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"Wargames Clubs & Protection of Children" Topic


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Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 4:03 a.m. PST

I raised this topic in another thread, but it probably deserves a thread of its own:


Considering that from 2010 in the UK, all adults having even occasional contact with children or vulnerable adults within a club, company or organisation will be required to have Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks, what steps are clubs taking?

Considering that it has already been a legal requirement for all club officers to be checked for many years (if they have children or vulnerable adults in the club), many wargames clubs I know break the law. This is simply because they are crawling with kids on a club night, yet as far as I am aware, none of them have even considered conducting CRB checks for their club officers.

I have to say that this does not bother me personally, as it is appallingly bad, knee-jerk, typical Neu-Arbeit legislation… But it is the law and it would only take one incident of alleged kiddy-fiddling at a wargames club for the gutter press to mount screaming denunciations of the hobby as a whole.

Are the managers and staff of GW 'creches' CRB-cleared? I don't know, but they certainly work with and have a duty of care for children during games nights and even during the working day.

I run a youth group and there is no way on God's earth that I could possibly allow one of my staff to be responsible for a child before the Holy CRB paperwork comes back.

All organisations from from the Scouts to cadet units, youth clubs, church groups, sports teams, outward bounds centres, school bus companies and even companies conducting youth work experience are required to comply with this legislation by law. Even if you give your son's mates a lift to their football team fixture, or if you give the Scout leader an occasional hand in transporting the Cub Pack to camp, you will be required to have a CRB check for that role from 2010.

So why do we in the wargames hobby assume that we are somehow exempt?

I must add that I do not agree one iota with the legislation and I think that it will kill small, locally-organised clubs and groups of all types stone-dead. I personally believe that allowing children to mix with adults on an equal footing in an organised activity gives that child far greater maturity. However, the Child Protection Stasi disagree.

This is now the reality in the UK and we have to comply, even if just to protect yourself should something happen in your own club (ESPECIALLY if you are a club officer).

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 4:09 a.m. PST

Here's the relevant bit of the new Vetting & Barring regulations that come into force on 1st January 2010:


Regulated Activity:

Regulated activity is the primary area of work covered by the Act and broadly deals with all those who have direct contact with vulnerable groups. Specifically, regulated activity covers any activity which involves contact with children or vulnerable adults and is of a specified nature (e.g. teaching, training, care, supervision, advice, treatment or transport); or any activity allowing contact with children or vulnerable adults and is in a specified place (e.g. school, club, Children's home, etc). For the activity to be regulated activity it must take place on a frequent or intensive basis. Regulated activity also covers fostering and childcare (but not adoption).

In addition, there are a number of defined "office holders" position, where a prescribed post-holder is deemed as engaging in regulated activity irrespective of their actual contact with vulnerable groups. This list includes such people as a Local Authority Director of Children's Services, trustees of children's charities and school governors.

It is worth noting that no distinction is made between paid and voluntary work.


As you can see from this, wargames club members definitely qualify if the club allows under-18s to attend, as it is regular contact with children, in a specified place and on a frequent basis. It's also worth noting that the club officers, being in a supervisory capacity, should ALREADY be checked under the CRB scheme!

I've already asked local child protection officers about this and they are deeply unsypathetic. They don't see the need for mixed adult-youngster groups and suggest that 'junior sections' should be formed, meeting on a separate night… what a load of twaddle.

Even so, the club officers running the 'junior section' will still need to have checks.

But don't panic. There are normally organisations working for local government that provide support to voluntary groups, clubs and societies and will organise all the CRB paperwork for you (my local one is the Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services and there is something similar in every county hereabouts).

CRB checks could be something that is paid for from club subs, but the initial 'hit' of getting everyone cleared at £64.00 GBP GBP a time is likely to be too much for some clubs to afford.

I presume that Games Workshop and other game stores with in-store gaming facilities must already be doing this? does anyone know?

Goober20 Jul 2009 4:11 a.m. PST

Not only that, but my understanding is that if you are in a position where you have more than one area that you are in reponsibility for kids, for instance a scout leader on Monday, football coach on Tuesday, Wargames club on Wednesday, you'd need a seperate CRB check for each one, at £80.00 GBP a pop I think. Why one check won't cover everything is a mystery to me. My GF does occasional shifts as a carer for elderly and disabled people whilst she is studying to become a teacher and each temp agency she works with requires a CRB as does the college she is studying at and each school she does work experience at! We've had to get no less than 6 checks so far.

G.

