When Vanessa George can get away with child pornography, what’s the point of the Criminal Records Bureau check?

When we got back from France it wasn’t long before James was set to go on a school outing and the school were asking for parents to volunteer to come along to help with looking after the children. So, we volunteered or rather we tried to because we were told that we’d first need to get a CRB check done and found that we couldn’t get one as we didn’t have the necessary documents at the time which seemed a little silly at the time but the school had a policy of requiring a CRB check for parents helping out with school trips.

However, documentation aside, the real problem with the CRB check is that it only looks at previous convictions and, of course, Vanessa George didn’t have any. In fact, she still doesn’t so would pass a CRB check right now which is obviously somewhat ridiculous given what she’s been getting up to.

In some ways the CRB check has made it a lot easier for undesireable people of one sort or another to get into positions that they shouldn’t be in. That’s because in place of what would previously have been effectively an assessment by the principal of whether or not someone was a suitable person to be working with young children, now the school child protection policy says that she must instead rely on a CRB check as indeed do a great many schools and nurseries around the country.

However, clearly there still needs to be an assessment of the type of person that gets each job. Whilst Vanessa presumably won’t be getting any more jobs dealing with children she’s managed to harm quite a lot of children before she was caught and that doesn’t seem right. The other thing that this case highlights is that women are just as likely to interfere with children as men.

Hopefully this case will highlight the need to reduce the complete dependence on the CRB check that has built up since it was introduced.

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2 Responses to “When Vanessa George can get away with child pornography, what’s the point of the Criminal Records Bureau check?”

  • Andy says:

    No she would not pass one now as the enhanced record check also includes what the Police hold on you, which are not convictions. So as this arrest is now on her record, it would come up in an enhanced record check.

    Also as some one who used to work in the Youth Service until 2000, as this case points out – the enhanced record checks only weed out people you have, or have been suspect of doing this before. IE if they dont know about your dirty habits, you will pass with flying colours

  • Arnold says:

    On the one hand it’s good to hear that she would fail the CRB check, or at least the enhanced version of it (which is presumably the one used for child contact jobs). However, does that then mean that all those accused of such crimes are forever barred from contact with children even if the charges are subsequently dropped? If so, that’s a little worrying as I know of a number of instances where false accusations were made which caused teachers to be sacked in some cases.

    Definitely on your second point. The problem is that the CRB check seems to be the only check done these days ie there’s little or no assessment of the character of the individual if they pass the CRB check. Granted, the character assessments weren’t perfect either but I think they need to be retained and the CRB used as an additional check rather than it being the only one.

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