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"Wargames Clubs & Protection of Children" Topic

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Prof Pate14 Sep 2009 2:57 p.m. PST

Just thought I'd add this from the bbc website today


Looks like wargames clubs are in clear – from horse's mouth.

stenicplus14 Sep 2009 5:09 p.m. PST

"Looks like wargames clubs are in clear from horse's mouth."

I can't see the bit that says that?

Steve P

Jemima Fawr14 Sep 2009 10:09 p.m. PST

Where do you see that, John?

If your club accepts children and/or if you regularly give a someone else's child a lift to club (as I was when I was a kid), your club needs to get it sorted. But as has been said, it's a relatively painless process and should be free.

Gwydion15 Sep 2009 2:52 a.m. PST

I suspect 'Irony'?
If you want an answer for your club write and ask – as I did see above.
I have seen nor heard anything inconsistent between the answer I received on 21 July and what has been said by the people running the organisation this week.

Guthroth15 Sep 2009 5:32 a.m. PST

As always with this govt, the devil is in the absurdly loose wording of the act

"Anyone taking part in activities involving "frequent" or "intensive" contact with children or vulnerable adults three times in a month, every month, or once overnight, must register with the ISA. "

So, if young Johnny comes to his wargames club 3 times in a month without his mum or dad and plays a game against someone over 15, or where the umpire is over 15, this counts a 'frequent' contact, and said opponent or umpire will require a VBS check.

(Yes, over 15 is correct. According to the new rules 16 & 17 year olds are both possible victims and possible offenders).

From my reading, the easiest way round it is to get club officers (Chairman, Treas, Keyholder, etc) to get a VBS check and then ensure one of them is present every week.

Jemima Fawr15 Sep 2009 6:51 a.m. PST


There is inconsistency even in what the ISA itself says.
When I phoned them up and explained that we were mainly adults, but had a small number of unaccompanied children as members, they told me in no uncertain terms that AT THE BARE MINIMUM the club officers should be checked and anyone giving regular (i.e. more than 3 times per month) lifts or sole supervision to the kids should also be checked.

I think that if you were starting to recruit kids, their attitude and reply to you would change faster than you can say 'weird adults with toy soldiers playing with children'.

I think that Guthroth's final comment above is the prudent course of action, if nothing else, to ensure that the club is seen to be doing the minimum.

Jemima Fawr16 Sep 2009 8:06 a.m. PST

'And lo it came to pass…'

My oppo Martin Small has just had a phone call from the local authority's 'Child Support Team' to find out what the club does, what the level of involvement by children is and who the 'responsible persons' are…

A phone call soon to be repeated in wargames clubs up and down the country, I suspect…

Guthroth16 Sep 2009 8:15 a.m. PST

R Mark Davies, at the risk of setting a precedent, could you keep us up to date with your clubs replies – and how they go down at the local authority please ?


Jemima Fawr16 Sep 2009 8:28 a.m. PST

There's a slight snag with that, as Martin and I have just jacked the club in due to the pressures of other commitments and the fact that we both now live 20 miles away from the club, in the same village… So we'll probably just wargame at home from now on, with a few invitees.

I also wargame with my cadets, but with that hat on, I'm already CRB'd up to the hilt.

So we've passed the buck on to the surviving club members. As it happens, the present club boss is a paramedic, so like me, already has a relevant Enhanced CRB and he's always present at the club as the keyholder, so I don't foresee any difficulties there.

Hans Landa20 Sep 2009 10:40 a.m. PST

I used to run a reenactment group here in the uk and the other year i phoned the CRB office to ask if we as reenactors would have to have a CRB check if we had any under 18s within the group i also asked if this would be the same for my local wargames group also.
they told me that at the moment clubs, groups and societies dont have to be CRB check as its purely voluntary for these but it may change.
If it does come in that all members of wargaming groups have to be cRB check then it will be the end of the hobby well for clubs any how.

I have a CRB check for work but this means jack Bleeped texte for wargaming as they arnt transferable. A work mate of mine his wife works for a local hospital she is CRBed she got a new job on a different floor at the same hospital but she needed a new CRB as her old one was for her old job even thou it was for the same hospital.
easiest thing to do is ring the CRG people and get the info from the horses mouth then off an internet forum too mcu chinese whispers.

Gwydion20 Sep 2009 12:41 p.m. PST

HW – The Independent Safeguarding Authority – the new body whose creation has sparked off all this- was set up to stop the multplicity of CRB checks – and indeed ISA registration is one off an transferable – if you need to be ISA registered for work it should cover you for anything else – not chinese whispers – see their site.

stenicplus21 Sep 2009 3:32 a.m. PST

RFU Child welfare officer… or whatever they are called, was at my son's rugby minis yesterday doing a spot check on the club. As it happens our club officer in charge of these matters was on hand anyway and collating the CRB forms and handing out ones to those that needs them.

