There is a post from Iain Roberts on LDV today which explains how the Vetting and Barring scheme (which I have blogged about previously here and here) has been modified slightly. Iain describes it as the government "backing down". I am afraid I cannot really agree. Iain quotes from a Telegraph report:
It will now be a much more common-sense regime.
Under the new scheme, the definitions for whether or not an adult must register have been loosened.
Any activity that brings an adult into contact with children for four or more days a month, or involves any overnight contact, will be branded “intensive” rather than at least three days under the original plan.
Similarly the test for “frequency” will now mean an activity taking place at least once every week. Previously, the category included adults in contact with children only once a month. Both “frequent” and “intensive” categories require registration.
This is not backing down, it is merely tinkering at the edges. The fundamental problems with the scheme still remain and I suspect the “unintended consequences” will still remain as before. I put that in quotes because I am tired of giving the government the benefit of the doubt for things which many people warn them about long in advance and I can only really assume that they are actually intended or at least considered a price worth paying. These measures will still cause many people for one reason or another to not volunteer for things. Also, if it ends up like the CRB checks then organisations will end up insisting on V&B checks just to be on the safe side as they would not want to fall foul of the law.
Measures like this foster the feeling of suspicion within our society and force a wedge between children and the adult population, giving the perception that the only adults to be trusted are those predetermined as worthy of this trust by the state.