Removal from Children’s Barred List

By  |  17.02.2016

Solicitor Richard Easton has successfully argued that his client should not be included on the children’s barred list after the Disclosure and Barring Service alleged that the client had committed child sex offences despite the fact that he had never been prosecuted for them.

The Disclosure and Barring Service maintains the children’s and adults’ barred lists, registers of those prohibited from working with children and vulnerable adults. If included on both or either of the barred lists, you would be committing a serious imprisonable offence if caught trying to work with children or vulnerable adults. An enhanced criminal records certificate will also include information about the barred lists – and being added to either register will mean that any job application that requires an enhanced certificate is almost certain to fail. There are (according to the last figures released) 54,444 people on the barred lists.

It is, of course, right that society’s most vulnerable individuals are protected from predatory people. But what if you have been accused of a serious offence that you have not actually been convicted of – or even tried for? What if it is entirely inappropriate for you to be on a barred list even if a serious (though unproven) allegation has been made against you? Should you then lose your job?

My client is a taxi driver who stood to lose his private hire vehicle licence if included on the children’s barred list. I argued that it could not be shown on the balance of probabilities (a harder standard of proof to argue against than the criminal law’s test of beyond reasonable doubt) that the offences had been committed and that, even if the offences had been committed, it was not appropriate to bar a trusted taxi driver from driving children on behalf of schools or other organisations.

The Disclosure and Barring Service agreed that it was inappropriate to add my client to the barred list.

We live in a risk averse society. That does not mean that you should effectively be punished without first being found guilty of an offence.

If you have been notified that the Disclosure and Barring Service intends to bar you from working with children or vulnerable adults, or the police have added unproven allegations or mistaken information on an enhanced criminal records certificate, please contact Richard Easton.

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