I am on record as thinking that the developing vetting database is a very bad idea, and it’s moving us from a place where we presume innocence to a place where all are guilty until they prove (through the wonders of bureaucracy) that they are not a threat.
Which is a very bad thing. Especially since the bureaucracy that is going to be doing the proving is working with datasets that are fundamentally flawed.
However, trust the Norn Irish to be leagues ahead when it comes to such flaws.
In 2008, he [Sir Ian Magee, investigating the implementation of the flawed response to the dodgy Soham inqury recommendations] reported there were “only limited links” between the Police National Computer (PNC) in GB and Northern Ireland police information.
It meant that only information relating to sex offences and some other very serious offences in Northern Ireland was put on to PNC.
They forgot a bit there. They should have said It meant that only information relating to sex offences and some other very serious offences in Northern Ireland was put on to PNC as is just and proper.
For it is not important that lesser crimes are on the PNC for this vetting scheme – the point was that sexual offenders and other serious offenders are the people that the vetting is supposed to stop. Why worry about lesser offences if they’re not going to be, at some point, barring people from being on the trusted list. And then who decides what minor offences stop you from getting one of the 11.6 million jobs that will eventually require vetting?
In short: they’re talking shit, and the PSNI isn’t (yet) playing ball with them. For which they get a pat on the back.