The second and final stage of the Criminal Records Regime review has been completed and submitted to Ministers. The second phase of the review focuses on how criminality information is stored and shared and makes a number of recommendations relating to the administration of criminal records. One such recommendation is that the Police National Computer (PNC) should continue to be the central repository for criminal records for the foreseeable future.
Government response to the review
The Government has responded positively to the vast majority of the recommendations made. Its formal response sets out which of the recommendations made are now before Parliament in the Protection of Freedoms Bill.
The Bill contains proposals including:
- Strengthening the test of relevance applied by a chief officer;
- Ceasing CRB checks on under 16s;
- Issuing the certificate to the applicant only to allow them the opportunity to review any information included prior before the CRB check certificate is shown to the employer, and introducing a new provision to allow the applicant to request a review of information released by a chief officer;
- The implementation of online status checks, enabling certificates to be reused for different employers across the same sector, instead of requesting a new certificate every time applicants apply for a new role.
In addition the Government will uphold arrangements for holding criminal records on the Police National Computer, in a bid to ensure that security controls on accessing records are strong.