Last week sometime I had the radio on and the subject of enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks was being discussed, and they had the story of a woman who was suspended from a job after failing an enhanced CRB check, her standard CRB had come back all clear. She asked to see the results of the enhanced CRB so she could question it but was told that if her employer let her see it they they would be breaking the law so they could not show her. It turns out that there is no way she can see the information on this enhanced CRB check, she can not see it, appeal it or question it even though it got her suspended from her job after getting the all clear from the standard CRB check.
Today we read on the BBC website that the errors in the standard CRB check have doubled over the past year but unlike the enhanced CRB if you fail a standard CRB check you are able to see the results and question / appeal them to clear your name and I am sure that all of the criminals that have been passed as clear would question why their criminal records where not disclosed to their potential employers….
So with the standard CRB (the one you are able to see) being so questionable I wonder how many enhanced CRB checks are wrong, I am sure the government would say that a unique number that identifies everyone would sort out the problem, perhaps an ID card number would help but if I was looking to work children etc and was presented with a CRB I would think twice, not that I have anyting to hide but I would not like to be one of the unlucky ones who’s lives are turned upside down by a floored system.
What I find stunning that the error rate in the standard CRB system is 0.04%, ( this error rate would be the ones that have come back as false and someone has appealed, I somehow can not see a criminal who has passed the CRB when they should not have questioning the results ) is seen as OK but the people concerned.
Just imagine if everyone was on a state sponsored database and 0.04% of all requests each day to verify someones identity where wrong, lets say that 250,000 people on this database where heading on their holidays 0.04% ( 2.5 people ) if the 2.5 people where travelling in a party of 4 (Mum, Dad and 2 kids) then 2.5 families on that day could miss their flights somewhere between 8 – 12 people missed thair holidays and then 2 – 3 people looking to battle the system to prove who they are, you may think you have nothing to hide and a missed holiday is not the end of the world but do you want to leave the government in charge of such error prone systems that could not only impact your holiday but stop you from working just because 0.04% is an OK error rate.