant access to children must be checked. The band Welfare Officer should keep a record of all such people and ensure that they have been vetted through the CRB or have completed a self-disclosure form"

I'm not sure exactly what they mean however by "significant access" - any suggestions?

This will be one of those things which gets decided in court I fear. When an incident arises, and it only a matter of time before it does, the court will consider this rule in amongst the other procedings. If a band has allowed someone significant access, and has not CRB checked, then this will be the benchmark.

Good point though, significant access? Sits next to a child player in the band? Gives their neighbour's son a lift to band?

TheMusicMan
17.04.2007, 14:10
The policy of the BFBB is just that... a policy - it's not the law!

According to a CRB www site PDF document I read recently, it is up to the requesting organisation (a band in this case) if they choose to accept an existing CRB report from someone who they need one for.

One should obviously take into account the age of any existing CRB report.

Pragmatic band policy though, would of course be to get a new CRB report issued for whoever is joining.

tubafran
17.04.2007, 14:11
... Just because XYZ has got kids is not good reason to leave them alone with a child in the bandroom....


... Gives their neighbour's son a lift to band?..

Think they would both be a no no - again from the BFBB Policy

2.3 Poor practice
The following are regarded as poor practice and should be avoided by all personnel.

Unnecessarily spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others
Taking children alone in a car on journeys, however short
Taking children to your home where they will be alone with you"Plus I don't think having a CRB check entitles you to do this either.

SuperMosh
17.04.2007, 14:18
[quote=TheMusicMan;529073]The policy of the BFBB is just that... a policy - it's not the law![quote]

Having been involved in a few cases concerning child protection, if a case ever went to court, you can beat your synths that a decent prosecuting silk will type 'brass band child protection policies' into Google and come across this.

Doesn't matter if it is law or not, to ignore this would be dangerous ground indeed.

TheMusicMan
17.04.2007, 14:27
I quite agree that to ignore it would be extremely folly Pete, and all bands should take heed of this in setting up their policies regarding CRB and welfare of children in their care. However, the BFBB policy couldn't be used against someone in law, it has no legal standing nor legal precedent.

That's all I was saying.

SuperMosh
17.04.2007, 18:59
I quite agree that to ignore it would be extremely folly Pete, and all bands should take heed of this in setting up their policies regarding CRB and welfare of children in their care. However, the BFBB policy couldn't be used against someone in law, it has no legal standing nor legal precedent.

That's all I was saying.

Fair enough.

Next issue and one I will look into tomorrow...

"What is the law in this regard?"

More grey than an accountants convention ;)

mikelyons
20.04.2007, 19:22
I despair!

How did we manage in years gone by? How many cases have there been of children being assaulted by brass bandsmen? Choirmasters have a bad reputation, as do scouters, but BB? Not at all.

I am a teacher and have been for over 20 years. In all that time I have assaulted no children (not sexually, anyway - I used to be a crack shot with a board duster, though and a board pen. Some of my pupils used to wear the dot on the forehead where they'd been hit by my pen as a mark of pride.) I became a teacher governor last year and had to be CRB checked. What a waste of everybody's time and money.

A teacher in my school avoided conviction for grooming children "for the protection of the school" and is now teaching in Manchester, where he has access to children. Has he been vetted? No. It's a load of beaurocratic *******s. The ex-head lowered standards of education in maths in the school by 22% he retired to a pension that is greater than my current salary. Where is the greater harm?

horn-girlie
22.04.2007, 08:33
going back to the whether CRB checks are transferable ... hmm i think they used to be, but I've had to have three done in the space of a year because the different organisations each want to do their own! I had one best part of a year ago to work at my local hospital, had to have one before I stated my nursing degree and now i'm told I need another one to work in the hospital near uni geeeez! tehe

Not sure about in brass bands ... im fairly sure my youth band never dd crb checks, not on all the adults anyway. I know the band welcomed any outside suppport and perhaps having to undergo CRB checks would stop parents/ supporters bothering to help out as its a bit of a hassle

TheMusicMan
22.04.2007, 08:36
What did you find out Pete...?

tubafran
20.06.2007, 14:06
Just heard a report on today's You & Yours (Radio 4) about the following:

"SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE GROUPS ACT
New legislation means that all adults who work with children – even as volunteers, from 16-year-olds teaching younger kids to read, parents volunteering at school, to the friends of foster parents - will have to undergo CRB checks before being legally permitted to volunteer. The new legislation means that one third of the adult working population will now have to be vetted. There’s widespread worry that the massive extension of criminal records checks will mean that volunteer numbers will drop, relations between the generations be soured, and suspicion of adult motives become a default position."

The report highlighted a model aircraft club who were considering disbanding due to potential "criminal" offences being dropped on the "committee" for failing to comply with this "new" law.

Anyone heard about it and have any advice?

Pythagoras
20.06.2007, 14:39
Think there's a new thing coming in separate to the CRB, which is transferable whereas I don't think CRB is (can't remember what its called though, bloke doing the inset was really really boring, so had lost will to live by then).

tubafran
20.06.2007, 14:57
OK - having trawled through the numerous government web-sites what is not obvious is when this act comes into force - eventually came up with this one -

"Centralised vetting system for people working with children and vulnerable adults comes into force
Autumn 2008


The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act will introduce a centralised vetting system for people banned from working with children and vulnerable adults. Employers will be able to make checks online, with information updated straight away when any individual is added to the list. Employers will be informed where possible if an individual becomes barred. There will be fines of up to £5,000 for employers that knowingly employ individuals on the list or fail to make the relevant checks. The Act (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2006/20060047.htm) can be viewed on the UK Parliament website."

I imagine many bands don't have CRB checks, some may have a few taken out and others might have everyone covered but it got me thinking where do you start to draw the line?

Considering the proposed new law -

Example, conductor for a training band - yep makes sense to get that covered?

However what about a conductor for a main band but with some under 18s - not quite so clear here.

Example, parent of child wants to join training band - is there a risk? Well I suppose you won't know until a check's been done so that would mean every adult wanting to join a training band would have to be CRB.

However moving on to a main band again with some under 18's - would you have to get CRBs for every existing and new member? So one under 18 in a main band would result in a band taking out 25+ CRBs. Can we get these for free? We paid for our last two through a local council at £50 a time.

£1250 just to keep in the law!!! Perhaps this would result in a training band of under 18's only and main band being restricted to over 18's - not very good for the future of banding.

I wait to be enlightened by someone who may actually know what this is all about.

and please before anybody starts on the "how would you feel if a child was abused at your band because you haven't taken out CRB" please remember that a great deal of child abuse is within the family.

Caz Clay
20.06.2007, 14:58
I am a teacher and have been for over 20 years. In all that time I have assaulted no children (not sexually, anyway - I used to be a crack shot with a board duster, though and a board pen. Some of my pupils used to wear the dot on the forehead where they'd been hit by my pen as a mark of pride.) I became a teacher governor last year and had to be CRB checked. What a waste of everybody's time and money.


