One for model railway club members really. Much has been made recently about
the need for enhanced CRB checks for those who regularly have contact with
children and other vulnerable adults. These people will appear to have to
have a CRB check costing about £70, at their own expense. How is your club
handling this if you have a junior section? I know of at least one club
that is closing it's junior section in response to these proposals, which is
a pity.We are just in the process of forming a club in mid-Lincolnshire, and
would welcome any advice which could be incorporated into the club rules.
Slightly off topic but i'm in Amateur Dramatics, and my outfit started
talking about setting upa youth arm, in order to get teenager off the
streets and give them something useful to do.
When we started to investigate what this would entail, we found that we
would have to basically build a complete new dressing room for the kids
to be staffed by CRB checked people. We quickly abandoned the idea on
cost ground befroe anything else. Guess who lost out in the end. The
very tennagers that society is demonising because they are out of control.
We did once have a young girl in a play but she was chapperoned by her
grandad, but how many parents could be arsed these days to actually
spend time with their kids?
The UK is going to the dogs.
Its worth finding out if you can get checks as a volunteers as those are
I've no idea if non-profit model clubs can do this in practise, but the
comments by spokes-people on the radio imply that those who are volunteering
their time and not earning can have their check for free. The discussion is
usually in terms of sports, charities or other leisure activities for
children where the adults are not paid.
I can't see a fundamental difference between a hobby athletics club with a
junior section and a hobby model club with a junior section. Both have a
structure and someone to look after the club's money, some premises (either
rented or bought), some equipment bought for the activity, subscriptions
paid by members to cover costs of running club, members who have their own
equipment and bring it along to the club, have events where the public can
pay to come and see what's happening (sports competition vs. model
exhibition), do things which occupy the members, encourage juniors to
participate, learn skills, become more capable, etc.. In those terms, I
cannot see a difference; if the athletics club volunteers can have free CRB
checks, then so can the model club.
Otherwise, I think your choice of actions are down to either;
a) no under 18's and no vulnerable adults (typically learning difficulties)
b) under 18's / vulnerable adults ONLY if accompanied by their
The current rules, whilst perhaps for well meaning intent, are destroying a
lot of club activities and voluntary work. I think the baby has gone out
with the bathwater, bath, and most of the bathroom fittings.
"Keith Patrick" wrote
Isn't it a sad reflection of society when knee-jerk reactions become the
norm & ordinary people are potentially demonised in this way.
It the namby-pamby brigade want to legislate to avoid child abuse, then it
should be aimed at the area where most problems arise, and that's with the
parents and close relatives of kids.
Maybe potential parents should be required to have a CRB check before
they're allowed to have kids.
That's what happens now are governed by single issue pressure groups.
Just a shame that those of us who have been trying to point out the folly
of this for years were just laughed at until something came along that
effected those doing the laughing ;-)
Ian Huntley (assuming that he is actually guilty and isn't to be freed by
subsequent court of appeal) was caught and punished by laws that existed at
the time of his offence. therefore, no new laws were needed in response to
his activities. It has been said elsewhere that the previous CRB (and now
checks would not have in any case prevented him.
The whole ethos of the situation was presumed to be to prevent sexual
deviants from having contact with children, and yet it seems to be those
who stole sweets from the sweet shop when they themselves were children
who are being excluded.
In terms of the OP, the only solution can be to exclude all children from
activities and social clubs intended in the first instance for adults. That
always been the case for pubs and drinking dens, so it is only a small step
to increase the scope to cover all forms of social club, especially those
for railway modelling.
Perhaps that would not be a bad thing, for it would ensure that only those
who had a genuine long-term interest would seek membership of our clubs.
It goes against the whole traditions of Brit justice where one is presumed
innocent until shown to be otherwise for anybody to have to prove that
he is not a paederast. (Stricly, all parents who love their children are
just as we are railwayphiles)
The state of affairs is ridiculous when those of us who withdraw from areas
we might come under the new draconian laws leave the field open to the
paederasts, who were illegal anyway, and to whom the new laws would
As I understand it the check is free for volunteers, yes.