IUsedToBeSomeone20 Jul 2009 4:17 a.m. PST

Guildford Club deliberately doesn't take any unaccompanied children for this very reason…

Mike

Connard Sage20 Jul 2009 4:20 a.m. PST

Guildford Club deliberately doesn't take any unaccompanied children for this very reason

Doesn't make any difference if they're accompanied or not. If you are around kids you should be CRB checked.

See the recent hoo-ha about children's authors having to pay for the check so that they can enter schools.

link

Pat Ripley Fezian20 Jul 2009 4:27 a.m. PST

in australia we have a similar system gradually coming in but its controlled by the states and you are issued a "working with children" card similar to a drivers licence through the department of justice(because they have access to police records?).

Plynkes20 Jul 2009 4:27 a.m. PST

I blame the papers for creating such an hysterical witch-hunt mindset in the national consciousness in the first place. The same ones who love to moan on about "Political Correctness gone mad."

Power without responsibility indeed.

Tarleton20 Jul 2009 4:28 a.m. PST

What if the kid is accompanied by one of their parents?

Connard Sage20 Jul 2009 4:30 a.m. PST

What if the kid is accompanied by one of their parents?


*sigh* It's like Bleeped texting into the wind sometimes

Doesn't make any difference if they're accompanied or not. If you are around kids you should be CRB checked.

Which bit of that didn't I make clear? Doesn't come from me BTW, but from my sister-in-law who is a 'yoof worker'

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 4:32 a.m. PST

Goober, that's absolutely correct. My CRB check for working with children means absolutely nothing. There was talk of CRB checks being 'portable' with this new regulation, but this seems to have come to nothing, as the government knows a good cash-cow when it sees it…

Mike's example is where I see this all heading – clubs with no youngsters whatsoever and the accelerated ageing of the hobby (and indeed, a general narrowing of kids' hobbies and interests nationally, as they are barred from anything that isn't conventional 'kids stuff', for which the nation will be considerably poorer).

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 4:36 a.m. PST

As Connard says, it makes absolutely no difference if the parent is accompanying their child. The adults in the club will still have 'access' to the child and must therefore be CRB cleared. Indeed, the parent themselves will also have to be cleared – particularly if there are other children in the club!

It's absolutely hysterical and mad, but it's the law and we're stuck with it.

Connard Sage20 Jul 2009 4:37 a.m. PST

Goober, that's absolutely correct. My CRB check for working with children means absolutely nothing. There was talk of CRB checks being 'portable' with this new regulation, but this seems to have come to nothing, as the government knows a good cash-cow when it sees it…

From the link I posted

Once passed, an individual will not need separate checks for each place they work or volunteer in

My s-i-l also understands this to be the case.

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 4:53 a.m. PST

I hope that is still the case (it was certainly the original intention), as it would mean that a great many wargamers with CRB checks conducted through their job or other activity, would be already cleared.

Veteran Cosmic Rocker20 Jul 2009 5:10 a.m. PST

I believed that these were not transferable – I have been CRB checked for being a school governor, a hobby club I am a member of and also a third time for my job.

paulatmaws20 Jul 2009 5:19 a.m. PST

when our club looked at gaming club network to get more 40k players the GCN said that even though our club is for 18+ we still had to be CRB checked.we dont mind the check at all but why do we have to be checked if our membership is 18+? Even if someone is CRB checked it doesnt mean that they may not be predators.The Nanny state and the media as well as the blame culture have created this state of affairs and making it harder for indipendent clubs to recruit young members because of fear of if something happens.

AppleMak20 Jul 2009 5:20 a.m. PST

I have also been following this from abroad, as I no longer live n the UK (and have to say that the recent ill-thought-out legislation in MANY areas is a contributing factor) but my understanding from various newspaper reports was that separate CRB checks are required for different venues etc. Worth getting a clearer legal interpretation, I think.

But the message is quite clear. ANYONE who may come into contact with the designated groups (e.g. minors, vulnerable) MUST have a clear CRB. The bigger issue is that little more than gossip can be included on these reports which I feel is totally unacceptable. This one really did slip through without proper thought or debate.

The objectives are well intended, but the legal "solution" seems poorly thought through, and ill-conceived.

David Brown20 Jul 2009 5:21 a.m. PST

RMD,

You need to obtain a fuller definition of "regulated activity".

When I attend a wargames club, I am NOT indulging in: "teaching, training, care, supervision, advice, treatment or transport." (Though you may well be.)

Thus I am not required to undergo a CRB check.

