Criminal checks fee freeze 'a sop'

Leonard Cheshire has dismissed the Home Office's decision to freeze fees for Criminal Records Bureau checks at £31 as a sop, saying further price rises are due next year.

Clare Smith, director of human resources for the disability charity, said the vetting and barring scheme that is being introduced next year to protect children and vulnerable adults would lead to new checking costs.

"Although we are pleased fees haven't gone up, this is simply the lull before the storm," said Smith. "The scheme means that we will have to re-check all our staff working with vulnerable people. It's a bit of a sop."

The Home Office announced that the CRB had achieved self-funding status for the first time.

Dan Beety, public affairs manager at palliative care provider Sue Ryder Care, said: "Self-funding status is another way of saying full cost recovery. It seems to be all right for government departments to pursue it, but we are still not getting it for the services we deliver."

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