October 26th, 2009

Longer than life sentence

Posted in The Job - General by 200

When a particular individual applied for a job, he was upset to find out that a conviction for the theft of a 99p packet of meat 25 years ago in 1984, was still on his record.

Five people in similar situation took their case to the High Court arguing that the Data Protection Act stated that any information held on them (by the police on this occasion) must be relevant, up to date & not excessive. Presumably they argued that a minor conviction 25 years earlier was none of the above.

Initially, the court ruled in their favour that such records should be expunged from police databases but the case moved to the Court of Appeal who ruled that police will now be able to keep records of minor convictions for up to 100 years. It’s thought that details of a million convictions which can be disclosed in checks by potential employers will now not be deleted. Judges ruled that the need to keep the information for fighting crime justified the policy despite any distress it might cause.

You might argue that if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime but I think I’d have some sympathy for someone who was denied a job because they stole a packet of bacon 40 years ago.

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