DB

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 5:32 a.m. PST

Davy,

You're probably correct and you know a hell of a lot more about the law than me, but this is the definition given to us by the local authority and they fully expect us to get CRB'd if we have kids attending.

But if you're a club officer and you accept youngsters into your club, you are in a supervisory capacity and have a duty of care. If you give them a lift to club every week (as I used to be when I was 16), then you're providing transport.

The critical part of that paragraph however, is the latter half:

'or any activity allowing contact with children or vulnerable adults and is in a specified place (e.g. school, club, Children's home, etc). For the activity to be regulated activity it must take place on a frequent or intensive basis. '


This pretty much encompasses everyone present on a regular basis, which is rather worrying (and in my opinion completely unnecessary, but that's what it says).

I hope you're right.

Mark

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 5:37 a.m. PST

Spider,

CRB checks are definitely not transferrable at present, but it has been stated that they may become 'portable' with the new legislation coming into force from 1st January.

Paul,

I couldn't agree more.

Applemak,

Again, I couldn't agree more, yet that was the knee-jerk reaction to the Soham enquiry, where a lot of rumour followed Huntley around the country, but he was never convicted of anything, so was therefore allowed to continue working with children until he murdered someone.

Now we have a situation where rumour and unsubstantiated or malicious accusation may preclude someone from working with children, which is utterly wrong… But then the Child Protection Stasi and the gutter press always trot out the line "But if it saves just one child, it is worth the injustice…" It stinks.

AppleMak20 Jul 2009 5:41 a.m. PST

David Brown.

You ma be right, but it's certainly not clear. From what I have read it might be that you DO need a CRB as you will have "access" to children, etc. Imagine that you are in a club session and there are a few under 18s present. If one of them asks you for some advice, what will you do? By talking to him/her you are 'implicitly' "teaching" and I suspect WOULD be caught under the Act.

Tread very carefully on this one.

xxxxxxxxooooo20 Jul 2009 5:42 a.m. PST

In the US, all GW employees have a criminal background check done before they can start work. This is pretty standard for almost all employers in the US.

BTW- There was a nightmare case in Tennesse a few years ago where a FLGS had a part-time employee caught doing horrible things in the back of the store. The article that made the paper had a picture of the devastated store owner (I felt bad for the guy) sitting in front of his GW product display. I worked for GW at the time, and boy, among us upper managers, that photo caused a full blown freakout.

GW is fully aware of the danger, and whatever their other sins (I am no fan), they take steps to protect the kids. However, the Tennesse story made clear that small businesses are less likely to conduct checks, and that if the applicant has not been previously arrested, checks are useless.

All youth sports orgs in the US have their volunteer coaches and support staff submit to a criminal background check. Their insurance requires it.

Wargames Clubs and other similar small orgs, like re-enactors, book clubs, etc. don't attract that kind of scrutiny. (Yet…)

auton120 Jul 2009 5:44 a.m. PST

I have been following this thread as we had this discussion at a club EGM only a few weeks ago..

Something else springs to mind as well. What is the situation with wargaming shows? We ran a demo game at a show on Saturday just gone (Devizes), we're not members of the club who put the show on but just attending.

At one point we had 5 or 6 lads of, at most 12 years of age, joining in and playing. Would we need to be checked to run a demo game again at another show?

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 5:44 a.m. PST

As an aside; in the cadet organisation I work for, we take youngsters aged 13-19 (they have to leave on their 20th birthday). We are now in the ridiculous situation from 1st January where the over-18 cadets are considered to be Adults and will be required to have CRB checks.

When another local cadet unit (from another cadet organisation) did this, they suddenly discovered that they had four 'sex-offenders' on the books, because they had been cautioned for having underage sex! Those cadets had to be dismissed, even though they had been under-age themselves at the time when they became 'sex-offenders'!

Thomas Nissvik20 Jul 2009 5:48 a.m. PST

Strange indeed. In Sweden, if I want to work around kids in any way, I send a letter to the local police. They send me back a print-out of all cases of kiddy-fiddling or child porngraphy that I have been involved in (this sheet had beeter be empty!), i e "His record is clear". I then include that in my application for the position. This is a free service.
£80.00 GBP a pop, damn!

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 5:51 a.m. PST

I think the status of basic club members is the most vague aspect of all this and could be argued either way. But the writing is definitely on the wall for club officers.

AppleMak20 Jul 2009 5:52 a.m. PST

Guiscard

"All youth sports orgs in the US have their volunteer coaches and support staff submit to a criminal background check. Their insurance requires it.

