HC Deb 19 June 2000 vol 352 cc24-5W
Mr. Beggs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for how long the convictions of young offenders are held on record; and what is the period after which applicants are not required to declare past offences when applying for public sector employment. [125743]

Mr. Ingram

All records of convictions are held in accordance with the terms of the publication "Weeding Rules for Criminal Records", a copy of which is available in the Library. The period for which young offenders' convictions are retained depends on the age of the person when he was convicted and the seriousness of the offence(s).

A conviction where a person has been sentenced to more than 2 years imprisonment, or the equivalent, can never become spent. There are employments where spent convictions must be disclosed and professions in which spent convictions may be taken into account in assessing a person's suitability for admission. These are set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 and the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Exceptions) Order (Northern Ireland) 1979, both of which are also available in the Library.

I am also placing in the Library of the House copies of the booklet "Your Way to a Fresh Start", which explains the operation of the legislation.

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