Tougher identity checks for CRB applications

The government has introduced tougher identity checks for people applying for criminal records.

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has strengthened checks to make it harder for people with a criminal record to hide convictions by changing their identity to hide their past.

The CRB has also reduced the number of documents accepted for identity verification. From now, applicants will be required to produce documents that involve undergoing tighter checks with the document issuer, such as a passport or driver's licence.

“It is vital that we do everything we can to protect all members of the public, especially vulnerable people and children,” Criminal Information Minister Lynne Featherstone said. “CRB checks play a crucial role in preventing harm to vulnerable people, so we are making these changes to ensure the system is as robust as possible. These changes will help ensure everyone can continue to have confidence in this important system.”

The new ID checking process requires applicants to produce three ID documents from the new reduced list. If they cannot, they will be required to undergo further checks.

Plans for these further checks are now being finalised. Details of how they will work will be sent to the relevant organisations shortly.

“The changes are designed to enhance the good working practices adopted by many organisations when verifying and validating the identity of those they intend to recruit, appoint or licence,” Steve Long, Chief Executive of the Criminal Records Bureau said. “Registered Bodies will have until the 31 August 2012 to phase in the new ID checking guidelines. CRB will provide all the support and advice they need in order to bring this into effect.”

A transitional period for introducing these changes, running parallel with the existing guidance to Registered Bodies runs from  28th May to 31st August 2012, when the existing guidance will cease.

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