I'm sorry but I totally disagree with what you've said. Well done to you sir for not ever assaulting a child, but there are people out there who are not all in the same mindframe. I agree that it is too much to CRB check the people who volunteers to serve the tea or sell the raffle tickets for the band on the odd occasion, no point as they don't get enough contact with other people's children to be a hazard, as there will always be a band member and a whole audience nearby!! However, with band members its a different story. What about if they innocently offer that lift to the band concert so its that person and child in a car? Yes i have to admit in a million cases nothing sinister at all is going to happen, but there is that one incident for every million. I realise it would be a lot extra paperwork to stop that one incident but surely its worth stopping that one.

However, speaking from personal experience and I'm not going into any details, I wish something more was done about a situation at our band. I have to admit to not speaking up and i only mentioned something when I was asked and the adults thought it was bizarre (i was only about 12/13 then). I've been banding since I was 8 and at that age I had no clue as to any intentions of any band members, naivity is expected at that age. So to me nothing suspicious was going on for me to worry about, it was the norm from that person!!

Now I'm the ripe old age of 18 I can judge characters better, and being stronger then most men i meet I don't think i have to worry that much anyway anymore! But i do think you can never know just who is in your band no matter how well you think you know them. I personally am all for CRB checks, even if at the lowest level I just think it would stop these one off incidences. Bands privately resolve themselves with minimum numbers involved so that's why they never really get heard about so you can't say it never happens.

You can't really expect children to understand that not everyone in this world is looking out for the best for them as I certainly didn't.

Caz Clay
20.06.2007, 15:01
And can i just clarify nothing serious happened thankfully because people stepped in in time because a passing comment i made casued concern and it was stopped. But it still could have had no communication taken place. Its easily done.

tubafran
20.06.2007, 15:05
What about if they innocently offer that lift to the band concert so its that person and child in a car? Yes i have to admit in a million cases nothing sinister at all is going to happen, but there is that one incident for every million. I realise it would be a lot extra paperwork to stop that one incident but surely its worth stopping that one.

I personally am all for CRB checks, even if at the lowest level I just think it would stop these one off incidences.

Sorry how would a piece of paper stop this "one in a million cases" from happening? Only if that person was already know to the police, that's how. Also any sensible child protection policy would require that "one-on-one" contact should NEVER happen that's got to be better than assuming every adult is a potential peadophile.

tubafran
20.06.2007, 15:13
Can we get these for free?


Looks like yes, or perhaps no.

"The CRB is committed to providing free-of-charge checks for volunteers and this commitment was reflected in our recent press release on fee levels for 2007/08.
Some 20% of all CRB checks are issued to volunteers, which represented a saving of £22.8m to volunteers in the past 12 months. The CRB is aware, however, that some customers appear to be confused over the current definition of a ‘volunteer’ and apply for free-of-charge checks on positions were a fee is due. Customer should note that the CRB will recover the fee if the application has been incorrectly marked as ‘volunteer – no payment due’.
The CRB is also looking to see if the current definition and/or associated guidance need to be clarified to ensure that free-of-charge checks are only requested for genuine volunteers."

Although there's a bit of worrying government double speak in there - what is "a genuine volunteer" then?

Caz Clay
20.06.2007, 15:15
Sorry how would a piece of paper stop this "one in a million cases" from happening? Only if that person was already know to the police. Also any sensible child protection policy would require that "one-on-one" contact should NEVER happen that's got to be better than assuming every adult is a potential peadophile.

I totally agree it won't highlight every potential problem person. It certainly will not and yes the odd incident may still occur. I'm only saying that from what happened to me is that had they been done, anything of what happened could have been stopped as alarm bells would have been rung by the findings of the CRB check.

I think the majority of bands I've come across too are a little too casual in their approach to adults and children together. It is presumed that member X with a 20 year history with the band is much less of a threat to give lifts then the new boy, which can't be taken as fact even though it probably is true!!

That's the whole problem with this issue. Its a whole lot of 'if's', 'maybe's' and 'probably's'!! Just how this is resolved in the eyes of the law I can't begin to suggest as I'm quite happy to admit I have very limited knowledge on it, be it at band constitution level or in the eyes of the law. I was only trying to let you all know that its really not noice to be on the receiving end of any incidents. The best way i can see is a combination of vigilance of band members to look for suspicious actions (realistically the parents can't be there all the time for rehearsals, concerts, marches, contests; it just isn't practical), a good band constitution and I really do think CRB would be one extra aid in making the band room safer... I'm not at all saying it would iradicate the problem totally, far from it!! I know for a fact I would quite happily just keep an eye on anything suspicious, or failing that is someone appointed to regulate child protection??

postie
20.06.2007, 15:17
Sorry how would a piece of paper stop this "one in a million cases" from happening? Only if that person was already know to the police, that's how. Also any sensible child protection policy would require that "one-on-one" contact should NEVER happen that's got to be better than assuming every adult is a potential peadophile.


Very interesting thread, a good way of dealing with the one-on -one contact issue is to have a parent present when a child is being taught good way of dealing with that. Also the vulnerable adult thing is definately something that needs to be thought about. Bestwood have already adopted lots of policies in the last few years a vulnerable adult policy might be next.

tubafran
20.06.2007, 15:19
So here's the clarification - I think

"How do I pay for my Disclosure?

If you are a volunteer, the CRB will issue the Disclosure free of charge.*

* A volunteer can be defined as a person who is engaged in any activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travelling and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative."

So I think you'd get free CRB's for a conductor say but would that cover all the other members of the band? I can't see that.

tubafran
20.06.2007, 15:32
The best way i can see is a combination of vigilance of band members to look for suspicious actions (realistically the parents can't be there all the time for rehearsals, concerts, marches, contests; it just isn't practical), a good band constitution and I really do think CRB would be one extra aid in making the band room safer... I'm not at all saying it would iradicate the problem totally, far from it!! I know for a fact I would quite happily just keep an eye on anything suspicious, or failing that is someone appointed to regulate child protection??


I think you are right there and a good Child Protection Policy has that very thing covered - I wonder how many members of a band would ever bother to read it though?

I get very sceptical about Governments deciding that the solution to any defined problem is a massive "catch-all" system involving lots of paperwork, computer systems and monitoring. A bit like the idea that an ID card will stop terroisim. If we are all told about these horrible men and all the horrible things they are capable of doing they think we'll just accept what they say and let them get on with it.

Apparently kids aren't at any more risk now than they were years ago - however parents now don't let kids out of their sight because of perceived threats. Oh and I accept that in one current highly publised incident that is the case - it doesnt mean however that it's going to happen to every child in the country. If the government thinks it's a good idea to have all the checks made they must know that actually there are millions of peadophiles out there - or why else would they be doing it - makes you think doesn't it?