Steve P

Hans Landa22 Sep 2009 4:15 a.m. PST

Just this minute got off the phone to the CRB. I asked them as wargamers who attend local clubs and who have some members who are under 18 who attend with relatives or friends of the family would we as members have to all have a CRB check the answer is no we dont as the under 18s are supervised.
Also i asked if club members would have to pay for a CRB check say in the future again the answer is no as we are classed as volunteers.
He did say that there may be changes in the CRB checking system as mentioned in the media the past coule of weeks but this if it does come in wont have until 12-24 months time but didnt say if groups like ourselves would be affected.
So at the momment carry on enjoying our hobby.

Prof Pate27 Oct 2009 2:38 a.m. PST

Does anyone know if the ISA check actually – i.e. legally, or practially i.e. in eyes oflocal authority – replaces either CRB or enhanced CRB?

John FoA

Posted after listening to another 'calm down' message from Singleton of the ISA,but thinking every offical body is going to sit on the 'safeside' and insist anyone who has any contact at all is checked. Witness the Children's Writers, even electricians and plumbers who go to schools or scout huts are going to be vetted.

Kilkrazy27 Oct 2009 5:41 a.m. PST

There are two easy ways out of this situation.

1. Get yourself cleared. My wife and I had to a few years ago as did all parents who ever volunteered to help with outings, fetes and so on at our daughter's school. This was all the parents in the school, basically.

It's not that big a deal. You have to fill in a form and send it off, and you get some certificate in the post a couple of weeks later.

2. Ban children from the club.

(It surely won't be long before every adult in the country has either been cleared or barred from going near a child.)

Calmarac28 Oct 2009 6:30 a.m. PST

It surely won't be long before every adult in the country has either been cleared or barred from going near a child.
There was a disussion on TV yesterday (The Wright Stuff?) along those very lines. It seems likely that every employer will soon require all employees to be screened, regardless of whether they have any actual contact with children or not. This was said to be down to some 'league table' or PR kind of thinking, the idea being that companies will then have bragging rights that "all our employees have been cleared to work with children/vulnerable people", whether they are bank clerks, builders or whatever. It's all good PR.

One area the panel were concerned about is that of spent convictions. You may have an old conviction for, say, theft which is considered 'spent' after so many years and therefore apparently doesn't need to be declared on most job applications. But enhanced CBR checks still include any convictions, spent or not, (and worryingly any unproved allegations it was said) and employers might thus find out about some of their staff's ancient history.

I've worked in schools for 30 years and accordingly I have an enhanced CBR certificate. In fact I currently have two. Three years ago I had one before I started as a part time Teaching Assistant at my local primary school, then last year I agreed to do lunchtime canteen duties and had to have another check done as it was technically a different employer for that role. No skin off my nose as the employers paid for them (i.e. the taxpayer, ultimately), but at £64.00 GBP a pop it's a nice little earner for somebody.

I can easily see the day when everyone will be required to be vetted, for no good reason other than that it's possible (and a nice little earner). After all, what's the point of having all these government computer nets and databases unless eventually everyone's details are all there, in "magnetic ink". Orwell, and Graeme Edge, did try to warn us…

First Man: I think, I think I am, I think.

Establishment: Of course you are my bright little star.
I've miles
And miles
Of files
Pretty files of your forefather's fruit
And now to suit our
Great computer
You're magnetic ink.

First Man: I'm more than that, I know I am, at least, I think I must be.

Inner Man: There you go, man, keep as cool as you can.
Face piles
And piles
Of trials
With smiles
It riles them to believe
That you perceive
The web they weave
And keep on thinking free.

Moody Blues: In The Beginning 1969
YouTube link

The great tragedy of all this is shown by the Ian Huntley case. That scumbag had been cleared by the police checks system and it still didn't protect anyone. :o(

Rudorff28 Oct 2009 2:08 p.m. PST

Re Huntley – he hadn't been "cleared", he had been reported but not prosecuted as CPS thought there was insufficient evidence. That relevant intelligence got lost due to poor inter-force liaison.

That having been said, it wouldn't have made the slightest difference in his case because the kids who died were there to see his girlfriend, who worked at their school, not him. He could have been a plumber or a circus acrobat, the existing regs, and the proposed ones, would not have prevented that tragedy, nor one with similar circumstances from happening again.

DJCoaltrain31 Oct 2009 11:34 a.m. PST

I live in Washington State. While I coached soccer, I had a background check done every two years, and I was issued a letter of compliance. As a Driver's Ed teacher I was re-certified every five years. I've been finger-printed many times and my background checked several times. It's like getting a colonoscopy every year.

RedAce14 Dec 2009 5:03 p.m. PST

The law is the law and we're stuck with it. Perobably difficult to enforce in many cases though. My club (YWS) hasn't taken under 18s as members for a long time now for this reason.

stenicplus15 Dec 2009 3:34 p.m. PST

I heard on the news they are to drop the 'weekly' contact to 'monthly' and change other bits. But it's not a u-turn; oh no, just re-aligning priorites…

Steve P

SteveTheTim16 Dec 2009 2:03 p.m. PST

Having been a member of a variety of wargames clubs since 1973 and as a current active member of two, I say 'Hurrah!' for CRB checks and when will forcible washing and stomach-stapling be introduced?

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