Wargames Clubs and other similar small orgs, like re-enactors, book clubs, etc. don't attract that kind of scrutiny. (Yet…)"

Well they will in the UK from 2010.

For some reason the government seems to think that there can be a "legal solution" to human behaviours. When I was young (many MANY years ago ;) everyone knew who was a "bit dodgy" and stayed clear. Now, someone who has been clever and not yet attracted attention can get a nice shiny CRB and then everyone else will ASSUME they are fine and stop taking other proper caution. This whole idea is madness.

It will destroy thousands of clubs throughout the UK, and at the same time create a disturbing imbalance between children and adults. When I return to the UK I find myself resisting smiling at the antics of kids in case someone thinks I'm a perv, if a child fell over, I am no longer sure I would rust to help them. So sad, and so avoidable with even a little common sense.

Where I live now children are loved in the true sense, and have an accepted role in the society, there is certainly no more abuse than anywhere else, but the children themselves seem happier and more rounded.

It's a sad time indeed to be in the UK.

AppleMak20 Jul 2009 5:56 a.m. PST

R Mark Davies

A question. You say that four lads (I assume) "had to be dismissed" because they had underage sex (Oh the joys of being 16!). But why did they HAVE TO be dismissed. Once the "offence" was clear – a bit of youthful exuberance – didn't you have the discretion to ignore it?

I am not critisising, just asking. I can imagine thousands of girls and boys that would fall foul of the under-age sex thing. Does that mean they are suddenly now considered as being"unsuitable' to work with other children? Surely not?

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 6:01 a.m. PST

Auton,

Again, that's a deeply grey area. Sensible, reasonably-minded people whould say it was ridiculous to have to have CRB checks… but then the government, and in particular the Child-Protection Stasi, are not sensible, reasonably-minded people…

It is a sad day indeed when someone can't demonstrate their hobby to a youngster and let them 'have a go'. Only two weeks ago, we had a twelve year-old lad join in our game at Bovington so that he could learn the rules. Similarly, my mates and I learned to fish with my grandfather and I would never have got to wargame at all if someone had been afraid to drive us the 15 miles to the club every week!

(Dave B is now going to accuse me of 'child abuse' because he knows I wasn't playing Battlegroup: Panzer Grenadier' with the 12 year-old…) ;o)

Empires at War Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Jul 2009 6:02 a.m. PST

This is a subject i will steer well clear of when i take my 14 year old son to the club on Wednesday night. He would be devastated if he couldn't go any more. Anyway the only person supervising him while we are there will be me. As his dad i assume i will be exempt from this nonsense!

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 6:05 a.m. PST

Applemak,

It's not my organisation, so I've no idea, but if they're on the sex-offender's register, that's it as far as working for the cadet forces goes (along with firearms offences and drugs). I imagine that the lads were caught 'in flagrante delecto' with their girlfriends and were reported by the parents to the police.

If I went reporting every under-16 cadet that I knew to be sexually active, I wouldn't have very many cadets left! I learned long ago to be selectively deaf when driving vehicles filled with gossiping cadets…

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 6:08 a.m. PST

Mick, if only that were true, but the Stasi don't see it that way… It's bloody ridiculous…

Connard Sage20 Jul 2009 6:10 a.m. PST

A question. You say that four lads (I assume) "had to be dismissed" because they had underage sex (Oh the joys of being 16!). But why did they HAVE TO be dismissed. Once the "offence" was clear a bit of youthful exuberance didn't you have the discretion to ignore it?

Again from my s-i-l (she and Mrs Sage are 'at home'). If you allow the 'offenders' to stay and they commit another offence, it's not going to look good in court or in the papers when the prosecution disclose that you knowingly allowed someone who was on the register to remain at your club AFTER it was revealed that they failed a CRB check. Effectively, a youthful indiscretion (and haven't we all had them?) can destroy your life.

Like most of Labour's knee-jerk laws, this one hasn't been thought through. It's a response to the SOMETHING MUST BE DONE brigade.

shaun from s and s models20 Jul 2009 6:14 a.m. PST

we do not have any undr 18's so it should not be a problem in our club, although i am crb checked in my real job, but this legislation is going to severly curtail many childrens activities, as a few localy have already been stopped.
too much legislation which will not make any difference to any clever pedo who wants to get to work with children!

