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Criminal convictions

Retention of criminal convictions

A judgement passed by the Court of Appeal on October 19th, 2009 supported the retention of criminal convictions on the Police National Computer (PNC) for policing purposes.

The PNC is a national information system that holds details of people, vehicles, crimes and property.

Police Act

Under Part V of the Police Act, the police are obliged to provide disclosure services to other parties, including the Disclosure and Barring Service, with access to all convictions held on the PNC.

The judgement passed requires all criminal conviction data to be retained, including reprimands, warnings and cautions, until an individual’s 100th birth date.

The data will be available for disclosure to the Disclosure and Barring Service in relation to employment vetting.

Step down

Essex Police has been informed that the Disclosure and Barring Service and Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO) will no longer advise that conviction data can be ‘stepped down’ – remain on the PNC but only be available to police users.

Applications received by Essex Police for step down will not be processed, irrespective of whether the date of application was prior to the decision made by the court of appeal.

For more information you can read the full adjudication.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act identifies all issues where employers may or may not take account of convictions. You can find more information about this on the Direct Government and NACRO websites.

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