Twenty thousand judged 'unsuitable' for work with children

Criminal record checks stopped more than 20,000 people from working with children and vulnerable adults last year, according to the Criminal Records Bureau.

The bureau's figures for 2007, published today, mean a total of 80,000 people have been judged unsuitable for working with vulnerable groups in the past four years.

The research, which was conducted by polling company Mori, also asked CRB users whether they were satisfied with the service they received. Ninety-two per cent said "yes", although only 38 per cent said they were "very satisfied".

Seventy-one per cent of those who had dealt with the CRB said they would speak highly of its checks for recruitment purposes.

In nearly nine out of 10 cases, an applicant's criminal record did not prevent them from being employed.

Vince Gaskell, chief executive of the CRB, said: "2007 was the first year that the CRB froze fees fee levels and the first year it exceeded targets for issuing checks."

Home Office minister Meg Hillier said the results "clearly demonstrate that employers recognise the importance of CRB checks".

The CRB has conducted more than 16 million checks since the organisation was set up in 2002.

Rosie Walker recommends

Criminal Records Bureau

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