AppleMak20 Jul 2009 6:21 a.m. PST

Conard Sage

I take the point. Perhaps the REAL point, is if the girls were willing, and both were under age at the time (just thought, I assume the girl is on a register as well?) then WHY is God's name are they on a SEX offenders register. Shouldn't that be preserved for actual sex OFFENCES?

Has the world gone mad? It seems only that little corner of "green and pleasant land"

In the view of s-i-l and Mrs Sage, do they really think that such a "discretion" would / should be a reason to prevent anyone from working with children? I wonder how many social workers, teachers, MPs, doctors, nurses, etc. now working before the "sex offenders" register had sex with a complicit partner under 18 years of age. Talk about hypocrisy!

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 6:22 a.m. PST

Quite.

In the only case that I've had the misfortune to have personal experience of, the man in question had indeed, passed several CRB checks!

Veteran Cosmic Rocker20 Jul 2009 6:25 a.m. PST

RMD, thanks for the clarification about transferring in the future.

Kev.

Connard Sage20 Jul 2009 6:31 a.m. PST

In the view of s-i-l [snip], do they really think that such a "discretion" would / should be a reason to prevent anyone from working with children?

Of course she doesn't, and neither do her colleagues. They didn't draft the law though, and they are answerable to their bosses.
So there can be no discretion, everyone is too busy covering their own arse.

I wonder how many social workers, teachers, MPs, doctors, nurses, etc. now working before the "sex offenders" register had sex with a complicit partner under 18 years of age. Talk about hypocrisy!


As I said.

Like most of Labour's knee-jerk laws, this one hasn't been thought through. It's a response to the SOMETHING MUST BE DONE brigade.

Ascent20 Jul 2009 6:33 a.m. PST

This could hit my club hard, half our membership is probably under eighteen. A lot of parents bring their kids along to play with them

It's principally run by one guy and I imagine he's already been checked as he works in family law (Yes I've read that it's currently non transferable) but there is no way we could afford to get people checked, we barely pull in enough to cover hire of the hall.

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 6:33 a.m. PST

Applemak,

Yes, the world has indeed gone mad (or at least, our little corner of it). I imagine that the driving force behind the police action would be the parents of the girls (though I'd be willing to put money on the fact that only the lads were placed on the sex offenders' register and not the girls!).

It's been illegal to have under-age sex for a very long time, but it's only recently that the sex offenders' register has been in existence, lumping youthful indiscretion alongside dirty old men… I agree that it is utterly wrong and that a 'one size fits all' approach does not work.

I have a friend who is on the register for 'public indecency', because he and his girlfriend, on a lovely sunny day in the country, got a bit carried away and were spotted by a copper out for a stroll! So he's now on the sex offender's register as well… but is he REALLY a danger to children?! In that case, so am I and probably so are the majority of the people on this forum…

Connard Sage20 Jul 2009 6:37 a.m. PST

Of course, it's quite possible that an outsider reading this thread could misconstrue our objections…

Now there's a scary thought

AppleMak20 Jul 2009 6:40 a.m. PST

R Mark

"got a bit carried away"

Bligmey, and I thought this was only a problem in Saudi Arabia :-)! I think I'm glad I'm no longer 16.

Connard

I said, "do they really think that such a "discretion" would / should be a reason to prevent anyone from working with children?"

This was really meant as a rhetorical question, but I get the drift.

The more I reflect on this, the more I am totally bemused by the likely impact it will have on the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. It really is beyond belief.

AppleMak20 Jul 2009 6:46 a.m. PST

Connard Sage

Of course, it's quite possible that an outsider reading this thread could misconstrue our objections…

And of course, IF someone contacted their local police, and they chose to "interview" you even if they did nothing (as I assume they would) if a subsequent CRB request came in, they (police) might 'inform' the requester that you had been interviewed on a 'sensitive' issue. Could be the difference between getting a job, or not!

Scary days

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 6:53 a.m. PST

Applemak,

I suppose the difference is that in Saudi they bang you up, whereas in this country they brand you as a danger to children…

Needless to say, only he was put on the register, even though his girlfriend was just as willing (and he's 32, not 16)! ;o)

I agree entirely that we are doing irreperable damage to our country with the constant barrage of badly thought-out legislation and regulation from the do-gooders – and in this, I include over-the-top health and safety policies.

I am seeing more and more kids who have never known anything more adventurous in their lives than hanging out in the bus shelter, who don't have any hobbies, who don't play any sport, who have never been given any personal responsibility and who have never had any form of discipline imposed on them and who regard any attempts at enforcement as 'bullying'.

