As people will no doubt be aware, it’s necessary to obtain a clean bill of health from the Criminal Records Bureau before undertaking certain forms of work, including both paid and voluntary work with children.
I’ve had a friend of mine round this evening complaining that she’s been the victim of a mistake by the CRB. She’s long done voluntary work with a children’s group organised through her church and they’ve at last got round to insisting that all volunteers have a CRB check.
To her horror, she received a letter earlier in the week from the CRB telling that they think she was convicted back in the 1980s for Taking a Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent, Excess Alcohol and No Insurance, which is news to her. She was even more annoyed to receive, the following day, a really sanctimonious letter from the national organisers of the church children’s group about how they aren’t really sure she’s suitable.
It seems a straightforward enough mistake; according to the details sent by the CRB, someone with the same (rather unusual) first name as my friend and the same equally usual surname as her maiden name was convicted for these offences up in Lancashire on the date in question. She was by then using her married name and has never been anywhere near the town where the offence was committed and prosecuted.
She’s already phoned up the CRB to complain and they’re sending her forms so she can have the matter investigated; we did, however, look up their CRB’s site and she’s going to fill in a complaints form on-line.
I’ll post again to let folks know how she gets on sorting out what should be quite a simple mistake to rectify. It’s a bit worrying to think, though, what might have happened had this happened in relation to her paid work.
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