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Criminal Records

Volume 974: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if all records of convicted criminals are kept at Scotland Yard; who has access to them and under what circumstances; if any records are kept at local police stations; and, if so, who has access to them and under what circumstances.

The national criminal record office at New Scotland Yard maintains the only complete record of all persons in the United Kingdom who have been convicted of a recordable offence—broadly, an offence for which an adult could be sentenced to imprisonment. Records are also kept by police forces: depending on local practice, they may be held at force headquarters, local police stations or the regional criminal record office. Direct access to criminal records is confined to police officers and civilian staff employed in the police service, and information is disclosed primarily to assist in the prevention and investigation of crime and in the sentencing of offenders.