Four Things You Didn’t Know About Clearing Your Record

Perverting the course of justice may leave you with a criminal record and a history that can follow you almost everywhere. A criminal record can refer to final warnings, cautions, reprimands, or convictions. Each of these things leaves a mark that can sometimes determine your life.

A lot of people are not aware that all of the personal records are stored on two key police systems. The first is the Police National Computer (PNC) that stores, for example, information on arrests, warnings, and convictions. The second is the Police National Database, where details are kept of not so serious records, e.g., investigations that led to no further action. 

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Therefore, PNC is considered to be the most important computer system used widely across the United Kingdom by law enforcement organisations, and only in exceptional circumstances data from the PNC may be removed.

When facing an arrest you can visit this site, and find legal help. It is essential to know what to do in order to remove your cautions and convictions from the record. In this article, you will learn what the circumstances in which you could apply for your data deletion are and how to apply for it properly.

1. The Process of Clearing Your Record Has Significantly Changed

Before 2006 retention of criminal records was different than now. Depending on the nature of the wrongdoing, the police could remove documents from the PNC after some period. After this date there was a new policy named “Exceptional Case Procedure” introduced, that allowed individuals to request the removal of their files from the PNC if they considered that exceptional circumstances exist. An unlawful arrest or when it was established that without no doubt no offence was committed are examples of extraordinary circumstances.

Later, in 2009 the procedure of the individual request was stopped. Even old, previously stepped-down data has been reinstated back. A significant change came in 2015 with the introduction of the Record Deletion Process, that applies to the eventual removal of fingerprints, DNA samples and profiles, and other PNC records. 

The rate of changes may be confusing, so you may be uncertain if and what records the police still have on the PNC. In that case, you can check it by making a subject access request.

2. Check Your Record

Making a subject access request is the cheapest and easiest way to check your record. The Data Protection Act from 1998 gives you the right to receive any information that the police have about you on the PNC. You will either get a list of information about all your convictions or a certificate declaring that the police have no data held on the Police National Computer regarding your wrongdoing.

How to apply for a subject access request? At each police station, you can receive a form to fill out. If you want to apply online, you can use ACRO Criminal Records Office that is a national police assembly which operates to provide a spectrum of services that deliver operational benefits to law implementation and public protection units. On their website, you can also find useful further guidance and additional information.

3. The Record Deletion Process 

You can apply for deletion of a criminal record on certain grounds by submitting the application. Do still understand that making an application won’t necessarily result in the automatic removal of your data.

Your records are firstly reviewed and considered by a Chief Officer Review, which is an opportunity for early removal from the police network. In the application, you need to provide sufficient evidence of your version of events and enclose copies of current ID. 

Provide as much information as possible about the convictions you want to erase. Crucial points are: 

  • type of offence
  • date and time of the arrest
  • where the arrest took place

Present an extensive background and circumstances around your arrest, and don’t forget about the reasons why you are attempting to have your records cancelled.

4. What Is Life Like Having a Criminal Record?

It would seem that a criminal record is not a serious difficulty in having a normal life. However, the legal obligation to reveal the record and the resulting discrimination can limit your access to jobs, loans or insurance.

A political career is not even an option, and also not the highly-skilled jobs are very often out of reach. People with criminal records struggle to find employment when having a job may be the key to change their paths.

Having a criminal record can also have a massive impact on finding an apartment because one of the difficulties is the need to pay a colossal advance or mortgage refusal.

Summary

Offenders need to rebuild their lives, and without the help of the law, they can’t actually return to society. That is why it is worth knowing that there are options to apply for deletion of criminal records if there are exceptional circumstances that could support the application. 

There is a chance to prove an unlawful arrest or to demonstrate evidence that no crime was committed in the first place. If there are reasons to submit an application, all you have to do is read the guidelines, complete the form and wait for a favourable decision.

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