Feeds

All CRB agents broke the law

None face prosecution

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Nearly all the Criminal Records Bureau's agents have illegally discriminated against people with past criminal convictions that are innocuous or irrelevant under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

The CRB has assessed nearly 2,500 of its agents, which vet applicants for jobs working with children and vulnerable adults, to determine if the police checks they are doing for their clients are within the law, it told The Register in a statement.

"They are all invariably non-compliant because of lack of experience or understanding," it said. A CRB spokesman said it was reasonable to make assumptions about the other registered bodies (agents) from those assessments it had made.

"The main issues raised in Assurance interviews relate to an RB's understanding of eligibility and ID authentication," it said.

Eligibility is the way the CRB describes those jobs for which it legal for employers to check applicants against police databases through one of the bureau's registered bodies, or agents. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, contains exemptions that allow certain job applicants to be checked against police databases to prevent, say, former sex offenders taking jobs with responsibility for children.

But the main purpose of the act is to protect those vulnerable adults with criminal records from being persecuted because of their spent convictions.

In February the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (Nacro) reported that it had received 15,000 complaints from people who had suffered discrimination when making job applications because of irrelevant criminal records.

In April the CRB gained new powers to prosecute agents who illegally consulted the police database for inapplicable jobs, or took into account convictions that were meant to be disregarded.

Yet the bureau said today that it had fingered no agent for prosecution or deregistration since they were found to have breached its code of practice.

Those 2438 agents it had assessed had merely been told to pull their socks up. "Invariably all [were]...willing to adopt measures to become compliant," it said. Neither had they been given official warnings. The CRB would wait to see if they changed their ways.

"It's not good enough," said Mervyn Barrett, who runs the helpline service for ex-offenders at Nacro. "This is an issue of law. Ignorance of the law has never been a defence. The reality is that when [the agents] all signed up to do the checks, they sombrely agreed that they would abide by the law and the code of practice." he said.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines
DCMS seeks lowering of legal threshold to fight rogue firms
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.