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Criminal Records Bureau: Standards

Volume 486: debated on Monday 19 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been incorrectly designated as having a criminal conviction by the Criminal Records Bureau since the Bureau's inception. (248010)

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) strives to achieve the highest levels of accuracy. Their quality control procedures show that they have achieved an accuracy rate for 2006-07 of 99.94 per cent and for 2007-08 is 99.98 per cent. No comparative data is available before these dates.

The CRB operates a disputes process where applicants can contest information that has been released on their disclosure. In 2007-08, 3,323,251 disclosures were issued, of which 4,931 were disputed and 2,785 were upheld. This equates to 0.0838 per cent. of all disclosure applications.

A dispute can be upheld for a number of reasons. This can include incorrect recording of the wording of a conviction recorded on PNC; incorrect recording of the disposal of a conviction recorded on PNC; amendments made to the wording of non-conviction information released by the individual police forces; the conviction does not belong to the applicant.

The CRB cannot provide a figure to determine how many individuals had convictions printed on their disclosures which did not belong to them. This is because an applicant may apply for several disclosures that year and the CRB only records the number of disputes raised.

The CRB is committed to ensure that it maintains high levels of accuracy and the aforementioned figures show this.