When is a paedophile not a paedophile? When The Daily Mail says so.
The media in this country have a lot to answer for, the way they whip stories out of all proportion. All the mainstream papers and news channels are guilty; and it’s worse when it involves children. They treat every story as if paedophilia has never been around and nobody is safe from these evil people lurking on every corner and in every chat room.
From my unfounded and largely skewed viewpoint I’m convinced the top brass and certainly high ranking religious officials are at it regularly and can get away with it because they make the laws and can thus bypass them.
For us lesser mortals, any time we want a job where there’s a chance to be either alone with kids or in a position of authority over them, a CRB check is required. This laughable document is supposed proof that you’re not a criminal. There are two types: a standard check which only looks at police records, and an enhanced check that also includes the sex offenders register.
So an employer holds, on your behalf, a piece of paper that has been obtained from the police/government. You usually have to pay for this privilege — something in the region of thirty-six pounds I think. The relevant searches are probably performed by some teenager in an office on minimum wage because, like so many schemes, it’s a monkey’s job created to offer the illusion of control.
The ludicrous thing about this document is:
- One is rarely enough. Each county has to have its own record so if you work in, say, one school and then transfer to another school you need a new check
- It’s never renewed if you stay with the same employer
- Despite the bold claims on the website, it takes 4-12 weeks to come through after application which is sufficiently long enough to make working over the summer holidays in a different county, for example, near impossible
- Any break in service whatsoever — a week, a month, even in the same county or for the same employer — requires a new check to be performed against you
This bureaucracy borders on the insane when you consider the case of a bus driver doing the school trip. He drives from Coventry, through Bedworth (in Warwickshire) and up to Hinckley (in Leicestershire) and thus needs three full CRB checks held by the various counties before he can drive the bus. At 36 quid a piece and wasting countless hours of police time: the records of all police forces in any county he’s lived in the past five years have to be consulted.
Think that’s bad? Under the previous Labour government they were all but set to pass a law that required parents who decided to opt out of the UK’s shitty education system and home school their own children to require a CRB check! Thank goodness Cameron saw fit to throw that one out in his common sense appraisal of policies.
Clearly I’m the worst kind of criminal there is: the kind that implores people to ask awkward questions of the media, governments and corporations. Perhaps I’ll need a CRB check soon in order to publish this blog in case someone under the age of eighteen reads it and starts making decisions for themselves.