Vetting system to be reformed

The system of vetting candidates who will be working with children or
vulnerable adults is set for further reform following the publication of a
report into the deaths of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.

The Bichard Report, which investigated the events leading up to the murders,
has made a series of recommendations on changes that should be made to vetting
and recruitment.

Sir Michael Bichard called for a national registration system for those
working with children and other vulnerable groups such as the elderly.

The system could be established as early as next year after the report
identified fundamental failings in the way data on convicted murderer Ian
Huntley was handled.

The report called for a national intelligence system that would enable
agencies to share and act on information on individuals that might pose a
threat. It said there should also be greater training for people who recruit
staff to schools to safeguard children from potential threats.

Home secretary David Blunkett promised to urgently consider Bichard’s
recommendations, specifically the registration scheme for those working with
vulnerable groups. He pledged to look at the possibility of bringing together
all the relevant information held on individuals in a way that could operate
alongside the existing Criminal Records Bureau service.

"The report uncovers serious failures in recording and managing
information, including local systems for recording, retaining and accessing
data. The Government accepts the main recommendations and will act on them
immediately," he said.

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