Response to publication of ISA guidelines

March 22, 2010

Our attention has been brought to an response by Roy Everett on the Children and Young People Now website concerning an ISA press release  on its newly published guidance on the ISA’s vetting and barring scheme.  His response is as follows:

Hillier’s assurances carefully side-step the key flaw in the system: Singleton’s insistence that mere allegations are now sufficient to warrant barring, even if the matter has been heard in a criminal court and a finding of “not guilty” has been returned, or there has been a similar outcome in the Family or Civil Courts. However, even this blunder is numerically swamped by the number of cases in which allegations were made in other arenas, such as a family court proceedings, child protection kangaroo courts, professional disciplinary hearing or mental health tribunal hearings. Cases like this often do not come to court, are settled out of court, or are found by police to be maliciously false, paranoid delusions, therapist-induced false memories, or merely faulty communication or the result of child adoption tactics by local authorities to meet their adoption quotas.

Even if a judge makes a “finding of fact” that an alleged abuser has not committed the offence alleged in court or in conference, the allegation is routinely circulated to the accused’s employer and their voluntary organisations, who will almost certainly suspend or dismissed the accused. This is iniquitous, as the allegations are not clearly stated unless they were on an indictment in a criminal case. Instead they appear in a “redacted” form in documentation circulated within local authority and school databases. Indeed it is unlawful under some situations for employers to share with applicants information supplied by the police about allegations. The allegations may be supported with assertions about why the “judge/jury got it wrong”, or references to “insufficient evidence”.

Furthermore, the list of relevant offences I still wide, including animal cruelty and immoral earnings \(yet not adultery). The system is wide open to abuse by all manner of troublemakers, depressives, borderliners, fantasists, paranoiacs and hypermaniacs.

By October 2010 massive backlog of complaints will have accumulated from falsely-accused persons who suddenly find themselves suspended, blacklisted, or dismissed on mere rumour rubber-stamped at Darlington. Some of these people are unable to find out what the allegations are or are not provided with any effective and affordable scheme for challenging them.

For crying out loud stop this nonsense while there is still time: cut the Newspeak about “issuing guidelines” and “assisting voluntary groups”. Start listening, and dump the VBS now.

 

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