PeterBale
20.06.2007, 16:15
So here's the clarification - I think

"How do I pay for my Disclosure?

If you are a volunteer, the CRB will issue the Disclosure free of charge.*

* A volunteer can be defined as a person who is engaged in any activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travelling and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative."

So I think you'd get free CRB's for a conductor say but would that cover all the other members of the band? I can't see that.

If your conductor is receiving a fee, then he may not qualify as a "volunteer". I would have thought other members of the band should be alright, if it can be shown that the relevant activities meet the criteria.

tubafran
20.06.2007, 16:25
If your conductor is receiving a fee, then he may not qualify as a "volunteer". I would have thought other members of the band should be alright, if it can be shown that the relevant activities meet the criteria.


No I was thinking that "members" of a band aren't actually volunteers - to suggest that they are "doing something which aims to benefit some third party" would be strecthing it somewhat. It was a bit worrying to read on the official website that CRBs where being returned with fees charged because it didn't comply with the criteria. Like most bands we only pay "expenses" for travel and out-of-pocket costs to our conductor.

Caz Clay
20.06.2007, 16:26
I think you are right there and a good Child Protection Policy has that very thing covered - I wonder how many members of a band would ever bother to read it though?

I get very sceptical about Governments deciding that the solution to any defined problem is a massive "catch-all" system involving lots of paperwork, computer systems and monitoring. A bit like the idea that an ID card will stop terroisim. If we are all told about these horrible men and all the horrible things they are capable of doing they think we'll just accept what they say and let them get on with it.

If the government thinks it's a good idea to have all the checks made they must know that actually there are millions of peadophiles out there - or why else would they be doing it - makes you think doesn't it?

I know for a fact if my band has one, i presume it exists but i've never seen it!! saying that I am only just and adult myself so maybe it has been read by the necessary people? again its a 'maybe' game! should it be made policy that it is read at band AGM, or everyone is given a copy one band practice and told to take it home?? To be honest I wouldn't even know where to go about finding a copy of ours and I bet most people don't even know of its existence which I think is where a problem arises and that tubafran has highlighted - how many people are actually 'bothered' about it??

I know that's a very blunt way to put it and that the very vast majority of people would stand up for anyone problems so they were sorted, but if there is no concern of it happening in the first place then why would someone notice it?? You cannot expect people to go around with such a bitter view of the world that everyone is out to be a threat to children as it simply isn't true!!

I do agree that it appears that this catch-all system is too vast to be picked through with a fine toothcomb so as to find possible suspects. But when you say are we expected to sit back and let them get on with it, I don't think that's what these checks are done for. They don't presume that the public know of these events are are willing to sit back on them, but frankly on a national scale there's little joe bloggs can do to help in anyway as we have very little knowledge of people's pasts and the inner workings of how its all dealth with (or at least i do, i apologise if thats not the case!) And to be on watch for terrorist on paedophile... they're both pretty big allegations not to be made off the back of a whim!

But then do all bands have members under 18 so would not require checks anyway?? Or do you say if there's one under 18 member but there parent sits in a chair opposite in the bandroom then the band does not need checks either?? The boundaries of where to stop are incredibly blurred on this topic and that's why its so hard. It seems a problem you can't deal with half heartedly and that bands should take serious hold of the problem with a well spoken about child protection act and what about an adult to act as ombudsman for the under 18's?? that would be a great first port of call i think if the person was chosen carefully and who would hold a position of trust with the younger members!

gateway
20.06.2007, 17:31
Surely if a person passes a CRB check all it is proves is that they haven't been/caught or suspected of being a danger to children !!!

PeterBale
20.06.2007, 18:16
Surely if a person passes a CRB check all it is proves is that they haven't been/caught or suspected of being a danger to children !!!

That's true, but by undertaking the check the organisation involved has shown that it is exercising "due care".

simonbassbone
20.06.2007, 18:42
Surely if a person passes a CRB check all it is proves is that they haven't been/caught or suspected of being a danger to children !!!

Indeed, this is all it can do, but by checking its members a band is showing it has done all it can to protect the young people involved with the band. The unfortunate truth is that many paedophiles will try to make contact with young people despite having Prison release conditions not to and they won't tell us when they come along to bands. It may seem over the top to have to have CRB checks done on every member of every band, but many of us have been checked by many organisations. Despite being checked by my employer when I volunteered to teach "Safer Cycling" at my daughters school I needed to be checked by the County Council and have been checked by the band I'm involved with. I'm sure there are people out there who've been checked more than that, but how can you compare the time and hassle of filling in a form with ensuring our children are proptected from people who are out to harm them.

Caz Clay
20.06.2007, 18:55
I'm sure there are people out there who've been checked more than that, but how can you compare the time and hassle of filling in a form with ensuring our children are proptected from people who are out to harm them.

Well said simonbassbone!! I think that's the entire point everyone is missing!! It takes a few minutes to do as I have CRB clearing enhanced myself, and if it doesn't take me long you'll all fly through it!! And as i've said previous, CRB alone won't do the job in protecting the under 18's. It has to be used in conjunction with other steps the band itself has to put in place, like a child protection section in their own constitution and vigilence! Its just one small step in a filter system that's trying to locate a very, very small handful of potential problem adults, its not meant as the solution to the problem all on its own!!

gateway
20.06.2007, 20:12
I agree CRB ie worthwhile, the problem as I see it is that its seen as the holy grail, if everyone is checked then children are safe, there still dhould be a system in place to protect from any unidentified threat as past cases show peadophiles are very cunning.

Caz Clay
20.06.2007, 20:23
I agree CRB ie worthwhile, the problem as I see it is that its seen as the holy grail, if everyone is checked then children are safe, there still dhould be a system in place to protect from any unidentified threat as past cases show peadophiles are very cunning.

They certainly are as that's why so many slip under the nets as is seen in cases on the news in recent news (all be it extreme cases). But that's exactly what I'm trying to get at. CRB clearance is just one of many things that can be put in place to tighten the search for people who are a risk. I've said they're definately not going to eliminate the problem, far from it, but they are a good step in the right direction as surely if the detective work has already been done on some people and they are known as a threat... why let that go unnoted!!

I don't see why its such a big issue for people to get CRB. Its a form with name, adress, organisation details and not much else so time filling in isn't an issue and costs aren't mammoth. Is it not worth it surely?? I'd like to think any organisation any long off children of mine were in was a safe place for them, and especially if I didn't the people in the band a CRB would help put my worry about possible bad characters at some rest.... but only when coupled with the band's policies for looking after younger members, like a nominated person to watch for any suspicious activities! I can't say it anymore that CRB isn't the sole problem solver... but its a good start as why wait to find out about someone's past after they've done something when you could find out if they could be a problem long before any incidents arise!!! And yes people may never have been caught blah blah... but its all about casting nets as far out as possible for safety of younger members!!! I wish people had cared this much a few years ago as it could have saved me much grief and anguish!!!!

ekimmort
21.06.2007, 00:15
I despair!

