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It has been reported that since the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks were introduced, more than 1,500 people have been wrongly given criminal records - the Government checks are designed to protect vulnerable people, but countless errors have been logged.
Questions have always been asked about whether the CRB system was really effective. Parents were being banned from car sharing with friends, and attending school plays and sports days if they weren’t checked, people were losing their jobs if they refused to be investigated and clubs were being forced to close because the cost of registering all their helpers was too much to afford. CRB checks also did little to prevent child abuse scandals such as that which took place at the Little Ted's Nursery in Plymouth.
The CRB, a Home Office agency, was set up in March 2002 to check for criminal convictions, cautions and reprimands with regards people working with children or vulnerable adults. It processes some 3.9 million CRB certificates each year.
However, a new bill has been announced which will mean changes to this scheme and some of the nine million people who work or volunteer with children will no longer need to have a criminal records check under the new proposed Protection of Freedoms Bill.
Part of the bill also dictates that thousands of innocent people will have their DNA records removed from the national DNA database. There will also be regulations of CCTV cameras and regulations regarding Councils being able to examine people’s rubbish bins in order to investigate claims.
The changes aim to hand back some civil liberties taken away by the previous Labour government and operate a more “common sense” approach.