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UK Freedom Bill to be passed today: Reinstating Public Liberties or Endagering Children?

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posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:01 AM
Today the UK Government is unveiling the Freedoms Bill.

This Bill is a massive U-Turn in the "big brother" state that the UK has become under labour rule over the last 10 years and is a massive boost to the civil liberties of the UK, but is it really as the government proclaim "A reversal in the authoritarian legislation" or is it merely a "ratings booster" for the coalition government.

When this bill was first mentioned in the Queens Speech the scope was as follows:

The purpose of the Bill is to:

Roll back the State, reducing the weight of government imposition on citizens that has increased in recent years through legislation and centralised programmes.

The main benefits of the Bill would be:

The exact content of the Bill will be announced in due course and could cover a range of benefits, including:

•Restoring freedoms and civil liberties.
•Providing for greater accountability of the State to citizens.
•Reducing the burden of Government intrusion into the lives of individuals, by repealing unnecessary criminal laws.
•Strengthening the accountability of bodies receiving public funding in light of lessons learnt so far from the operation of the Freedom of Information Act.
•Introducing new legislation to restrict the scope of the DNA database and to give added protection to innocent people whose samples have been stored.
•Allowing members of the public to protest peacefully without fear of being criminalised.
•Ensuring anti-terrorism legislation strikes the right balance between protecting the public, strengthening social cohesion and protecting civil liberties.
•Protecting privacy by introducing new legislation to regulate the use of CCTV.
•Ensuring the storage of internet and email records is only done when there is good reason to do so.

The main elements of the Bill are:

The exact content of the Bill will be announced in due course and could cover a range of policies, including:

•The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency.
•The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
•The reform of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
•The repeal of unnecessary criminal offences.
•Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
•The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.
•Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
•Further regulation of CCTV.
•Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.

What this introduction does not contain though is 2 rather large issues.

Firstly the DNA database reform ensuring that only people convicted for a crime have their information retained appears to only be valid for crimes commited from today onwards leaving 1.1 million innocent peoples details still stored on this system going against the Coalition Governments promise when they took office to have these removed.

Second of all The Governments proposal to scrap compulsory Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks for those working with children and vulnerable adults. The proposal is that those who do occaisional work or supervised volunteer work will not need to go through the CRB check. This, I feel, could leave thousands of children and less abled adults open to varying degrees of abuse. I am all for civil liberties but when it comes to working in sensitive areas such as with children even those with minimal exposure should be checked out.

Child worker checks to be reduced
A New Day for Civil Liberties

So ATSers, what do you guys think?

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:06 AM
I think the child worker check thing is ridiculous. In an age where the trafficking of children is on the increase, as is the number of child abuse related crimes, the coalition go and do something like this like we'll all be happy about it?

Just shows how clueless they are.

Then again, we did allow the head of the Vatican into the country last year...

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:12 AM
Interesting, I will take a closer look, but it does look like a move in the right direction. They will have to be careful, though things like CRB checks are very important. I work with young vulnerable people and volunteer in the probation service, I have to have a seperate CRB check for each job, which seems a bit crazy, but I believe the checks are good, for both the people I work with and for me to have, should anything go wrong.

If I were to have kids and leaving them with an adult, I would feel much more comfortable knowing they had been CRB checked. They could definitely make it easier, with one CRB check being enough for any position, rather than individual checks for every position.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:27 AM
Exactly and I think most parents (including myself) would agree.

Clegg is trying to say that the CRB checks are intrusive and fuelled by suspicion and people were made to feel like criminals. In my line of work I have to be checked for CRB, financially and many others and at no point have i felt like a criminal. If you have nothing to hide why would you?

It is not a matter of suspicion it is a matter of safeguarding the lives and rights of our children!

edit on 11-2-2011 by Truth_Hz because: Tidying up

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 05:52 AM

Originally posted by Truth_Hz
Exactly and I think most parents (including myself) would agree.

Clegg is trying to say that the CRB checks are intrusive and fuelled by suspicion and people were made to feel like criminals. In my line of work I have to be checked for CRB, financially and many others and at no point have i felt like a criminal. If you have nothing to hide why would you?

It is not a matter of suspicion it is a matter of safeguarding the lives and rights of our children!

edit on 11-2-2011 by Truth_Hz because: Tidying up

CRB checks are not intrusive, a pain in the arse to fill out ( I have one that i must fill out today), but hardly intrusive. I'm happy to have it done as its proof that untill this point in my life i have never been convicted of any crime or am on any sex offenders list. I want my fellow volunteers to all have been checked too. I would be far more suspicious of a volunteer working with young people who hadn't been CRB checked.

edit on 11-2-2011 by woodwardjnr because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:02 AM
To play devil's advocate....