How did we manage in years gone by? How many cases have there been of children being assaulted by brass bandsmen? Choirmasters have a bad reputation, as do scouters, but BB? Not at all.

I am a teacher and have been for over 20 years. In all that time I have assaulted no children (not sexually, anyway - I used to be a crack shot with a board duster, though and a board pen. Some of my pupils used to wear the dot on the forehead where they'd been hit by my pen as a mark of pride.) I became a teacher governor last year and had to be CRB checked. What a waste of everybody's time and money.

A teacher in my school avoided conviction for grooming children "for the protection of the school" and is now teaching in Manchester, where he has access to children. Has he been vetted? No. It's a load of beaurocratic *******s. The ex-head lowered standards of education in maths in the school by 22% he retired to a pension that is greater than my current salary. Where is the greater harm?

Sadly I know of cases involving players and young children, but the fact that they also were members of the teaching profession took the headlines.

tubafran
21.06.2007, 09:27
I know for a fact if my band has one, i presume it exists but i've never seen it!! saying that I am only just and adult myself so maybe it has been read by the necessary people?

Well if you haven't here's one that was made earlier - its from the BFBB (http://www.bfbb.co.uk/childprot/Childprotection.html) (<click here) and you can download copies. It even indicates the need to appoint a Welfare Officer in the band - as your request for an adult to take on responsibility for this etc.

alanl58
15.12.2009, 22:11
In the light of the recent changes proposed to CRB checks, has anyone got any idea how you go about them? The CRB website is not exactly the easiest read, and presumes that the Band/employer is "registered".

So what about a small group such as ours that runs without a "committee" or "trustees", but has recruited some younger players who need one-to-one tuition? How do we go about getting ourselves checked? or should we simply insist that a parent is always present?

Sorry to be the one to drag this topic back into the Rehearsal Room...


alanl58

Frontman
16.12.2009, 10:25
If you visit your local Police Office they should be able to give you all the information that you require.
We have to apply through our local council but it is different in different force areas.

tubafran
16.12.2009, 11:30
There's a more up to date thread here relating to the ISA Vetting and Barring scheme that comes into force next July - ISA (http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/showthread.php?t=39200&highlight=VETTING)

alanl58
16.12.2009, 13:23
Thanks, I did not realise that ISA and CRB were similar but not the same - sounds like yet another Quango to fix something that is not broke.

alanl58

tubafran
16.12.2009, 13:37
the new authority that now deals with CRB is the ISA Vetting And Barring Scheme

Bryan_sop
16.12.2009, 21:09
I have no problem with being checked, my issue is the amount of time it takes.

I was offered, and accepted a position as brass tutor at a local village college at the end of September. The CRB check came through on Saturday.......

In the meantime, the brass students at said village college, have had no teacher. One student has quit, the others no doubt, have at the least not improved at all, but I'm guessing, with no tutoring, have deteriorated in standard. I had a CRB disclosure issued a few days after I accepted the job, yet it wasn't accepted by my new employer, and I get to pay £50 for the privelidge of having 2 pieces of paper saying exactly the same thing!

What really irritated me, is that these days, you can check the progress of a CRB check on-line. The CRB did their bit within a couple of days of recieving the forms. The delay was caused by the police checks. Not only do we pay our council tax, which partly pays for the police, but no doubt they take a cut of the fee for the disclosure, and they take 2-3 months to do it!

At the end of the day, a CRB check doesn't prove that you're not an offender, just that you've never been caught. I know of people that, prior to investigation and conviction, probably would have passed an enhanced disclosure check with flying colours. One of those people is now a registered paedophile.

nethers
17.12.2009, 03:28
This topic should belong in the STOP THE MADNESS thread in my own opinion, but sadly this is something which needs to be discussed by bands and members. This is certainly one of the better active threads right now.

I am completely against CRB checks (and similar!) until:

A) Someone shows me that people with clean checks will NEVER commit a sexual crime against a minor.

B) Someone shows me that EVERYONE with an old conviction will reoffend (our justice system is built on the idea that offenders can reform?).

I see it all as chocolate teapot policy. Sounds tempting, but ultimately useless. It gives parents false reassurance, presents no real barrier to a determined paedophile and adds further bureaucracy to the vast majority of honest people trying to do good things for kids. I've had mine done, grudgingly, as required.

When I was a child I often cadged lifts to band with various adults (for which I remain grateful!). My Mum and Dad would want to have a chat and check them out first...

I think perhaps good parents should ask questions themselves rather than rely on this countinued outsourcing of parental responsibility to government agencies.

I fear if I start a family that my children will have no opportunity to make healthy friendships with adults as I did, to make mistakes, to be exposed to danger in objects, situations and people and therefore learn to recognise and deal with them.

I read somewhere (sorry I can't find a link) that levels of sexual child abuse have remained steady in recent decades - only the fervour in which it is recorded and reported has changed.

It's great that increasing support is there for those who are abused and have a terrible burden to deal with, and great that the perpetrators of these crimes have a much harder time escaping justice due to the political gravitas this topic carries.

It's not great that we will soon all be comparing paperwork and queuing up at the CRB before we entrust our children to another human being.

Sometimes I really despair for our children...

P.S - I've been trying to find out, out of the 60-odd million people in Britain, how many known and suspected paedophiles are there? Anyone able to find numbers?

Rambo Chick
17.12.2009, 08:00
This topic should belong in the STOP THE MADNESS thread in my own opinion, but sadly this is something which needs to be discussed by bands and members. This is certainly one of the better active threads right now.

I am completely against CRB checks (and similar!) until:

A) Someone shows me that people with clean checks will NEVER commit a sexual crime against a minor.

B) Someone shows me that EVERYONE with an old conviction will reoffend (our justice system is built on the idea that offenders can reform?).

I see it all as chocolate teapot policy. Sounds tempting, but ultimately useless. It gives parents false reassurance, presents no real barrier to a determined paedophile and adds further bureaucracy to the vast majority of honest people trying to do good things for kids. I've had mine done, grudgingly, as required.



I agree. Totally. Can't put it better myself other than that common sense and the need to take some sort of responsibility for your own actions seems to be becoming a thing of the past. All the rights and no responsibility. Over here in New Zealand, things haven't got to the point of getting clearance to take your child's friend home. You have to have checks but in the meantime you can start work and the checks are at the expense of the employer.

In all honesty I am sick of the whole situation. As Nethers pointed out, all this red tape does is cause problems for those who don't intend to commit crimes and those who do will do so anyway.

I think that rather than create more paperwork, make the punishment significantly worse. Create a real deterrent. Look at Singapore - one of the safest places in the world. Most criminals aren't given the chance to reoffend! Punishments are so severe that people prefer not to commit crimes. That's the way forward - not bits of paper!

