COMMENT: Good reason CRB checks in place

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SHOCKING figures revealed in today’s Spalding Guardian about the increasing number of sex crimes against children in Lincolnshire make difficult reading for us all, especially those of us who are parents.

For me it came at a time when I had already been thinking about the dangers a tiny minority of our youngsters face and why there are barriers put in the way of the perverts who would perpetrate these crimes.

Three times in recent years I have been asked to undertake CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks.

On each occasion I had questioned the time and expense involved in checking me out when I was carrying out voluntary work in the community or on behalf of the newspaper.

I was about to launch into another “health and safety gone mad” diatribe on Sunday morning when a very sensible lady put me right.

I had taken the children to church in Long Sutton, only to be told they could not attend their usual Sunday School session as only one volunteer was present to supervise them, and this would be breaking the law.

I happily stepped in so the class could go ahead, but still politely questioned why two adults were needed when there was only a handful of young, well-behaved children.

The shocking answer was, basically, to make sure that one lone adult did not act inappropriately or illegally with a child.

As stark as this reasoning may be, it is borne out by the facts contained in our page 11 story: “Sex crimes on children go up.”

A horrifying 307 sex crimes were committed against Lincolnshire’s children last year and 14 of those poor kids were under five.

The NSPCC is working with schools in Spalding and a number of other local villages after such crimes against youngsters rose in the county for the third consecutive year.

So, please, if you have concerns about any child, follow the NSPCC’s advice and contact the police, social services or the society itself.