Disclosure & Barring Service – Filtering of old and minor convictions and cautions

The following statement is from the Disclosure and Barring Service regarding the proposed arrangements for the filtering of old and minor convictions and cautions. Please note that the changes have not yet been ratified by parliament.

Disclosure & Barring Service – Filtering of old and minor convictions and cautions

March 2013

Today, the Home Office has started the legislative process (subject to agreement by Parliament) so that certain old and minor cautions and convictions will no longer be disclosed on a DBS certificate.

This action is in response to the Court of Appeal judgment in January this year which stated that the disclosure of all cautions and convictions on a DBS Certificate was incompatible with Article 8 of the Convention for Human Rights.

Since the judgment, we have been working very closely with the Home Office to develop a set of filtering rules that would remove certain old and minor convictions and cautions from a DBS certificate. The filtering rules which are now before parliament for consideration are:

An adult conviction will be removed from a criminal record certificate if:

(i) 11 years have elapsed since the date of conviction
(ii) it is the person’s only offence and
(iii) it did not result in a custodial sentence.

Even then, it will only be removed if it does not appear on the list of specified offences. If a person has more than one offence, then details of all their convictions will always be included.

An adult caution will be removed after 6 years have elapsed since the date of the caution – and if it does not appear on the list of specified offences.

For those under 18 at the time of the offence:

A conviction received as a young person would become eligible for filtering after 5.5 years – unless it is on the list of specified offences, a custodial sentence was received or the individual has more than one conviction.

A caution administered to a young person will not be disclosed if 2 years have elapsed since the date of issue – but only if it does not appear on the list of specified offences.

The changes will not come into force until after the legislation has completed its passage through Parliament. Until then, it’s business as usual.

We will keep you informed of this process and provide more information to you as soon as it is available.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Press Release: Wipetheslateclean welcomes Home Office decision to erase minor offences from records

Wipetheslateclean welcomes Home Office decision to erase minor offences from records

Bob Ashford, the founder of Wipetheslateclean, today welcomed the news that the Home Office are to introduce changes which will mean that old and minor offences will be filtered out of the information revealed in job applications in England and Wales.

Under the proposed legislation, convictions resulting in a non-custodial sentence will be filtered from record checks after 11 years for adults and five and a half years for young offenders. Violent and sexual offences will continue to have to be disclosed.

The news follows a ruling by the Court of Appeal in January that the blanket disclosure of all offences was disproportionate and infringed on the right to privacy and was therefore contrary to the European Court of Human Rights legislation. Earlier this month the Justice Select Committee, a cross party government body, agreed with the Court of Appeal and called for the erasure of minor offences committed by children at 18.

Bob Ashford the founder of Wipetheslateclean said:

“We need to look at the details, but on the face of it this looks like a good step forward. It really does seem the Home Office and government have listened to the Law Lords, their own MPs and the many campaigning individuals and organisations who have been calling for these changes. Why should a criminal record be a sentence for life? We need to recognise that people can change and  have the potential to lead productive lives, unfettered by old criminal records.

At the same time there also needs to be changes to the cautioning system. I have been inundated by emails from people who have accepted cautions from the police without understanding these are criminal convictions. We need to introduce a system so that both the police and people receiving them understand that they are criminal convictions and as such have long term implications.”

Notes to Editors

1. Wipetheslateclean www.wipetheslateclean.org.uk @WipeSlateClean has two aims: Changing the barring legislation relating to Police and Crime Commissioners and secondly to raise the wider debate about how we treat people with criminal convictions. Case studies and more information can be found on the website.

2. Wipetheslateclean main supporters include Unlock; User Voice, The National Association of Youth Justice (NAYJ) as well as many other organisations and individuals

3. Bob, who lives in Frome Somerset has spent a lifetime career working with young people in trouble and in need, working as a social worker before becoming one of the first Youth Offending Team Managers. From here he moved to the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, an organisation he worked for over 10 years, leaving as Director of Strategy in March last year. He has spoken at numerous national and international conferences and advised countries as diverse as Canada and Bulgaria on their justice systems.

4. Bob can be contacted  on  ashforb@googlemail.com

 

 

Minor Youth Convictions Must Go At 18 : House of Commons Justice Committee tells Government

 

Press Release 14/03/13

The All Party Justice Select Committee has just published its wide-ranging report into the youth justice system. This is based on evidence from a number of individuals and organisations, including some young people with direct experience of the system supported by the charity User Voice.The Select Committee has made a number of hard-hitting recommendations to Government on significant improvements that need to take place.

One such area is that of criminal convictions committed by young people. In a recommendation directly echoing the campaign message of Wipetheslateclean the committee recommends that:

“The government considers legislating to erase out of court disposals and convictions from the records of very early minor and non-persistent offenders at the age of 18, so that they cannot be disclosed to employers under the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.”

Bob Ashford, founder of Wipetheslateclean welcomed the news. “I have campaigned strongly for a change in the law regarding the disclosure of offences committed as young people. Every day I receive emails from adults whose career choices and lives have been blocked by minor offences committed many years ago. Why should offences committed as children become a sentence for life? This recommendation by the Select Committee shows that this voice is being heard. I now call on the Government to bring about these changes as soon as possible and end the blight on so many young peoples and adult lives.”

Bob Ashford was forced to resign as the Labour Party’s Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Avon and Somerset because of offences he committed as a 13 year old, 46 years ago.

Notes to Editors

1. Wipetheslateclean www.wipetheslateclean.org.uk @WipeSlateClean has two aims: Changing the barring legislation relating to Police and Crime Commissioners and secondly to raise the wider debate about how we treat people with criminal convictions. Case studies and more information can be found on the website.

2. Wipetheslateclean main supporters include Unlock; User Voice, The National Association of Youth Justice (NAYJ) as well as many other organisations and individuals

3. Bob, who lives in Frome Somerset has spent a lifetime career working with young people in trouble. He worked as a social worker before becoming one of the first Youth Offending Team Managers. From here he moved to the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, an organisation he worked for over 10 years, leaving as Director of Strategy in March last year. He has spoken at numerous national and international conferences and advised countries as diverse as Canada and Bulgaria on their justice systems.

4. Bob can be contacted on ashforb@googlemail.com

Rehabilitated but Job Offer Withdrawn – Sarah’s Story

Since the launch of the Wipetheslateclean campaign many people have contacted us with a common concern. Criminal convictions acquired at a young age have continued to blight their lives. They have been punished for their crimes, but then gone on to turn their lives around. They have studied and trained only to find that barriers are still placed in their way.

You can read Sarah’s story here