To put it into some context here is an article in The Times by Chris Stevenson, a senior detective in the Soham investigation. He has a sense of perspective on the current paranoia that those of us fortunate enough to have never seen the things that he had to see, could learn a great deal from. Especially the 'nothing to hide nothing to fear' brigade.
It means that anybody wanting to work or volunteer with vulnerable people, children or adults, will have to be registered with the ISA as well as having a police check. Here is how the ISA website describes it:
The new Vetting and Barring Scheme will operate under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and under Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007 in its application to Northern Ireland. It will replace the current List 99, PoCA, PoVA, POCVA, Unsuitable Persons and Disqualification Orders regimes.
Once the scheme is fully rolled out (there will be a phased introduction), it will be illegal to hire in regulated activity someone, who is not registered with the ISA. The new scheme will cover employees and volunteers in for example the education, care and health sectors who come into contact with children or vulnerable adults on a frequent or intensive basis and, when fully implemented, will affect some 11.3 million people.
This document is particularly worth looking at:
Guidance Notes for the Barring Decision Making Process
Even an acquittal in court can be ignored if the ISA decide they don't like the cut of your jib:
There could be any number of reasons why a person charged with an offence is acquitted: perhaps the victim decided not to testify and the CPS (Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in Northern Ireland) had to withdraw the case; perhaps the acquittal was based on a technicality; and even where a jury has found someone not guilty of having done something, you must always remember that, at most, this means is that the court did not find that someone did something “beyond a reasonable doubt” (the criminal standard of proof). The test applied by the ISA in relation to barring considerations is ‘on the balance of probability’ (the civil standard of proof). Therefore, even if there has been an acquittal, the ISA must still consider the case for itself on the basis of the balance of probabilities. A barring decision can, therefore, be made, having regard to all the circumstances, if the ISA is satisfied that the events concerned happened, on the balance of probabilities, notwithstanding an acquittal at court. This could become even more relevant where the substance of the offence or the attendant circumstances give cause for concern.
There is also a facility for people to report others to the ISA if they think they may be 'a bit dodgy' and it will be investigated.
The problem is that under the scheme almost everybody is classed as 'vulnerable'.
Under the scheme anybody not registered with the ISA will not be allowed to even apply to work with 'vulnerable people'. That means doctors, nurses, youth workers, social workers, charity workers etc., etc.
Even if a school has organised an exchange visit, the school will have to ensure that at least one parent hosting a foreign pupil is registered with the ISA.
I suggest, if you value your freedom, or what's left of it, you support No2ID.
No2ID is an excellent campaign but there is also a political party fighting to restore our freedoms, the Libertarian Party.