Baden Powell

Perverts Knot wanted in the Scouts

Somewhere out there in the digital world are a bank of computers that hold all the information relating to criminal convictions clocked up by the entire population.

After the case of Soham double murderer Ian Huntley, who managed to get a job as a school caretaker despite having a predilection for sex with underage girls, it was felt this database could be put to good use.

Now anybody who works in even remote contact to children or vulnerable adults has to have a criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The service administers all checks and issues certificates to prospective employers about not only the convictions the applicant might have but also any cautions and any relevant police suspicion. The checks are also carried out on volunteers who want to work with children in charities.

So a few years ago I asked the DBS for details of the convictions revealed in checks run on applicants to the Scouts. It yielded some interesting information about killers, paedophiles and drug dealers that wanted to sit around the kids’ camp fire. The story was published in the Star on Sunday (see below). The prospect of all these villains wanting positions with the Scouts is enough to make its founder Baden Powell (pictured above) turn in his grave I imagine.


scouts star
But the theory of examining applications to the DBS can be done for any organisation such as a council or a charity, or even by the type of job that the person is applying for. So credit must go to Schools Week, who put in the request that gave them the information for an article that was later picked up by the Daily Mail (see below).


It showed that would-be teachers had convictions for all manner of offences including robbery, blackmail, child sex offences and even soliciting to murder. Of course the peculiar thing about these stories is that they are “good” news in that the checks mean these people should be weeded out and denied the opportunity to have access to potential victims. Ultimately it is the prospective employer who makes the decision to hire or not based on what is on the DBS check. But it is hard to imagine scout leaders or headteachers giving jobs to people with these sort of convictions.

What is really surprising is these people with unsavoury convictions go to the effort of applying knowing that their past misdemeanours will get flagged up.

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