A huge variety of businesses have experienced the, at times, almost insurmountable obstacle of the lumbering Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) placed in front of them since the Soham murders, not to mention employees who may be accepted at interview, only to be prevented from actually earning money until a pretty worthless document finally passes umpteen degrees of lethargy and inefficiency. Why worthless? Well, perhaps one might ask why the database doesn't cover Plymouth, for example.
Lord knows my business has been hampered significantly by the CRB and no amount of letters or phone calls will ever speed them up. Perhaps that's why I felt sympathy with this woman, who was, last week, prevented from helping on a school trip despite already holding three other CRB clearances.
“This has caused great inconvenience to the school, and inconvenience to myself and my little boy.
"I cannot believe why it has taken so long to process someone who has no criminal convictions and who has been CRB-checked for Cub Scouts, my work and another school.”
“It means the months of ‘investigating’ by police have been for absolutely nothing - what a waste of resources and time.
Indeed. Strangely enough, the idea of CRB's being 'portable' from one job to the next, or from one organisation to another was raised by us with our local MP. He was in agreement but didn't envisage much success in advocating the measure, though he said he'd try, bless his little cotton socks.
Perhaps the brick wall he was anticipating can be adequately explained by this.
The Home Office expressed regret that some enhanced disclosure checks were being delayed after a surge in applications to the CRB.
"As a result of the increase in demand the CRB has taken on additional resources.”
Kerching! All aboard the gravy train.