By Alwyn Deacon-As most of you know I am a member of the Territorial Army, I am in the 4th Mercian regimental band.
This year, on 11th August, the Regimental Band is due to play at the Olympics in London; this would have been one of the many highlights of my career.
All members of the band had to go though an accreditation process which involved the Home Office doing background checks; the following is from the Home Office website.
London 2012 accreditation Main Content
Many of the people attending the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues for official or work purposes will need to be accredited.
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is the process of identifying and issuing a pass to those individuals who will need access to Olympic and Paralympic venues in an official capacity during the Games.
This process includes background checking applicants to help ensure the safety and security of the Games.
Accreditation passes are used to identify people and their roles at the Games and to allow access to relevant sites, which may include areas where spectators do not have access.
People to be accredited include athletes, coaches, officials and selected media (collectively known as 'Games Family Members'), as well as workers and volunteers.
If you need to be accredited you will be told by the organisation you are working or volunteering for.
If you are an athlete or official, your National Olympic / Paralympic Committee will inform you.
Who is responsible for accreditation?
A person is successfully accredited at the sole discretion of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is responsible for deciding who needs to be accredited and issuing the passes.
The Home Office is carrying out the background checks on their behalf and will advise them whether an applicant is suitable for accreditation.
If you apply for accreditation your completed application form will be passed, via your employer (or responsible organisation), to LOCOG, who will then send it on to the Home Office.
Proportionate but stringent checks are being undertaken on everyone applying for accreditation to the Games.
The checks include immigration, criminal record and security checks, to determine each applicant's suitability for accreditation.
Once checks have been carried out the Home Office will recommend that accreditation be refused to any individual it believes may present a safety and security risk.
This rigorous process has been designed to ensure those working at the Games are fit to do so.
On Saturday 21st July, I along with the band turned up at the Ricoh (city of Coventry stadium) to have our photo's taken for our passes for the games, the others got their passes no problem, but I was told that mine was put on hold so the Home Office could do further checks on me, I wonder why.
They gave me a number to ring to find out when I could get my accreditation done, so I went home and felt angry at this, I have tried to phone this number non stop all week but its always engaged, So on Thursday 26th July I went up to the Ricoh to find out what was happening, I got there, parked up and crossed the road walked straight passed the security staff and a couple of policeman, I never got challenged once, and went straight into the building for accreditation, once in there I asked the staff what was happening with my pass, they checked on the computer and replied "sorry you have been denied," when I asked why they said it was an Home Office decision and they could not give me a reason, so I looked on the Home Office website to find what the grounds for refusing accreditation was, and this is what it said.
Grounds for refusing accreditation
As a guide, individuals will not be recommended for accreditation if they have not been free of the sentence restrictions for a conviction for at least 12 months and up to five years in more serious cases.
A sentence restriction is defined as the period from the end of the sentence.
If you are due in court on a charge for an offence that would not be considered as grounds for not recommending accreditation, then the Home Office will not take into account the charge you are facing.
If the charge is for an offence that, should it result in a conviction, would be considered grounds for not recommending accreditation, then the Home Office will reach a decision based on the outcome of the court hearing.
Accreditation will also not be recommended where an individual’s presence at the Games (or in the UK) would not be conducive to the public good.
So from this I can say, I have not got any convictions, so I can only presume because I am a member and employed by the British National Party my presence at the games would not be conducive to the public good.