You can't approach the people who do the checking yourself. You have to go
through someone else and that body is allowed to charge a handling fee. I
gather that provided the body handling your check agrees to do so they don't
have to be working in the same area as you so you could work through an
athletics club or a youth club or your local authority or through a non
local (to you) authority. Listen to R4 at noon - there was an item about
This is so that you do not become aware of false accusations and
runours that may have been laid at your door; accusations that
you are prevented, through ignorance of them, of defending
Again, something contrary to the traditional spirit of Brit justice
But far more dangerously, if you were turned down for some minor issue
the you could easily end up with a mob outside the front door - as
happened on the Paulsgrove estate in Portsmouth during the last media
feeding frenzy when the mob attacked a pediatrician's house.....
Yes, I heard some of that piece when out and about, and was going to post an
amendment to my posting. Thanks for passing the latest gem along....
"The free check isn't really free as an approved body has to request the
check for you, and they might charge an admin fee......".
If I recall correctly, the minister said something about still open to
consultations, so bombard the muppet with questions about why "free for
volunteers" means in practice "pay fee to be allowed to continue
(My guess is that some charities, trade unions and similar bodies might
eventually work out free handling schemes for their members who are
volunteers. Whether its practical for some umbrella "Society of Model
Clubs", or similar body to form and do this is an open question. )
In my previous job, an ex-employee approached us to see if we could give
her 15 year old son a job as he'd just left school. As it happened, we
could offer him a job. Except when we looked into "child labour" laws
it just wasn't practical, and one of the reasons was that every employee
would have had to have a CRB check, paid for by the company. We just
waited a few weeks until he was 16, when miraculously he's deemed to be
safe from predators...
That went out long ago. Just look at what happens when someone is
charged of any sex crime (or any other crime for that matter) - the
media vilify the accused without bothering to wait to find out if the
accused is actually guilty. Specifically in sex crimes, that can have
an absolutely devastating effect on the accused's life if they turn out
to be innocent.
Without knowing any more than has been in the papers, this strikes me as
one of those cases where there might just be slightly more to it than
meets the eye, or would fit the usual IT'S POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE
MAD!!! line which sections of the media like to take.
Do children actually *want* their parents following their every move,
monitoring everything they do, never letting them out of sight, even in
an adventure playground?
Someone made a comparison with schools, where we don't generally allow
parents to go in and sit and watch their kids all day, and parents who
try to do so are generally considered a downright nuisance, if not a bit
odd as well.
If some parents genuinely think the playground is run by axe murders
and/or paediatricians, why are they taking their kids there in the first
about Harwoods and Harebreaks Adventure Playground
Contrary to reports in the media, Watford Borough Council has not banned
parents from public parks and playgrounds in the town!
The press have inaccurately reported what Harwoods and Harebreaks are;
they are not open public facilites. They never have been. They are
closed, fully supervised facilities.
They are no different to other fully supervised facilities, like
schools, playgroups or nurseries - where adults are not allowed to stay.
Parents and carers are, of course, welcome to bring their children
safely into the sites and settle them in.
If parents aren't happy leaving their children - there are lots of other
options open to them. In the town, there are 4 community centres, 5
children?s centres, over 40 areas of park and playgrounds, as well as a
museum, two libraries... These are also free to attend and open to everyone.
That does put a different light on it. Once, the BBC was a good, solid
media organisation. It seems to have been getting more and more tabloid
over the last decade or so.
I bet the H&S mob would have had a fit if they saw the sort of adventure
playgrounds we had as kids! Demolished factory sites with structures
made of telegraph poles and rotting pallets, with wire slides hurtling
down to the ground. Anyone remember the Felix Road adventure playground
in Bristol during the 1970s/80s??? It wasn't anything like it is now!!
You sure, thought it said on the form that I recently filled in that you get
a copy of the report. Realise its a big mistake but have agreed* to go on
cub camp next year as the general dogsbody and car driver if anyone has to
go to A&E - transport by minibus not allowed for some reason.
* Or at least tot did.