Britain’s obsession with sex offenders and criminals in general is adding to the number of people who are unemployed and is driving low level crime. People released from jail, especially those convicted of serious offences are finding it impossible to secure employment as employers become more and more frightened of taking on those with a criminal record.
Take a trip to your local Job Centre and access the job vacancies (if there are any) presented on the terminals. Or look in an employment agency’s window and examine the cards in the window. Check the local paper and look at the vacancies advertised there. More and more of them require a CRB check, even those positions that don’t really qualify for one.
One local supermarket manager told TheOpinionSite.org, “It’s now company policy not to employ anyone with a criminal record, even for the most minor offence. We simply can’t be bothered with all the checks and the interference from the authorities, not to mention the criticism which is bound to come our way from the public.”
The worst is yet to come with the Government still reviewing the role of the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) who will ultimately decide who should and who should not be blacklisted and do so based on opinion rather than evidence; they would also take over responsibility for running the CRB.
The British obsession with sex offenders was responsible for the setting up of the CRB, that and a typical, Blairite knee-jerk reaction to the murders of two children and the review that followed. Then the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) – also born out of the Blair/Brown populist need to cave in to the child protection lobby – and the Murdoch media – was created.
When it was realised that 11 million people would become subjects of the ISA’s intrusive mandate, there was as close to a public outcry as the British are ever likely to come. The new Home Secretary, Theresa May realised the madness of the scheme and promised to apply some common sense to it. Little has been heard since.
TheOpinionSite.org made contact with staff in the Department for Work and Pensions, once we had found the London number that they try so hard to keep secret. We asked what the Government was doing to assist the ever increasing number of ex-offenders – particularly former sex offenders – back into work. After a prolonged silence the gentleman concerned told us, “It’s a huge problem that nobody wants to talk about.”
We asked the local Job Centre the same question – and got the same answer. The Job Centre actually revealed that one person had been refused work because he had a criminal record for not paying his TV licence. The area also has a very high number of those convicted of sex offences and serious violent offences, very few of which were able to obtain a job. Some had been fired once the employer knew the nature of the offence.
As the Law currently stands, anyone making an application for a job who is asked, must tell the prospective employer if they have a criminal record and also the nature of the offence. The pathetic Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to those convicted of sexual and some violent offences so there is no protection against discrimination for those concerned.
Let’s face it, no employer is going to take on anyone who is an ex sex offender. They might, in rare cases, employ someone with a history of violence if they can pay them as little as possible.
The reason the Government does not want to talk about the problem is simply that successive administrations, especially the last one, have made so much political capital out of hammering sex offenders and violent offenders.
Ministers have introduced ever longer sentences, introduced and extended civil orders with criminal penalties which are granted on the request of a policemen, the ridiculously subjective and corrupt Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), constant monitoring for life – even after the sentence has been served, the legally discredited Sex Offenders Register (a problem the Government still has to deal with following a ruling by the Supreme Court last April) and of course the public paranoia and fear encouraged by money-making children’s charities, women’s groups and profit hungry tabloid newspapers.
Now we have nearly 50,000 people on the Sex Offenders Register, thousands and thousands of people on the Violent and Sex Offender Register (you don’t even need to be convicted to get on that one) and even more than that on the Social Services database, many of whom are there without any evidence being presented or tested.
There are close to 2,000,000 people who have a criminal record and who are subject to one of the sanctions listed above. They cannot get a job, they live off the paltry state benefits and, when they run out of money often turn to crime.
Successive Governments, following the US model rather than that of other European States have managed to create a huge ghetto of people who have no hope, no money, no job, often no family and no help either.
They are a product of often corrupt politicians, who exploit defenceless people who have already paid for their crimes as a means of gathering cheap votes and satisfying a lust for more and more power over others.
It is ironic that Jacqui Smith, the discredited, expense-fiddling former Home Secretary, like her discredited colleague David Blunkett, did more than most to increase the restrictions on sex offenders and others, yet managed to rip off the tax payer for £60,000 and got the public to pay for her husband’s sex movies; yet she herself got off without any sanction other than having to apologise to Parliament.
The only good thing out of all that was that the voters rightly kicked her out.
The Government should offer ex-offenders the employment that nobody else will. They should properly revise the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and get rid of the ever increasing sanctions on sex offenders, most of whom are unlikely to re-offend and who would much rather work for a living, pay their taxes and get back into normal life.
Ministers have for years said that the best way to reduce re-offending is to ensure that ex-offenders can work and live normally. It’s about time they stopped spouting their meaningless nonsense and actually started to do something.
Not talking about it is not the answer.
As for the CRB and the ISA, the sooner they are consigned to history the better.