New system of criminal record checks

Many more employers will be able to run staff checks with
the Criminal Records Bureau from summer 2001.

While some checks are already made, they are limited to a
tightly defined group such as local authorities, the health sector and a small
number of voluntary groups.

This is being broadened, under Part V of the Police Act
1997, to include other professions such as social workers, teachers and probation
officers. Checks on medical practitioners and nurses will also be expanded.

The bureau’s chief executive Bernard Herdan said, “By giving
more employers and voluntary bodies greater access to criminal record
information, the CRB will help to prevent unsuitable people gaining access to
jobs where they can harm children and vulnerable adults.

“It is essential that good recruitment practice should
continue – that references should be taken up, that enquiries should be made of
the candidate’s employment history, and so on. However to supplement such
measures, information in police records may have a material bearing on a person’s

The CRB is running a series of seminars aimed at increasing
awareness of the new system, called Disclosure.

By Mike Broad


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