Criminal records regime to be reviewed

The headlines have been caught by the Home Office’s formal annoucement today of a review into the vetting and barring system:

The review will examine whether the scheme is the best way to protect children and vulnerable people and, if so, how many roles it should cover.

Home Secretary Theresa May suspended the “draconian” scheme in June.

Launched in 2009, critics said it cast too wide a net and risked poisoning the relationship between generations.

Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone said: “While it is vital that we protect the vulnerable, this scheme as it stands is not a proportionate response.

“There should be a presumption that people wishing to work or volunteer with children and vulnerable adults are safe to do so unless it can be shown otherwise.” (BBC)

However, there is an important further review that was also announced at the same time with Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone further saying,

We are also announcing a review of the criminal records regime which has developed piecemeal for years and is due for an overhaul to ensure that we strike a balance between protecting civil liberties and protecting the public.

The review of the criminal records system will be carried out by Sunita Mason, the independent Government adviser on criminality information.

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