On the other hand of possibly endangering children there is also the hope/possibility that this will allow or encourage more people to volunteer and therefor helping children more. There is also the possibility as stated above this could let certain people slip through the cracks and commit crime but also apparently this turn around will only apply to those who are helping out where there will be teachers or other checked people in presence. When the crb checks came in alot of charities and volunteer foundations did see a drop in people helping out, but then again maybe the damage is done now and these figures shall not return, we shall see.

Also to add is the fact I think people and children themselves are more aware to risks posed and as such those not wanting to commit these crimes would be more vigilant causing a self regulating system in the absence of crb checking.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:06 AM
reply to post by Okandetre

To follow on from what you are saying, does this not encourage a more suspicious workplace? Workers will now as you say need to be extra vigilant whereas before you at least had the knowledge that this person at least had a clean history...

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:06 AM
I think they are asking for trouble scrapping crb checks..

I can see future headlines in the sun and news of the world, when eventually a pedophile will get Into one of these jobs and abuses a child..

I don't understand people be made to feel a criminal by it.. Surely it's just a criminal record check, you just fill out a form, get it signed by your employer and send it off.. 8 weeks later you receive your crb..

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:18 AM
reply to post by Truth_Hz

I would agree this would make it more suspicious. If that is a good or bad thing, we shall find out. I know alot of people get turned down for these volunteering roles because of minor criminal records, cautions and such for crimes unrelated to children or vunerable adults, maybe this could be an improvement for them.

I guess the government has had to weigh the idea of the possibility of that type of event happening and the increase of volunteering and chose the latter. The thing most people wouldn't want to have to put a value on is how many extra volunteers is it worth for dropping safety of the people involved? Not nice to have to do but it's the same as in hospitals where they must attribute human life to a value in money.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:34 AM
reply to post by Okandetre

What should be introduced instead is a CRB scoring system based on offences perpertrated by said offender with driving offences taking the lower scoring up to sex crimes and murder being the highest. Kind of like an immigration points system but for sensitive roles.

For people who are scared of doing the CRB check the only people that see the results are the employer, yourself and of course the CRB themselves and they in no way affect applying for other jobs. If you get refused for one role there is nothing to stop you applying for another that may not enforce such strict checks!

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 06:37 AM
Good! The registering and CRB checks of those people not only working full time with children, but involved in any aspect of childcare, even just the school runs, was flawed from day one.
Simply, this would only pick up someone who was already on a database or a registered sex offender. It would NOT filter out anyone with intent to do children harm. Why the hell should people have their details entered into yet another government database for no reason?
I'm sure that the IT and other suppliers getting the contracts to supply and operate these systems love it - they are after all "for profit" private entities - but in reality this system helps nobody.
The police need to get back to basics, investigating and maybe even preventing crime, in the communities, rather than working as target driven business units, doing the bidding of the government. They should never become a political entity, instead remaining free from any political or governmental influence, upholding the law and not acting as government enforcers.
Clear out the politicised top brass, many of whom are fast-tracked university types, and replace them with people who have started at the sharp end and worked their way up. They have a beter idea of the feeling on the street and tend not to care about meeting targets!
The whole pedophile scaremongering, aided by the hysterical press, has once again taken a subject and blown the issue out of all proportion, leaving the public suspecting anyone and everyone of being a danger to children. This just is not true!

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 07:30 AM
Why a Steel Erector has to have a CRB check to work on site is beyond me.
But I fully understand why a Social Worker or Care Assistant needs one in this day and age. Unfortunately it's a sad reflection on today's society.
Obviously reform is required but this maybe too far.

As for the rest of the Bill, I'll have to look at it in detail before giving an honest appraisal but it does appear to be a step in the right direction.

I just have a natural, and well founded I think, suspicion of ALL politicians, regardless of party allegiance, and their motives.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 07:38 AM
reply to post by Britguy

That is the whole point of the CRB check! Although it doesn't prevent a person with no record commiting an offense it DOES filter out those who have already offended therefore excluding them from a position where they are able to offend again and significantly reducing the risk of a child or vulnerable adult being placed in danger.

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 07:41 AM
reply to post by Freeborn

Exactly I think CRB's are not necessary for most positions but for anyone who is in a responsible position of care with vulnerable people it should be mandatory!

posted on Feb, 11 2011 @ 07:57 AM
Here is the published Bill:

Protection of Freedoms Bill


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