Thousands of foreign care workers escape criminal record checks

Thousands of migrants are working in childcare centres and carehomes for the elderly without having undergone full criminal record checks, according to a story in the Times.

The report by the Association of Chief Police Officers has alerted home secretary Jacqui Smith to the scale of the problem, and the fact that the introduction of a watchdog next year will not be enough to properly address it.

Almost a quarter of a million foreign-born employees work in the care sector, including 105,000 care assistants and home carers, and 23,000 childminders.

The forthcoming watchdog, called the Independent Safeguarding Authority, will decide on the suitability of applicants to work with the vulnerable by using existing government-run ban lists and a Criminal Records Bureau Check.

Since 2005, the EU has attempted to set up a system to exchange criminal records, but has not had much success.

Earlier last month, it was revealed that thousands of foreign migrants working in airports have not had their criminal records checked.

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