‘Draconian’ child abuse vetting plans halted

By politics.co.uk staff

Home secretary Theresa May has halted plans to introduce a vetting scheme for adults who come into contact with children.

The Labour government’s original proposal would have seen all those who are regularly given responsibility for children required to undergo a crime check.

Those who read to children at school, drive them to sports practice and other volunteer helpers would have been affected.

A review by Sir Roger Singelton of the Independent Safeguarding Authority reduced the numbers affected from 11 million from nine million, but Ms May today pledged to halt registration which was due to begin next month.

“You were somehow assumed to be guilty until you were proved you weren’t. There were all sorts of people who were concerned about this,” she said.

“It was a draconian measure when it was introduced. That’s why we halted the process, and are going to remodel the scheme.”

Labour’s legislation implementing the changes went through parliament in 2008 in the aftermath of the Soham tragedy, in which schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were murdered by their school caretaker Ian Huntley.