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Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people in England are estimated to have an unspent conviction. (258228)

The information is not available.

Centralised police national computer (PNC) data only go back to 2000, with incomplete data available for 1997-99 and no centralised data available from before 1997. As prison sentences of over six months remain unspent for 10 years, and prison sentences of over 30 months never become spent, the data available would not provide an accurate indicator of the total number of individuals with unspent convictions in England today.

Moreover, data on whether convictions are spent or not are not routinely collected. They are only obtained when required for operational purposes (e.g. when a disclosure certificate is being prepared, or an individual is calculating whether they have to disclose a conviction). To produce a response to the question, even limited to the years for which there are central data, could therefore be done only at disproportionate cost.