While I am absolutely legally-bound to conform to all H&S and Child Protection legislation, my own personal opinion is that the 'Every Child Is Precious And Must Be Protected At All Costs From Any Risk' Brigade are destroying our country and indeed, it already seems too late to stop it.

Guthroth20 Jul 2009 6:54 a.m. PST

Can Iask for a bit of clarification please ?

From 2010 do ALL adults attending a mixed club need a CRB to keep the club legal or just the 'officers' ?

Pete

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 6:56 a.m. PST

Connard,

Sadly that is true. The above-mentioned 'Brigade' specialise in howling denunciations, witch-hunts and lynch-mobs (and by and large, the British public goes along with it – particularly when they sniff some compensation coming their way…

Anyway, my apologies, but I've steered this discussion away from wargames clubs…

Does anyone have any experience of trying to abide by the legislation within a wargames club?

The Black Tower20 Jul 2009 7:04 a.m. PST

It will make a big hit for anyone wanting to join a club, CRB check fee plus membership.

Plus inter club games,

Your club may all be over over 18 but now you will not be able to play clubs with under 18s unless you membership has been checked

Jemima Fawr20 Jul 2009 7:05 a.m. PST

Guthroth,

That's the big question, but reading the quote above (and listening to the debate on the radio recently), ANY adult coming into regular and frequent contact with children or vulnerable adults must be CRB checked from 2010.

Club officers should ALREADY be CRB checked under current legislation (for being supervisory and having a duty of care), but I know of no clubs where this is the case.

This is only my reading of the legislation though and it's certainly the opinion of my local authority. If anyone's worried about it, it may be worth seeking legal advice via your local CAB or local Volunteer Sector support service.

I'm really sorry if this worries people, but I've seen this looming for a while and I think it's something that really needs to be disussed within the British hobby as a whole and maybe get some feedback and 'best practice' from the clubs who have already investigated this route and/or have received legal advice.

I expect the majority will blissfully ignore this and good luck to them – the likelihood is that nothing nasty will ever happen and that you'll wargame happily ever after. But if you're a club officer I would pay VERY close attention to the legislation and ensure that you make your decision with all the facts at hand.

AppleMak20 Jul 2009 7:07 a.m. PST

RMD

Given that the act effects a wargames club like any other, I don't think you have steered the discussion off-topic. But with the specific, I would also be interested, even though I am currently out of the UK, my son (14) stays with his mother in the UK and is interested in GW (what else – sad sigh!) and attends their clubs occasionally. I am sure that they will be fully "official", but if I was to spark his interest in historical wargaming (he comes to see me next month, and I want him to play a few ECW games with my armies) I am not sure how well clued up the local club will be.

The last thing I want is for him to join, then find after a few weeks that either it closes (too costly to pay for the necessary CRBs); or too many adult volunteers say "sod this for a game of soldiers" and they leave; or they are "exposed" by the rabid local rag as being "unlicensed"

What to do, and how to find out?

KatieL20 Jul 2009 7:08 a.m. PST

"They send me back a print-out of all cases of kiddy-fiddling or child porngraphy that I have been involved in (this sheet had beeter be empty!), i e "His record is clear". I then include that in my application for the position."

Part of the problem is that in Britain, sometimes they send you back someone else's sheet. Someone who has a similar name or has lived at the same address. So one has to hope THEY didn't do anything naughty either.

And even when they actually get your sheet, they're allowed to include "rumours" and "gossip" on it. So an application sort of assumes that an ex-partner with a grudge or a neighbour you never liked hasn't caused that sort of stuff to be recorded against you. Of course, you can't get it erased, even if the original report was vexatious.

And then a substantial number of people are just wrongly accused of being paedophiles on the basis of someone typing something in wrong… Tens of thousands so far have managed to prove their bad CRB to be in error; we don't know how many people couldn't prove it but it would appear that there's a very real chance that even if you're completely innocent of anything ever, you still might get the CRB people writing to your employer saying you're a "bad un". Good, huh?

It's not just that our government is weirdly totalitarian; it's that it's COMPLETELY INEPT at it as well.

Guthroth20 Jul 2009 7:08 a.m. PST

I game at an adult only club, so this doesn't affect me directly, but have you ever seen a re-enactment society in full array ?

They are often crawling – LITERALLY ! – with kids and young teenagers. If all adults have to have a CRB I can see some groups like the Vikings, Regia, the SK, ECWS etc simply vanishing overnight …

Bum

Pete

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