MoD wants criminal checks on NCOs

#1
The Herald
MoD wants criminal checks on NCOs
IAN BRUCE, Defence Correspondent
March 30 2007

The Ministry of Defence is seeking an amendment to the law to allow it to carry out criminal record bureau checks on the NCOs sent to train vulnerable Army recruits.

The move, a year after the Deepcut Review criticised aspects of the selection of training staff at depots, would allow the Army to bypass the Data Protection Act to vet the lance-corporals, corporals and sergeants who make up the majority of military instructors.

Anyone with a hidden background of violent bahaviour would be barred from duty supervising the 13,000-15,000 recruits aged 18 or under who enlist each year.

At the moment, employers can request checks on applicants hired to be responsible for under-age personnel, but not on employees already in full-time jobs. Most NCOs have between seven and 10 years' service at their ranks.

The MoD is opening a staff leadership school at Pirbright, Surrey next week to "train the trainers" and ensure that every NCO posted to a depot has been fully briefed on recruits' rights and vulnerabilities.

Part of the course deals with a ban on the informal physical punishments handed out in the past to recruits deemed not to be trying hard enough. Typically, these ranged from verbal abuse to exhausting extra drills, runs or push-ups.

The MoD said yesterday: "The new policy defines what is legitimate to assist trainees to achieve required standards and to ensure that both instructors and trainees distinguish this from bullying or harassment.

"That is always unacceptable. Punishment may only be awarded as a result of a formal disciplinary process."

http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/other/display.var.1296548.0.0.php
 
#2
Bearing in mind some recruits are under 18, shouldn't there be a CRB at anyrate?
 
#3
Finally something I agree with
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#5
chocolate_frog said:
Bearing in mind some recruits are under 18, shouldn't there be a CRB at anyrate?
You would have thought so.
 
#8
oldbaldy said:
chocolate_frog said:
Bearing in mind some recruits are under 18, shouldn't there be a CRB at anyrate?
You would have thought so.
Agreed. Can't help but raise a wry smile at the thought that "Anyone with a hidden background of violent behaviour would be barred".
I know what they mean but it doesn't quite ring true in an organisation designed to inflict maximum violence on the enemy...
 
#10
OldRedCap said:
"For NCOs"

Does this mean that the commissioned officers are already covered by this process? If not, why not and when will they be?
Personally all who work in a recruit/ training environment should have these checks completed, regardless of rank. I am sure that those on the mobile display teams and cadet training tams have them carried out as a matter of course, could be wrong though.
 
#11
Officers nor OR's have a CRB check as a matter of routine. Under SY vetting BC, SC and DV all have checks against various databases but this is not deemed a formal CRB.

More interestingly since many instructors are dicked to go to depots, and CRB checks must be agreed to then what happens of the OR/Offr refuses to allow the check? I guess he/she avoids the posting.

Smacks of silly headline grabbing without any idea of the subject on the part of the politician, but then i know thats a rarety in the good old UK.
 
#12
Barrack Room Lawyer said:
jimmys_best_mate said:
Do they not do a criminal record check on you when you join up anyway?
Im not sure how it works, but doesnt the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 state something about not having to declare "spent" convictions?

http://www.lawontheweb.co.uk/rehabact.htm
There is an exceptions order (1975) which allows for certain listed agencies, the Police for example, to enquire and have you declare any and ALL convictions, spent or otherwise. The current vetting forms require you to declare all convictions as well.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#13
I am in two minds over this; I am against bullying in any form.

However it is a very fine line between bullying and hard training. Many threads have been posted on this site complaining about the attitude of recruits joining their first unit straight from training and not realising that they are there as soldiers and not just in a 9-5 office job.

The quote from the MOD spokesman is fine, but:

The MoD said yesterday: "The new policy defines what is legitimate to assist trainees to achieve required standards and to ensure that both instructors and trainees distinguish this from bullying or harassment.

"That is always unacceptable. Punishment may only be awarded as a result of a formal disciplinary process."
IMHO this will only work if the training NCOs are backed up by the chain of command and that will be difficult if the CoC are constantly looking over their shoulders all the time to check that little Johnny/Jennie has not called some twat like Tony Nutron Bomb from the Scum. If training Cpls are charging soldiers and nothing is done by the CoC then the NCOs will feel that the rug has been pulled from under them.
 
#14
As a QARANC TA bod we've all had to be CRB (enhanced) checked for our Army roles. This is an addition to the CRB check requested by the NHS when we change jobs.

I think that checking anyone who works with young recruits is a sensible move. Certainly if I refused a CRB check for MOD or NHS I'd be sacked/asked to resign commission. I can't see any reasons why someone with nothing to hide would refuse one.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#15
OldRedCap said:
"For NCOs"

Does this mean that the commissioned officers are already covered by this process? If not, why not and when will they be?
Anyone coming into contact with young recruits should be subjected toa check. It makes sense.

I reckon that this is one of the better ideas the MoD have had of recent. They would need to be pretty discrete about it though and do checks before sending people to training centres. I'll put money on that they'll f*ck it up by sending someone in first before doing the checks and either, something will happen, or the individual will have to be swiftly removed and thereby embarrassed, which has the potential to lead to career fouling and social stigma.

It's a really good dea, I just hope that the management understand it and that people don't try shortcutting it internally as has happened with other unrelated issues.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
It's no great hardship to include on the Armed Forces Application Form the consent for a CRB check. Mind you, the MOD will have to pay for it (it costs £10 per application).

I think it's a good idea, but the results of the CRB checks should be considered carefully - not all all criminal histories should be a bar to service. Not sure about doing it retrospectively either.

Looking at it from another angle, the armed forces could be considered the best place for those with a dodgy background as it tends to serve them better in conflict. Not only this, but the much of the UK Army recruitment is from poorer areas where crime is often rife. I'd bet money on the fact that there are quite a few recruits who have strayed from perfection, but who excel in the services, and had they not been there, they might now be in prison through the circumstance of their environment and few prospects.

I think it was Wellington or someone who was rather effusive in his praise of the criminals under his command who beat the French, though I could be wrong.
 
#18
Don't forget, enhanced CRB checks don't only list convictions but "suspicions", things that have never come before a court, or had a Not Gulity verdict, or even led to an arrest, they may just be because someone (or their partner) annoyed a social worker. Also, these do not have to be diclosed to the person the check is on, there are provisions for not revealing this information to the person they are about.

Coupled with the proportion of checks that have identified the wrong person. the CRB checking is not the infallable, impartial machine "to protect the kiddies" that it is portrayed as.

As with a lot of other things introduced and plugged by New labour, treat it with a healthy degree of septicism.
 
#19
To be honest, I'm a bit baffled by this. CRd checks on NCO's posted to Training Depots sounds a bit odd to me. I'd suggest that after ten years in the Army a NCO should have had at least, and I might be guessing here, ten CR's. I'd like to think that a violent thug with a tendancy to attack members of his/her own unit might have been spotted and reported on at least once in ten years, or maybe the odd Regmental entry for fighting or bulling crows in the unit.

MoD is going to do CRB's on NCO's sounds more like stable door bolting after the horse has sold it's story to the Sun. PR and froth.
 
#20
Absolutely right Kit. PR and froth exactly. There is very little chance of concealing any conviction and anything held against you on enlistment is considered before acceptance. In fact concealing any conviction (including technically speeding) is itself an offence against the Army act. This is all a large degree of Bolleuax
 

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