A scheme for vetting people who work with children which is potentially to be extended to conver partners of a single parent man or woman is to be scrpped. This has not been announced yet but reliable sources said the scheme will be announced shortly.
The Daily Telegraph reports that following a review of the Vetting and Barring Scheme, criminal record checks will only be carried out on those who have intensive contact with the young.
A potential 9m adults – who came into contact with children once a week or more – had been subject to checks.
Home Secretary Theresa May suspended it last June so a review could be held.
A Home Office spokesman said an official announcement – which affects England, Wales and Northern Ireland – would be made shortly.
The previous government set up the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) in 2009 in response to the murder of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham in 2002 by school caretaker Ian Huntley.
Halting the initiative last summer, the home secretary called it “draconian”, and launched a review in October.
The Telegraph has reported that it will now be scaled back significantly – with half the number of people affected – and the emphasis shifted on to employers to ensure the right staff are screened.
Crime reduction charity Nacro cautiously welcomed the news but called for more fundamental reform of the existing “complex and confusing” policy.
A spokesman said employers needed to be better informed about how to use checking systems and tackle the discrimination many ex-offenders experienced.
“The level of checks has escalated disproportionately since they were established,” he said.
“It means good people who have made a mistake and turned their backs on crime have their careers and hope for rehabilitation put on the line.”
The government will also announce that criminal record checks are to be sent to individuals first – before they go to potential employers – to allow them to challenge any mistakes, the paper said.
Ms May has previously called for a more “common sense” approach that did not risk alienating volunteers doing valuable work.
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