Probation service investigation into CRB slip-up

The
HR director at the London Probation Service has been put on special leave after
it was revealed more than 200 new recruits had not undergone criminal record
checks.

The
employees, who are mostly trainee probation officers, should have been vetted
by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) before being allowed to work with
criminals.

A
full investigation into the incident has been launched.

A
probation service spokeswoman said the HR director at the service, Richard
Mycroft, was "on special leave to free him up for the investigation".

Checks
on the unvetted recruits are being fast-tracked, and should be finished by the
end of this month, she said.

John
Powls, chief officer of the London Probation Area, said: "We are dealing
with the matter as an urgent and very serious issue. Procedures have already
been put in place to manage possible risks.

"We
have commissioned an external investigation and review by the National
Probation Directorate (NPD) to establish why this has happened and to confirm
that our current procedures meet the NPD standards."

The
incident is another in a list of slip-ups involving the CRB.

Last
month, the company that runs the bureau, Capita, was fined £2m for its failings.

The
fine came after the company failed to meet the required three-week turnaround
time for processing checks on teachers and others working with children and
vulnerable adults.

The
delays have seen the NHS abandon tens of thousands of checks, if managers are
confident staff have come from an agency or previous employer where they
believe checks were in place.

www.crb.gov.uk

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