Filtering and criminal records
We welcome the judgment handed down by the Supreme Court today, recognising the disproportionality of parts of the current system of criminal records disclosure. We believe the judgment provides an opportunity for the Government to undertake a fundamental review of the current system to ensure it is fair and transparent.
The current process around the filtering of criminal records regime is complex, disproportionate and holds people back from moving on with their lives. At Nacro, we hear from people on a daily basis who have been significantly affected by the current system, including missing out on education and employment opportunities due to disclosure of old and/or minor convictions that are not relevant or proportionate.
We are pleased to see the Court highlight certain areas, for example the one offence rule which currently prevents people who have been convicted of more than one offence at the same time from having these filtered. However, we believe we should look beyond piecemeal changes and that now is the time for a fundamental review of the wider criminal records disclosure regime which looks at both adult and childhood criminal records and builds the system on the basis of fairness, transparency and proportionality. To achieve this we urge the Government to work with Nacro, wider stakeholders and employers to ensure a fair and transparent system which can work for everyone.
Nacro Chief Executive, Jacob Tas said:
“Today’s judgment gives us the opportunity to build a fairer, more transparent and proportionate filtering and criminal records disclosure system. We know that having a job is crucial to reducing the risk of reoffending and helping people move away from crime yet the system is currently holding too many people back. We urge the Government to grasp this opportunity and take action on the filtering system but to also commit to a fundamental review of the wider criminal records system.”