CRB checks for car pool parents are a nonsense

Sep 11 • Featured • 928 Views • 10 Comments on CRB checks for car pool parents are a nonsense

Most mums and dads I know take it in turns to take their children's friends (along with their own, obviously) to various after school and weekend activities.

So excuse me for going into rant mode for a minute, but how utterly ridiculous that from next month parents who ferry children to clubs could need to be criminal record checked or face fines of up to £5,000.

To be honest, I don't really get the whole CRB thing anyway. I understand that it's designed to stop paedophiles from working with children. But the fact is some paedophiles don't have criminal records, which is what makes them so hard to identify. They operate as apparently respectable members of the community, seamlessly blending in so that they can identify their next victims. I know this because one of the parents at my secondary school was caught for making indecent pictures of children. He was a GP, with no criminal record. A CRB check on him would have been a complete waste of time, and it wouldn't have protected any of his victims.

So yes, of course, some paedophiles are parents, too. But rather than looking suspiciously at every adult that comes into contact with our children, I think we should be allowed to trust our instincts. If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't.

Presumably the next step will be vetting parents who are taking kids Trick-or-Treating on Halloween.

*Let me know what you think below.

written by Liz Jarvis

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10 Responses to CRB checks for car pool parents are a nonsense

  1. sam says:

    This is crazy gone completely crazy. I don’t know a parent who would put their child in another parent’s car if they didn’t already know them well enough to trust them implicitly…a pointless waste of time and money – and enough to put any honest parent off bothering to do the school run in the first place. Just a thought, though – I don’t believe they vet parent-helpers who come in once a week to help teachers with reading etc….

  2. sally says:

    I think we need to remember that only a tiny percentage of parents are paedophiles. This sort of attitude, creates an air of paranoia. Not all adults are out to harm out kids. In fact, not very many are at all. As parents, it’s up to us to judge who to trust with our kids. You don’t sit at home 24 by 7 with a loaded shot gun just in case a burglar comes by, do you?

  3. sally says:

    Sorry, I meant to say ‘only a tiny percentage of people are paedophiles.’

  4. tina says:

    ask yourself this though (what if?) you would feel pretty stupid for not making your children extra safe if something was to happen to one of them, yes of course you may think this is unnessessary hassle but when it comes to your children you cannot be too careful!

  5. Caroline says:

    Carrying out CRB checks is a part of my job (I work in a school), and let me tell you, they are a total waste of time. They are only as good as the day they were carried out. Anything after that slips through the net, as rechecks are not carried out as a matter of course. And as you point out , Liz, some of them haven’t got criminal records anyway. Re Sam’s comment – if your school isn’t CRB checking parent helpers who are in school, they SHOULD be.

  6. Lorraine says:

    It does seem like the nanny state has gone crazy, surely then this would mean that someone who maybe was a bit wild in their youth and has a minor conviction for breach of the peace or shoplifting( and no I am not condoning these things) and has since then lead a blameless life, would be stopped from doing any off these things because of the CRB check? I am sure there are loads of parents out there who got into a little trouble when they were much younger and should not be stopped from helping where it is sometimes badly needed. I am not saying schools should not use some form of checking but there has to be a more sensible way to go about it and stop treating all parents as if we are a danger to children.

  7. Bev says:

    I think it’s true that you have to trust your instinct and only let your kids go with parents whom you instinctively trust. When parents take each others children it is because you have trust in them – and it your own choice. It is different for those who work, paid or unpaid, for children’s clubs or activities – I think some checks are better than none, even if this only weeds one or two unsuitable persons out. I often help out at my child’s school and have never been CBR checked – just the teacher’s trust. Hopefully in most cases this works but you never know I suppose. Incidentially i believe the checks do not apply to parents who simply agree between themselves to ferry children in turn to activities.

  8. Sarah says:

    A case of damned if they don’t and damned if they don’t. We sort of know the checks are useless but if they didn’t carry them out, they’d be hell to pay. They’ve taken a sledgehammer to the problem and everyone feels slighted by the lack of subtley, but for now, at least a system is in place. And its got to be preferable to the civil-rights infringing, vigilante-baiting Megan’s Law.

  9. Caroline says:

    Just wanted to come back on Bev’s comment. All volunteer parents in schools should be CRB checked – I believe it’s now a legal requirement. It is not up to individual teachers to take anybody on ‘trust’, and if they do so, they are either not aware of legislation (which leaves one to wonder who else is wandering about the school without relevant checks) or knowingly leaving themselves and their pupils in a potentially vulnerable situation. As I said in my first comment, CRB checks are pretty useless really – but they have been introduced with the intention of protecting our children, and if they have even the faintest chance of helping to do that, then I’m all for them. You are right, Bev, when you say that the checks are not necessary for a group of parents who make arrangements between themselves – only if the school is organising it, and children are therefore being ferried about by people who their parents don’t necessarily know.

  10. sam says:

    This interesting – I wonder just how many parent helpers in schools across the country have never been CRB checked. I’m betting the numbers could be quite shocking. Still, CRB checks can at least deter those who have a history – but for those unsavoury few who have a clean slate? – there’s nothing to stop them slipping through the net anyway…

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