JR
17.12.2009, 09:12
I agree. Totally. Can't put it better myself other than that common sense and the need to take some sort of responsibility for your own actions seems to be becoming a thing of the past. All the rights and no responsibility. Over here in New Zealand, things haven't got to the point of getting clearance to take your child's friend home. You have to have checks but in the meantime you can start work and the checks are at the expense of the employer.

In all honesty I am sick of the whole situation. As Nethers pointed out, all this red tape does is cause problems for those who don't intend to commit crimes and those who do will do so anyway.

I think that rather than create more paperwork, make the punishment significantly worse. Create a real deterrent. Look at Singapore - one of the safest places in the world. Most criminals aren't given the chance to reoffend! Punishments are so severe that people prefer not to commit crimes. That's the way forward - not bits of paper!

Hi Carolyn! and Hi Nethers! (or should I say Marc?)

Good to see you guys doing so well over 12,500 miles away.

I know these checks are probably a bit OTT but it is woth remembering why they came in. This was a result of the Ian Huntley case - I think both of you were in the band (Yorks co-op) at the time of his arrest (around the time Tabby got married) - it transpired that none of the agencies involved (e.g. Humberside Police, Camnbridgeshire Police, School Authorities etc) were talking to each other - and he slipped through the net.

i pass his residence (Wakefield Jail) almost daily

All the best for Christmas!

JR

Rambo Chick
17.12.2009, 19:22
Hi John!!

We haven't been doing bad although we might have to leave the country in a month - more ridiculous paper work and the NZ immigration being so inefficient and slow. Our current visas expire and they won't give us bridging visas while we wait for them to decide on our residency application (which could take months). Its totally silly. So there's a slight possibility we might be back in the UK for a bit. We're not sure yet though.

You have a good Christmas too! Its sunny over here. Still can't get used to it!

Carolyn

Jethro
18.12.2009, 09:44
Every single senior player of our band has been CRB checked. It was done by the tv company that made the programme for the bbc.In light of recent revelations about a local guy who conducted another local band in our area, I think this was a good idea. So I think it is the way forward and everyone who is involved with kids in banding should be checked. I know if I had kids that played in a band, then I would want to make sure that the adults were all OK.

Jethro:p

The Wherryman
18.12.2009, 09:49
Every single senior player of our band has been CRB checked. It was done by the tv company that made the programme for the bbc.In light of recent revelations about a local guy who conducted another local band in our area, I think this was a good idea. So I think it is the way forward and everyone who is involved with kids in banding should be checked. I know if I had kids that played in a band, then I would want to make sure that the adults were all OK.

Jethro:pIn the light of the recent news item relating to two ten year-old boys, shouldn't the children be checked as well? :rolleyes:

Jethro
18.12.2009, 10:06
In the light of the recent news item relating to two ten year-old boys, shouldn't the children be checked as well? :rolleyes:


Good point, Where would it end though???
The point I am trying to make is that if my kids went to a band then I personally would feel better if I knew for certain that there were no kiddy fiddlers in there.:p

The Wherryman
18.12.2009, 10:58
Good point, Where would it end though???
The point I am trying to make is that if my kids went to a band then I personally would feel better if I knew for certain that there were no kiddy fiddlers in there.:pYes, that is the point I was making - where does it end?

Parents of the children in our Youth Band are encouraged to stay during the rehearsals. Should they be checked as well? Not required by the law, but just supposing 'something' happened involving one of the parents. Who would also get the blame? The Youth Band, I bet, notwithstanding that the MD and instructor are CRB checked.

If you pass your driving licence, you get a piece of paper to say you can drive safely. Why are so many people killed on the roads?

You get a piece of paper to say you've never been caught - and it means....? Probably the most infamous and meaningless 'piece of paper' was the one held aloft by Neville Chamberlain.

There is absolutely no substitute for vigilance by parents/teachers/organisers etc. All these pieces of legislation are simply a 'hand-washing' exercise. The Soham incident is usually brought up as the reason, but that was a case of incompetence, for which no amount of legislation is a cure.

nethers
18.12.2009, 20:46
Amen! The bureau don't check the content of our souls and intentions. Although that probably isn't too far off...

Rambo Chick
18.12.2009, 21:17
If you pass your driving licence, you get a piece of paper to say you can drive safely. Why are so many people killed on the roads?

You get a piece of paper to say you've never been caught - and it means....? Probably the most infamous and meaningless 'piece of paper' was the one held aloft by Neville Chamberlain.

:clap:

Rambo Chick
18.12.2009, 21:18
Amen! The bureau don't check the content of our souls and intentions. Although that probably isn't too far off...

Couldn't have put it better myself. :cool:

Bryan_sop
19.12.2009, 00:59
As I previously stated, all a CRB check does, is looks at what someone's already done. You could have a penchant for 11 year olds, so long as the police don't know?! So long as it doesn't show up on your CRB!?

tpcornet12
19.12.2009, 01:45
Or on the flip side, picture the scenario:

"You gave a convicted peodophile a job in a school?"
"I didn't know he was a peopophile"
"Did you not do a CRB check?"
"No point - one conviction doesn't mean he will do it again"

If it helps slightly but inconveniences some people, which would you rather? We could never take it away now so the authorities are damned if they do and damned if they don't!

My humble opinion

nethers
19.12.2009, 02:19
If it helps slightly but inconveniences some people, which would you rather?

That's the standard justification for this kind of policy - but do you think it was drawn up by experts in child safety or by politicians trying to score quick points with voters who don't think past the ground floor?

By the same logic banning firearms for all but those with spotless records and a legitimate reason to own one should have had a significant impact on gun crime in the UK. Criminals have given up their violent ways and not simply found other tools to intimidate and cause injury or death?

In defence, almost no average Joe in Britain has a genuine need to own a firearm so the inconvenience is negligible... but so is the effect. There is no point asking criminals to fill out paperwork honestly.

Jethro
19.12.2009, 09:24
I agree that if you are going to offend, then a piece of paper is useless if you havent offended previously. But statistics show that a convicted paedophile will no doubt re offend in the future. Therefore if an organisation say a band, has pre knowledge of someones want to carry out these sort of things, then the better. Its better to be for warned etc,,
InThe case in which I mentioned before, the person had offended previously but no one bothered to check his CRB. if they had then perhaps a couple of young people would not have had the embarrasment and experience they were put through.

Jethro

nethers
19.12.2009, 09:44
Fair enough, but where is the line? Think of the huge amount of man hours and money spent on this endeavour... Why not spend the resources trying to identify potential offenders before they offend or rehabilitating those that sadly have?

I support effective legislation to identify paedophiles and protect the innocent, but not extra bureaucracy and burden on the vast majority of honest people and bands in the country.

While the check might keep known offenders out of bandrooms it doesn't remove them from our communities or streets, so I fail to see the benefit except in feeling compelled to protect our own backs as organisations.

