To: UK Parliament

Criminal records data retention until a person is 100 in UK

I am writing to you to in the hope of seeking change to the harsh system of criminal records data retention of Juvenile convictions. In England and Wales juvenile convictions are spent after 5.5 years. However, they remain on police computers until a person reaches one hundred years of age; this results in information that is spent being disclosed for a lifetime. There is no pardon system in the UK.

Why is this important?

Bill to amend the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 will be debated soon.

England and Wales brand young offenders criminals for life. The punitive and penal approach to the rehabilitation of young offenders and disclosers and retention of criminal records is vastly different to many other countries. Below is brief guide of how other nations treat criminal convictions.

• Canada permanently deletes records of juvenile convictions once an individually turns 18 or after 5 years of turning 18. Murder, manslaughter and aggravated sexual assault are never deleted. Canada also has a pardon system that allows adults to appeal for their records to be suspended and not disclosed if an individual can show good character and rehabilitation since the offence. Also in the USA individuals can apply to have their records expunged; this is for citizens under 18 and varies from state to state.

• Scotland does not disclose convictions if 15 years has passed or if an individual were 18 or over 18 at the date of conviction, 7 and half years, if an individual were under 18 at the date of conviction

• Australia expunges juvenile convictions after 3 years of no repeat offending and has a pardon policy for adult convictions

• In Spain, conviction records are not erased completely but are ‘cancelled’ in a process known as ‘cancelling a conviction record’. Once conviction records are cancelled, the individual will possess a clean criminal record. Therefore, the record of their convictions will be sealed in the Central Criminal Records Registry and is likely made unavailable to the police. To cancel a conviction record a period of time after having served the sentence must have elapsed (6 months, 2 years, 3 years or 5 years depending on the sentence); no further crime has been committed in the interim and civil compensation has been paid or the person has been declared without money.

• Ireland. If 3 years has lapsed juveniles records are wiped clean.

• In France for adults once the rehabilitation period has passed (depending on the severity of the conviction either three years for misdemeanors or five years for felony crimes, after the sentence was completed) the records of the convictions will remain on the system but will not show on the request of a record. In the case of minors and children, these are removed once the individual concerned has reached 18 years and/or three years from the date the crime was committed.

• In Germany most adult convictions are deleted after 5, 10, 15 or 20 years, respectively.

UK

Reasons for signing

  • This is so important. Too many young people who've gone on to live exemplary lives are blighted by this and forced to retell their stories some 50 years on. Some of these are traumatic and humiliating to the individual concerned. Its not a fair law and prevents full engagement and participation such as applying for jobs as disclosure is absolute.

Updates

2017-09-23 13:45:51 +0100

10 signatures reached