I am not a Criminal!

…and unlike most people I actually have to be able to prove it!

At work it’s easy: our HR department send my details to the Home Office, together with a form that I’ve signed saying they can ask anybody anything about me, and in a mere matter of months the all-clear comes through. For the various voluntary things I do it isn’t so easy, the average Hospital Radio station not having the resources of the Home Office Departmental Security Unit available to it. For these, I have a three-yearly Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

I’ve blogged before about how I’m not a fan of the CRB checks: they only pick up wrongdoers who’ve been caught, and encourage a false sense of security. From the user’s point of view they were a pain in the neck because you had to entrust all your personal documents to Royal Mail as you sent them off to a central checker to prove who you were.

This at least they’ve made easier, and you can now take your documents to the Post Office, where a skilled and experienced employee will confirm your identity, fill in a “veri-fy” form and send the whole lot off for you.

Some hope.

The skilled and experienced Post Office employee that I saw had never seen a veri-fy form before, and nor had the supervisor she consulted. He at least knew that there was a set of instructions they could consult, and between them they managed to make several mistakes in filling in the form, as well as dropping my driving licence on the floor (on their side of the counter) and claiming I hadn’t given it to them.

I think I spotted all their errors and persuaded them to correct them – I hope so, or I might not be going to New Wine this year. I’m going back to the same Post Office branch on Friday to collect my Euros – stand by for another ranty blog.

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