Reality check

THE "vetting" rules introduced after the Soham murders were intended to cover those professionals who work with children, vulnerable adults or hold positions of responsibility.

They were not designed to cover the tens of thousands of volunteers who support schools, hospitals and whose public service enhances so many communities.

The consequence was the prospect of nearly 10 million people having to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority – or many people being barred from assisting others in their neighbourhood.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It is, therefore, welcome that the Home Secretary Theresa May intends to review these arrangements. It's another example of the coalition Government being more pragmatic than its bureaucracy-obsessed predecessor.

She has a difficult balance to strike. There will be a national outcry if there is another incident, akin to the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, that involves a sex offender who should have been "vetted". Equally, it is important that all volunteers are not treated as criminals.

It is probably why any individual likely to be left in sole charge of children and others should have to be vetted – and common sense applied elsewhere.

Related topics: