Not content with requiring three different bills with an address, a passport, driving licence, birth certificate, marriage certificate, a letter from your mum and a valid credit card, the big two video rental agencies are now going to require a Criminal Records Bureau check before they will let prospective customers rent DVDs.
"It's to protect our assets," said Jack 'Buster' Block, CEO of one of the two DVD rental agencies instigating the policy. "The DVDs cost us two pounds per DVD, we can't be renting them out to any Tom Dick or Harry."
Depending on the results of the CRB check, the rental agencies may prevent a customer from renting any DVD or game, however, the customer may just be prevented from renting videos or games that contain children, violence or scenes with vulnerable adults.
"We can't be seen to be hiring children's films to known paedophiles," said Block. "This protects us, as well as the consumer."
CRB checks that come back indicating that a person has a conviction for theft, piracy, counterfeiting or parking violations will be completely barred from renting videos.
"These are the sort of people who will rip us off," said Block. "The sort of people we don't want to rent videos too."
Public privacy groups are up in arms at this casual use of the CRB system that has been put in place to protect children and vulnerable adults.
"This is a gross invasion of privacy," said Cathy Bean, spokeswoman for Privacy, a non-profit organisation that represents people whose privacy has been invaded. "Most people will come back clean, but that's not the issue. I believe that this is a money making scheme by the CRB, as they charge fifty pounds per check. They should not let just anybody request a CRB, there should be stricter guidelines."
"People should think themselves lucky," Block responded. "We were going to insist that all members sign up to organ donation before renting. Just in case they died while in possession of one of our videos so we could ensure we got our late fees by selling off their organs."