Source: BBC News
The criminal records scheme (DBS) seeing people lose jobs over minor offences committed decades ago is unlawful, the UK’s highest court has ruled.
Lord Justice McCombe said it was not justifiable or necessary for any individual to have minor offences disclosed indefinitely, from many years ago merely because there is more than one minor offence.
Lawyers have told the High Court that people are being unfairly disadvantaged throughout their lives by convictions for minor criminal offences committed years beforehand.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) scheme in England and Wales. It provides details of a job applicant’s previous convictions and employers are required to use the checks when employing people for certain types of work, particularly work with children or vulnerable adults.
However, in 2013, the government amended this scheme following a Court of Appeal ruling to introduce a filtering process.
Single convictions for non-violent, non-sexual offences that did not lead to a suspended or custodial sentence are not disclosed after 11 years or five and a half years if the person was under 18 at the time of the offence.
The new filtering process does not apply if a person has more than one conviction – regardless of the minor nature of the offences or the person’s circumstances at the time.