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The serious organised crime and police Act 2005 set up the framework for the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre to be created. It also included provisions for improving the vetting system to stop adults who pose a risk from working with children.

The Criminal Records Bureau were previously responsible for carrying out requested Criminal Record Checks or CRB checks on people. They have now merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority and both authorities have formed the Disclosure and Barring Service, referred to as the DBS. Therefore CRB checks are now called DBS checks.

A DBS check can be requested by an organisation or employer, the police records on a person are checked and any spent, unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings are disclosed. In some circumstances, information held by the Departments of Health and Education is also checked.

A DBS check may, for example, be required by an organisation, which either employs people or takes on volunteers to work with young children, vulnerable adults, for those who work in the healthcare sector or for individuals who are applying to foster or adopt a child.

Types of employment that would require a DBS check would include healthcare professionals, carers, people in the education sector and any regulated activity in relation to children and adults within the Safeguarding of vulnerable group’s act 2006. Also covered is any work that involves regularly caring for, training, supervising or being solely in charge of vulnerable adults and children.

An employer should only carry out a DBS check on a successful applicant for employment, and not prior to accepting them for the position. However, they are able to withdraw the job offer if it later transpires from the DBS check that the applicant is unsuitable.

There are different types of DBS checks available and these are Basic, Standard, Enhanced and Enhanced with list checks. The level of the check that is required depends on the employment or voluntary work that will be undertaken by the individual.

Finally, we will look at the DBS Barred Lists. The DBS barred lists contains the names of people who are not suitable to work with adults or children in either a paid or voluntary capacity where the job requires them to care for, supervise or to have sole responsibility for adults and or children. It is also against the law for an employer to employ anyone on this list to work with either children and or adults in this capacity.

Remember Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman

On August 4th 2002, best friends Holly and Jessica both ten years old were at a family barbeque. They left to buy some candy and were never seen alive again.

Ian Huntley (a caretaker at their school) and Maxine Carr (the girl’s primary school teaching assistant) were later arrested.
Ian Huntley had been known to the police and social services between August 1995 and July 1999, he had 11 separate allegations against him (9 for sexual offences), 4 rape allegations and 1 indecent assault charge on an 11-year-old girl.

In 2004 the Bichard Inquiry was launched. This reviewed the vetting procedures and barring scheme for people working with children.