WoodenFlugel
19.12.2009, 11:54
Good point, Where would it end though???
The point I am trying to make is that if my kids went to a band then I personally would feel better if I knew for certain that there were no kiddy fiddlers in there.:p

Trouble is CRB doesn't mean they're not there, just they haven't been caught yet...:-?

I have been CRB checked as a committee member and trustee of a charity (the band) and I had no problem with the powers that be prodding about in my past (I have nothing to hide). But as far as I'm concerned the whole CRB thing is nothing more than a huge ****-covering exercise.

Jethro
19.12.2009, 12:23
I am in agreement that CRB's can be construed as a waste of time and effort as if offenders are going to offend etc,etc,,, But on the other hand if it does deter certain people from even attempting to join an organisation where there are vulnerable young people present, then it has to be seen to be good or am I living in a dream world???

Jethro:p

tpcornet12
19.12.2009, 13:39
The fact is it can never be taken away now. What kind of checks should an organisation do to help protect vunerable people in their care? If CRB checks hadn't been made compulsory the so called "average Jo" would be crying out incompetency of the government for having knowledge that they failed to pass on.

On another point, how do you take away the liberty of someone with the potential to offend that has not committed an offence? Surely that would have the argument thrown back that "just because someone isn't seen as potential offender that is just because they haven't been recognised as a potential offender yet" and so the merry go round starts again.

Has anyone looked into the cost of running CRB checks? CRB would be there whether it was routinely checked anyway - or is someone suggesting we should keep no record of criminals? If this is purely about wasting resources there are many places I would start before putting even one vunerable person at risk to save a few quid.

nethers
19.12.2009, 21:27
On the side, dispite this being a polarising and emotive issue I am glad to see such a high standard of posts, all in a mature manner... So many other threads have been spoiled by people dragging things in to the mud because someone doesn't share their opinion.

In short: we're all awesome :clap:

Jethro
19.12.2009, 21:59
On the side, dispite this being a polarising and emotive issue I am glad to see such a high standard of posts, all in a mature manner... So many other threads have been spoiled by people dragging things in to the mud because someone doesn't share their opinion.

In short: we're all awesome :clap:
Ive got to agree with you there nethers. I too must applaud everyone for taking this post very serious and as you put it "Grown up"
:clap::clap::clap: Jethro

rosolino
19.12.2009, 23:40
But as far as I'm concerned the whole CRB thing is nothing more than a huge ****-covering exercise.

Bit of an unfortunate turn of phrase for this topic :confused:

mikelyons
20.12.2009, 07:30
But as far as I'm concerned the whole CRB thing is nothing more than a huge ****-covering exercise.
Bit of an unfortunate turn of phrase for this topic :confused:

And as usual we have the stereotype of paedophilia being a male thing. Have we forgotten Vanessa George already?

I worry that the idea of a CRB check being a natural part of getting a job with children will be gradually extended until everybody has to have one. Given that I know at least 20 people - good people - who have criminal records, for minor offences, when they were teenagers who would find themselves off a short list instanter if they had to have a CRB check. Despite the fact that they have led exemplary lives since and are model citizens now, 25 or 30 years later, I have to say the whole thing is something of an expensive witch hunt that will not find the criminals it is meant to, but will damage the country's psyche and bring Orwell's world a little bit closer.

jockinafrock
20.12.2009, 15:32
As has been said several times in this thread, just because you get a satisfactory crb one week, you may offend the very next. Also, my understanding from speaking to one of the national voluntary organisations who advise on issues such as this, organisations can agree to use a current crb if the person has one - but on their head be it if the person has been convicted of an offence since the last check was carried out, especially if something happens.

Also, if you have been convicted, I am almost certain that the crb does not actually state what you your offence was - it only says whether you are a suitable person to work with children, etc. Please correct me if I'm wrong. :confused:

I myself have 3 current enhanced crbs for different organisations (all done within the last 3 months) and I, too, believe that if you have nothing to hide or be ashamed of then you have nothing to worry about. May be a bit of a political minefield to some, but when the safety of your children and the integrity of those working alongside them is at stake, then we need to play ball I'm afraid... I for one wouldn't be happy about an individual having access to my children if they were one of those who protested 'human liberties' and refused a crb check...

tpcornet12
20.12.2009, 16:01
[quote=jockinafrock;721802]I, too, believe that if you have nothing to hide or be ashamed of then you have nothing to worry about. May be a bit of a political minefield to some, but when the safety of your children and the integrity of those working alongside them is at stake, then we need to play ball I'm afraid...quote]

:clap:

rosolino
20.12.2009, 16:20
And as usual we have the stereotype of paedophilia being a male thing. Have we forgotten Vanessa George already?

I worry that the idea of a CRB check being a natural part of getting a job with children will be gradually extended until everybody has to have one. Given that I know at least 20 people - good people - who have criminal records, for minor offences, when they were teenagers who would find themselves off a short list instanter if they had to have a CRB check. Despite the fact that they have led exemplary lives since and are model citizens now, 25 or 30 years later, I have to say the whole thing is something of an expensive witch hunt that will not find the criminals it is meant to, but will damage the country's psyche and bring Orwell's world a little bit closer.

All I said was it was an unfortunate turn of phrase. I'm well aware that it affects male and female alike. btw it's an unfortunate choice no matter the gender therefore I wonder why you accuse me of being stereotypical.

Working as a peri I'm also well aware of the seriousness of the checks. I'm told never to be in a 1-1 situation with female pupils. Boys, that's OK they obviously can't make up stories!

I'm also well aware of what these made up stories can lead to ......... a prison sentence for a guy in his 50's who was a "model citizen" had led an "exemplary life" and ended up with no pension.

Do live with your 20 friends 24/7, do you know what the get up to every waking moment or which websites the look at? How many people have been surprised and shocked when their upstanding friends and pillars of the community are prosecuted and found guilty?

Maybe if you worked in Dunblane Primary all those years ago you would be more inclined to expect that those entering or working in schools were fit for purpose.

You may think it's an expensive witch hunt and I know that there is no fail-safe solution but I for one would like our children to work, learn and play in as safe an environment as possible.

Perhaps not ...

towse1972
20.12.2009, 16:45
Given that I know at least 20 people - good people - who have criminal records, for minor offences, when they were teenagers who would find themselves off a short list instanter if they had to have a CRB check. Despite the fact that they have led exemplary lives since and are model citizens now, 25 or 30 years later,
Minor offences committed as teenagers are expunged from your record after a few years. I know people who have been prosecuted for possession of cannabis (back in the day when it was class B) that are now teachers!! It's not all doom and gloom.

nethers
20.12.2009, 19:35
...my understanding from speaking to one of the national voluntary organisations who advise on issues such as this, organisations can agree to use a current crb if the person has one - but on their head be it if the person has been convicted of an offence since the last check was carried out, especially if something happens.

So should we be getting a new check on a weekly/monthly basis?

