New vetting rules threaten scout Jamborees

The 90-year tradition of Scout Jamborees in the UK is under threat because of new Government vetting rules, it was revealed today.

As the first phase of the controversial anti-paedophile scheme starts, the Scout Association has warned it could mean major gatherings of packs from around the world are cancelled.

Organising criminal record and other checks on thousands of foreign Scout leaders was "just not possible", a spokesman said.

Volunteers who fail to register face the prospect of criminal prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.

Simon Carter, Scout Association spokesman, said: "When we hold big international jamborees we rely on adults from other parts of the world coming in and staffing these events.

"The rules for checking people out suggest that if they were to come along and do intensive activity they would have to be checked.

"Clearly we cannot do that, it's just not possible."

The association has written to Children's Secretary Ed Balls asking him to allow voluntary groups greater flexibility within the rules of the scheme.

As well as concerns about major events, it warned parents who wanted to try out volunteering with their son or daughter's pack could be deterred by "bureaucratic and difficult" procedures.

Mr Carter said adults who were supervised constantly while in contact with children should be exempted from the rules for a short period of time.

The regulations made it "significantly harder for people to volunteer," he said.

From today employers and regulators have a legal duty to pass on concerns about anyone they think could be a danger to children or vulnerable adults.

The new Independent Safeguarding Authority will use the "soft intelligence" to rule on who should be barred from sensitive jobs.

New criminal offences mean employers who knowingly give jobs to dangerous individuals face up to five years in prison, as do barred individuals who apply for posts they are banned from holding.

A wider range of jobs, including every doctor, nurse, prison officer and school governor will have to be cleared.

It is estimated around one in four adults could eventually be registered with the ISA, which begins taking applications from new workers in July next year.

Amid public outrage last month, Mr Balls ordered a review of the scope of the scheme.

Officials emphasised volunteers' applications were free and would be processed within seven days.

A spokesperson for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "We recognise the importance of children attending and participating in international events such as jamborees organised by the Scout Association, and would not wish the Vetting and Barring Scheme to act as a deterrent to these events going ahead.

"While the fine detail is yet to be finalised, we are working in collaboration with the Scout Association and others to ensure that the practical operation of the scheme does not impede the operation of these events."

Events involving 10,000 Scouts and around 2,000 volunteers from dozens of countries take place every year.

In 2007 the World Scout Jamboree was held in Chelmsford, Essex, involving 40,000 Scouts and around 12,000 adult volunteers.

Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout movement, hosted the first Jamboree in London in the summer of 1920, involving 8,000 Scouts from 34 countries.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk