Stockton Council 'used bus drivers without CRB checks'

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Children on Teesside were taken to school by bus drivers who had not been properly vetted, it has emerged.

Stockton Council discovered criminal record checks on five drivers were not up-to-date when it carried out spot checks last month.

The contracts of two firms were immediately suspended. A separate company is now running the services.

A council spokeswoman said children's safety was of "paramount importance" and no risks were identified.

Drivers working with schoolchildren are required to undergo checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service, formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

The council spokeswoman said: "It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure the CRB checks are kept up-to-date.

"At the moment we are carrying out full compliance checks on all our bus operators and as a result of this found five drivers working for two firms did not have up-to-date CRB checks in place."

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