Rambo Chick
20.12.2009, 23:02
So should we be getting a new check on a weekly/monthly basis?

Weekly. You apply, your application takes a week to process and then by that time its out of date. Therefore you should file another application. In the meantime you have to wait....

mikelyons
21.12.2009, 10:39
Minor offences committed as teenagers are expunged from your record after a few years. I know people who have been prosecuted for possession of cannabis (back in the day when it was class B) that are now teachers!! It's not all doom and gloom.

Unfrotunately, you are wrong. An advanced CRB check as required to enable you to work with children drags everything up, parking tickets, cautions, minor vandalism etc that you have ever done.

They may be teachers now, but were they teachers before the CRB check was brought in? If so they may not currently have a check. I'd been working for 20 years without having had one and only had one when I became a governor! If teachers stay in the smae post for years they ight never have one.

thedrummer
21.12.2009, 10:58
Like most people, I feel the welfare of young people in our bands is a priority and like most feel that those responsible for child welfare and those who have 1 on 1 contact with a minor, should be vetted.

However, as someone who has no 1 to 1 contact with minors and no welfare responsibility towards minors, then there should not be any need to CRB check me.

A number of years ago I had a couple of little marks on my criminal record (nothing that was more serious than a caution) and totally unrelated to the child protection act. and under the rehabilitation of offenders act, a majority of jobs I don't even have to declare them.

The thought of them being made public at the very least the committee is something that worries me (non the less that I have a family member on the committee) and if CRB checks were made compulsory for all members, then I would have to consider my position with in the band. Is it fair the a spent conviction from the 90's should raise it's head some 15 years on???

towse1972
21.12.2009, 11:35
Unfrotunately, you are wrong. An advanced CRB check as required to enable you to work with children drags everything up, parking tickets, cautions, minor vandalism etc that you have ever done.

They may be teachers now, but were they teachers before the CRB check was brought in? If so they may not currently have a check. I'd been working for 20 years without having had one and only had one when I became a governor! If teachers stay in the smae post for years they ight never have one.
These are 2 young people at the beginning of their careers.

towse1972
21.12.2009, 11:37
And I can assure you that cautions for/and minor offences that are committed before the age of 17 are wiped from your record. It's my job. I'm right!

Leyfy
21.12.2009, 11:49
They may be teachers now, but were they teachers before the CRB check was brought in? If so they may not currently have a check. I'd been working for 20 years without having had one and only had one when I became a governor! If teachers stay in the smae post for years they ight never have one.

I know a teacher who has ABH on his record (I think ..... he didn't serve time for it) but he's still working, and he became a teacher a couple of years after the offence. Didn't seem to stop him from getting a job ;)

As for the 'teachers stay in the post for the years they might not have one', that will be out of date in a few years since the the new Ofsted regs from Sept 2009. We've just been through it at my school and they insist that ALL staff working in school need a current CRB check or the school could fail. Caused a fair amount of grumbling from some of the staff who gave been there years and years, but it got done!!

nethers
21.12.2009, 19:48
I'm reading lots of stories of people being dragged through bureaucratic hell, having old (and unrelated) indiscretions brought back up, and people generally confused and unsure about their rights and responsibilities in regard to this subject...

But so far not one tale of a sexual offender bounced out of a job involving personal contact with children thanks to a CRB (or whatever initials they're using to make it sound more politically correct now) check.

The obvious response to my point is to suggest that the legislation is putting offenders off applying in the first place... but first go and watch the episode of The Simpsons where the citizens of Springfield lobby for a bear patrol :)

WoodenFlugel
21.12.2009, 20:34
Bit of an unfortunate turn of phrase for this topic :confused:

Quite. Given the seriousness of the topic I ought to respond. It was just that - an unfortunate turn of phrase - it wasn't my intention to sound smart or clever, it was just me being a bit stupid. Sorry if it read any other way.

andywooler
21.12.2009, 22:48
Unfrotunately, you are wrong. An advanced CRB check as required to enable you to work with children drags everything up, parking tickets, cautions, minor vandalism etc that you have ever done.
.Are you absolutely sure about that? What about the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act?

towse1972
22.12.2009, 13:01
He is wrong Andy.

andywooler
22.12.2009, 16:15
I decided a quick check was in order and it appears there are exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offendors Act as noted below:

Exceptions to the Act
Various kinds of employment, occupations and professions are exempted from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 by the Exclusions and Exceptions (Scotland) Order 2003. These include occupations that fall into the following at risk categories: * Work involving matters of national security e.g. some civil service posts. * Work that brings the person into contact with vulnerable groups such as infirm, the elderly, mentally ill, and young people aged under eighteen years. * Certain professions with legal protection such as nurses or accountants.

The Wherryman
09.01.2010, 12:23
...I also echo barrytones' sentiments in regards to some people may not want people to know their past. Their offence may not be child or sex related. I know someone who was involved in a nasty car accident in which another person was killed. This came up on their CRB and they were then asked to leave the organisation.


...Given that I know at least 20 people - good people - who have criminal records, for minor offences, when they were teenagers who would find themselves off a short list instanter if they had to have a CRB check. Despite the fact that they have led exemplary lives since and are model citizens now, 25 or 30 years later, I have to say the whole thing is something of an expensive witch hunt that will not find the criminals it is meant to, but will damage the country's psyche and bring Orwell's world a little bit closer.


..I know a teacher who has ABH on his record (I think ..... he didn't serve time for it) but he's still working, and he became a teacher a couple of years after the offence. Didn't seem to stop him from getting a job ;)Although the majority of posts in this thread have been about CRB checks in relation to the protection of children and vulnerable people, references have been made to the likelyhood of such checks revealing other sorts of convictions, and the possible ramifications of such revelations.

Clearly, a negative CRB check in relation to children might mean that the person concerned would be totally excluded from band activities, but are there other sorts of convictions that would reasonably be considered to disqualify a person from band membership (without naming names!!!)

Or is this a can of worms best left unopened?

mikelyons
11.01.2010, 16:23
I don't know that bands should be considering banning people for having a record but, if you had a 10 or 15 or 20 etc year old 'dark secret', would you really want your current friends to know about it? I think it is really down to the prurient voyeurism (not so) hidden in the British psyche that we allow such things to happen. Maybe there's a touch of both Schadenfreude and Holier-than-thou going on here.

The Wherryman
11.01.2010, 16:57
I don't know that bands should be considering banning people for having a record but, if you had a 10 or 15 or 20 etc year old 'dark secret', would you really want your current friends to know about it? I think it is really down to the prurient voyeurism (not so) hidden in the British psyche that we allow such things to happen. Maybe there's a touch of both Schadenfreude and Holier-than-thou going on here.I had to look up Schadenfreude :confused:

No, Mike, with the change in society to a 'someone must be to blame' culture (you daren't even clear the snow off your own drive these days in case someone slips and sues you for not doing it properly) it occured to me that a CRB check could reveal more than offences of a sexual nature. If that happened, what should the committee do? Fortunately, I've not been put in that position yet (on either side). If it does nothing, and a band member becomes a victim, could the band be sued? Surely, it is that thought process that is behind the CRB checks, anyway. Not so much about protecting the vulnerable, more about covering your own back.

