§ Mrs. Ann Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to have completed the process of the computerisation of the national collection of criminal records; and whether from that time it will be possible centrally to vet applications from individuals seeking to become licensed taxi drivers.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
The police national computer holds information on the convictions of those whose first reportable offence occurred after 31 December 1980. This information is available on-line to police forces. Plans to computerise earlier records which are held on microfiche at the national identification bureau, New Scotland Yard, have not yet been finalised. Records of convictions for other offences are held by police forces.
Criminal records have recently been the subject of a scrutiny which examined arrangements for, and the scope of, a fully computerised national criminal records system and the use of such a system for the purposes of vetting. The scrutiny recommendations are currently being 250W considered and no decisions have been made on a national criminal record system or the purposes for which it may be used.