I was convicted over 40 years ago for owning cannabis. I was conditionally discharged at the time for a period of one year.
Over forty years later, the Police are still making reference to this fact in an "Enhanced Disclosure" compiled by the CRB.
This has put me in a position of needing to explain an ancient, time-expired juvenile petty misdemeanour to complete strangers – and my own family. The record gives no details other than the fact that I was convicted under the Dangerous Drugs Act.. I could have been convicted of selling heroin to children for all you would know given their computer record wording.
It is debatable whether a first time posession case would have even gone to court in many of the intervening years, but 40 years on it is necessary for me to explain what this Police record is really about. Inevitably, the record raises more questions than it answers.
All conditionally expired offence should be compulsorily deleted when over and done.
Why is this idea important?
The current situation makes a mockery of rehabilitation. It should not be necessary for people to appeal to the informaton commissioner to order deletion of records held unreasonably on Police Computer.
If an offence has been conditionally discharged by the court it should be fully deleted on expiry of the period specified by the court. The retention is unjustifiable.
There must be many people who do not participate in activities because they do not wish to be put through the misery of a "retrial" for an offence they should have been allowed to forget..
This is bad for those people who were discharged of an offence in the first place – and bad for the organisations and people they are inhibited (or excluded) from helping.