CRB errors link innocent people to crimes

Nearly
200 people have been wrongly labelled as criminals by the Criminal Records
Bureau (CRB).

The
names of 193 people were mistakenly linked with convictions held on the police
national computer, according to reports on BBC Radio Five Live.

In
some cases the names of those being vetted by the bureau were similar or
identical to those of actual criminals. In others, the criminals had given
someone else’s personal details to the authorities to avoid a police record.

The
CRB does background checks on those who work with children or vulnerable
people. It was planned as a ‘one-stop shop’ to give employers details about an
individual’s convictions and cautions, as well as intelligence on them gathered
by police.

The
names are checked against the police national computer and in this instance the
mistakes were made between January 2003 and February 2004.

The
Home Office said the bureau processed more than 2.5m checks last year and the
errors represent a small percentage of its work.

By Mike Berry

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