Online Criminal Records – It’d be Criminal Not To

Last year, my husband and I rented an apartment, with nothing else requested of us, except for the bank details for a direct debit and our signatures on the lease.  No ID, no reference checks, no proof of employment.  That’s all, Sally.  12 months later, we’re changing city, and when I chatted with the landlady, her approach has done a 360 degree turn-around.  She wants the new tenants coming into the apartment to provide her with two written references, and proof of their studies.  And she’s right.  This is the way to go.  But why stop there?  Why not pay to get a criminal check done at the same time? can help you with that.

Pick up any newspaper and read the headlines.  There are plenty of people that won’t read the daily paper because there is too much violence reported.  Forget about the crime rates, and whether they are on the rise in your city, or on the decline.  The questions you want to ask yourself is: “How well do you know the people to whom you have extended trust – be it your employee, the child minder, your mechanic or the renter?”, and “Do you have peace of mind, that these people are in your life?”

I surprise myself by having become an advocate for criminal checks.  Why leave yourself vulnerable to the kind of mishaps that may arise, from not knowing who you are dealing with adequately?  A person can easily write: “No criminal record” on an employment form, but unless you check the accuracy of this, what do you expect the person to write?

At times, I get home late at night, and I am suddenly grateful that I made it home safely, and that no harm happened to me on the way.  What if the harm is closer to you than you think, in the safety of your home, your office, or the flat you’re renting out?

An interesting approach is as follows. Tell anyone that you are hiring, in a professional context (a future employee) or in semi-professional context (the house cleaner, or part-time babysitter), that you always ask any employees to undergo a criminal check.  Look at them direct in the eyes.  Their reaction already will tell you something about them.  If you don’t hear back from a person, because you’ve made this request, you probably didn’t want them in your employ in any case.  Professionals will understand.  People with criminal backgrounds may not.