As I said, perhaps it's a can of worms and we shouldn't be going there. But I hope you will understand my wish to defend myself against your unwarranted and unfounded insinuation :)

popmills
11.01.2010, 20:19
In 1965 on leaving a pub late at night I picked up a police trafic cone that had been left behind earlier. As this was in a rugby supporting part of the country I passed this back to a friend. A policeman saw this and I was charged with theft my friend was charged with receiving. The magistrate fined both of us £5. Some years later I applied to join the police and declared the offence. Thus was viewed as extremely funny and the police accepted me. In a later job as a transport manager a driver lost a small part of his vehicle load and he was cautioned for this, though I was busy driving my desk I was cautioned for aiding and abeting the offence. Both these would show up on CRB checks as there is no rehabilitation of offenders clause.
The whole system while well meaning in concept is totaly flawed
Barry

nethers
11.01.2010, 20:35
...but are there other sorts of convictions that would reasonably be considered to disqualify a person from band membership (without naming names!!!)

Or is this a can of worms best left unopened?

Sadly I agree, as depressing as this fairly inevitable situation is, the slippery slope is certainly going that way.

What crimes should prevent someone being allowed to make music with their friends? Unfortunately I'm sure someone will offer an answer...

mikelyons
11.01.2010, 23:07
I had to look up Schadenfreude :confused:

No, Mike, with the change in society to a 'someone must be to blame' culture (you daren't even clear the snow off your own drive these days in case someone slips and sues you for not doing it properly) it occured to me that a CRB check could reveal more than offences of a sexual nature. If that happened, what should the committee do? Fortunately, I've not been put in that position yet (on either side). If it does nothing, and a band member becomes a victim, could the band be sued? Surely, it is that thought process that is behind the CRB checks, anyway. Not so much about protecting the vulnerable, more about covering your own back.

As I said, perhaps it's a can of worms and we shouldn't be going there. But I hope you will understand my wish to defend myself against your unwarranted and unfounded insinuation :)

I was thinking more in terms of the general population of (depending on political persuasion - readers of The Sun and the Screws of the World or the Torygraph or the Daily Mail et. al.) rather than any particular person. But, as ever, if the cap fits... ;)

yorkyboy
12.01.2010, 09:51
CRB checks are there to prevent young and vulnerable people being put at risk.

Other offences will show up on the check but it is the responsibility of the organisation to show clear common sense in relation to whether these types of offences are going to put young and vulnerable people at risk.

An orginastion should also not be passing the information round among its various members. We have to run CRB checks at our work as some of our time can be spent at schools. We have one person who sees these reports and they have to remain confidential. An offence of GBH would not prevent someone working in a school as it is not something that has a risk for young or vulnerable people.

CRB checks clearly have a role to play but an organisation has to use a degree of common sense and fairness.

The Wherryman
12.01.2010, 09:56
I was thinking more in terms of the general population of (depending on political persuasion - readers of The Sun and the Screws of the World or the Torygraph or the Daily Mail et. al.) rather than any particular person. But, as ever, if the cap fits... ;)The expression you used, 'going on here', in a direct response to my post, hardly points towards towards the general population and you are usually so precise in your choice of words :rolleyes:. Hence my careful choice of the word 'insinuation'.

There are substantial safeguards written into the CRB process - for example, disclosure to someone not authorised to receive the information is a criminal offence, so the information would have to remain with the committee (if they were the authorised body). It is hardly likely to end up in the Press (of whatever flavour). If the revelation was so salacious or otherwise 'interesting', it would, no doubt, have been reported at the time of the Court case anyway, and, therefore, be in the public domain.

The point that I was bringing up for discussion (or not) related to the liability of the committee should they fail make a proper risk assessment of a member's previous behaviour, which subsequently results in some harm befalling another member. I used the snow-clearing analogy as an example of the risks one faces today in the madnes of the 'blame culture'.

The Wherryman
12.01.2010, 10:11
CRB checks are there to prevent young and vulnerable people being put at risk.

Other offences will show up on the check but it is the responsibility of the organisation to show clear common sense in relation to whether these types of offences are going to put young and vulnerable people at risk.

An orginastion should also not be passing the information round among its various members. We have to run CRB checks at our work as some of our time can be spent at schools. We have one person who sees these reports and they have to remain confidential. An offence of GBH would not prevent someone working in a school as it is not something that has a risk for young or vulnerable people.

CRB checks clearly have a role to play but an organisation has to use a degree of common sense and fairness.Broadly my view as well, but, as GBH has been mentioned, I have personal knowledge of someone who used to beat up his wife and children and the last I heard of him, he was serving 5 years for GBH. I would suggest he might well pose a risk to young and vulnerable people. However, a 50-year-old man, of otherwise good standing, who was convicted of USI with his 15-year-old girlfriend, when he was 19, might not.

yorkyboy
12.01.2010, 10:22
Broadly my view as well, but, as GBH has been mentioned, I have personal knowledge of someone who used to beat up his wife and children and the last I heard of him, he was serving 5 years for GBH. I would suggest he might well pose a risk to young and vulnerable people. However, a 50-year-old man, of otherwise good standing, who was convicted of USI with his 15-year-old girlfriend, when he was 19, might not.

Fair point. As I said it does rely on a large amount of common sense by the organisations involved. One thing is certain though the results of a CRB check are not there for the consumption of all in the organisation and should be used discretly and kept confidential. From what I am reading on this thread that appears not to be the case.

nethers
12.01.2010, 10:33
Ah, common sense. RIP. You are missed.

The Wherryman
12.01.2010, 10:35
Fair point. As I said it does rely on a large amount of common sense by the organisations involved. One thing is certain though the results of a CRB check are not there for the consumption of all in the organisation and should be used discretly and kept confidential. From what I am reading on this thread that appears not to be the case.Confidentiality is essential. I think the comments suggesting otherwise are ill-informed.

yorkyboy
12.01.2010, 10:56
Confidentiality is essential. I think the comments suggesting otherwise are ill-informed.

Lets hope so!

andywooler
12.01.2010, 14:57
I was thinking more in terms of the general population of (depending on political persuasion - readers of The Sun and the Screws of the World or the Torygraph or the Daily Mail et. al.) rather than any particular person. But, as ever, if the cap fits... ;)
And of course, Grauniad readers never ever break the law do they.

mikelyons
12.01.2010, 16:30
I only missed them off the list because I couldn't stop laughing as I remembered the story. :D Given the amount of vino collapso I had consumed as well, I was equally likely to spell it correctly as not, which would have ruined the joke.

Neither discretion, nor valour! :)