Council's CRB check backlog

MORE than a third of long term council staff who work with children in North Somerset have not been CRB checked. The shock figures

MORE than a third of long term council staff who work with children in North Somerset have not been CRB checked.The shock figures, revealed in a report to the authority's audit committee, show that 36 per cent of staff who joined the council before 2002 have still not had their checks carried out.The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was launched in 2002 and any staff which joined the authority after that date were subject to the stringent checks procedure.Staff employed previous to the launch of the bureau underwent basic police and security checks.But in the report this week it revealed 36 per cent of staff employed before the launch of the bureau were still waiting to be CRB vetted.The CRB checks are used across the country to check the backgrounds of people whose job means they come into contact with children.North Somerset Council spokesman Steve Makin said: "Since the Criminal Records Bureau was established nationally in 2002, North Somerset Council has ensured that any staff employed to work in schools after the introduction of this checking procedure who have access to children, were subject to CRB checks."Prior to this a range of police and other security checks were in place."In autumn 2006 the council reviewed the disclosure arrangements in place for all employees working with children and/or vulnerable adults and proposed that checks were introduced which extended to staff employed earlier than 2002."A range of posts were identified and with effect from December 2006 these retrospective checks were initiated on a scheduled school by school basis. "Currently 36 per cent of staff employed prior to CRB checks being introduced are now being checked."The CRB, which is run by the Home Office, enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to identify candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work especially roles which involved children or vulnerable adults.Prior to 2002, access to police checks was mainly confined to organisations in the statutory sector for staff who had 'substantial unsupervised access' to children. The type of check required depends upon the position and there are either enhanced or standard disclosures available.Mr Makin said he was unable to confirm whether any staff had stopped working at the council as a result of information revealed as part of the CRB checks. He added: "This is personal and confidential information which we are not able to disclose.

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