Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Human Rights breached by disclosure of ‘spent’ offences

via FE News

Regular readers may recall an article published in October last year on the reform of the safeguarding regime and how this would affect the further education sector. Part of the aim of the Protection of Freedoms Act (the “Act”) was to transfer the activity of the Criminal Records Bureau to a new Disclosure and Barring Service and to make its scope less stringent.

Under the Act, non serious criminal convictions were considered ‘spent’ after a period of time, meaning that they did not need to be revealed to a prospective employer. Whilst a feature brought in to strike a balance between respecting civil liberties and protecting the public, this does not apply for those that wish to work with vulnerable adults and young people. In fact, under an enhanced CRB check all convictions and cautions should be disclosed even if ‘spent’.

This feature has been at the centre of a recent decision by the Court of Appeal. Three joint claimants brought a claim against the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis when they found that they were impeded from gaining entry to university or being offered employment because of cautions and convictions incurred several years before. Two of the claimants were a man aged 21 years who, when 11 had been warned for stealing two bikes, and a woman in her 50s who had been cautioned for stealing a packet of false nails 10 years earlier.

Continue reading

No comments: