How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 44335
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a spent conviction which is 10 years old and resulted in me paying a 150 fine for

Customer Question

I have a spent conviction which is 10 years old and resulted in me paying a £150 fine for court charges.

When I requested it to be removed from Police National Computer (PNC) last year I was informed by Scotland Yard the law has changed in 2009 and all convictions are kept up to my 100th birthday.

I wanted to enquire if I have any grounds to remove a spent conviction from the CRB and PNC database.
Submitted: 5 years ago via InBrief.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
Hello, thanks for your question. Please press Accept when satisfied with my answer. For now please let me know what the conviction was for?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.
Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (“ROA”), subject to certain exceptions, those convicted of a criminal offence who have not re-offended during a specified period from the date of conviction will be deemed rehabilitated and their convictions would be classified as "spent". Spent convictions do not have to be declared if an employer is asking if you have a criminal record, unless the employment is for an exempt position (e.g. doctors, nurses, dentists, barristers, solicitors, accountants, teachers, police officers, etc.)

Whether a past conviction is shown on a CRB check depends on what level CRB check is being undertaken. There are three types of CRB check – Basic, Standard and Enhanced:
• Basic (Scotland only) – only unspent convictions are shown
• Standard – displays spent and unspent convictions, as well as cautions
• Enhanced – same as a Standard check but also shows inclusion on children's or adult’s lists (where relevant to post applied for) and other relevant information held by police forces.

Whether the checks pick up previous convictions or cautions depends on whether they are still stored on the Police National Computer (“PNC”). Generally, a person's offence will remain on the PNC even after it has become spent - it will not necessarily be deleted and can even remain on there for life. Therefore, until it is removed from the PNC it can still appear on CRB checks.

The police are not legally obliged to remove information held on the PNC and it is down to each police force to decide if certain offences should be removed after a certain period of time. According to guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers (“ACPO”), records of 'recordable' offences (i.e. offences which can be tried in the Crown Court) should be deleted after 10 years, unless they show that the offender has 3 or more convictions for recordable offences (in which case the record will be kept for 20 years).

However, the records on the PNC will be kept for life in the following situations:
• If you have been given custodial sentences, including suspended sentences;
• If you have been convicted of indecency, sexual offences, violence, possession of Class A drugs, or trafficking in, importing of or supply of any drug;
• If you have been found unfit to plead by reason of insanity, or you have been sentenced under the Mental Health Acts;
• If you have been convicted of an offence involving a child or vulnerable adult where it is indicated that you deliberately target such people.

Individual Chief Constables are not bound by the ACPO guidelines so, as mentioned, policy and practice will vary between police forces.

There are a number of solicitors that mount legal challenges to have PNC data removed but that is a complicated issue that usually involves human rights arguments. You can certainly try that route but apart from that it is unlikely that the entry will be removed.

Please press Accept. I can expand my answer and provide more detailed advice and guidance as necessary and also answer any specific questions you may have. Thank you
Ben Jones and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I get Enhanced CRB checks every year as part of my role as custodian of data related to children and young adults. I was wondering how I can get this conviction removed from the PNC database so it does not appear in my CRB?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.

As mentioned you can’t really remove it unless you mount a formal legal challenge. However, that would require you to instruct a specialist solicitor that deals with such cases. You may want to try David Wacks from Carter Moore on 0161 862 9103

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What is the success rate of such a legal challenge, I'm sure I'm not the only one requesting such a challenge. At present from the answers you've provided it seems the record is here to stay, so even though I may not be in this world but my record will be immortalised in the PNC.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.

I am afraid I can’t comment on the success rate as I have not been involved in such cases but they are not that common. There are many challenges directly to the CRB or the Police, but not that many formal legal challenges.

Related UK Law Questions