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Should criminal records be public for anyone to view?

(69 Posts)
MaryTheBookeeper Fri 04-Sep-20 19:21:29

I believe the only way to find out whether someone has a criminal record is to do a DBS check. But if you're not an employer that's not possible. I'm wondering why criminal records aren't publically available?

Marydoll Fri 04-Sep-20 19:25:27

I can. Can you imagine the damage that could be done?

If they are in the public domain, they could be used maliciously, especially if someone has turned there life around.

greengreengrass Fri 04-Sep-20 19:27:31

Depends why you want to find out about someone's criminal record.

There are things you can use.

Claires law for example

suziewoozie Fri 04-Sep-20 19:28:30

Hummm - don’t think I’ll waste my time

Marydoll Fri 04-Sep-20 19:28:50

If they were public, newspaers would have a field day! sad

Grannyben Fri 04-Sep-20 19:29:05

Criminal records aren't available to all and sundry because, you would then get nosey people snooping at information which most probably doesn't concern them.

tickingbird Fri 04-Sep-20 20:04:44

I think if someone has paid their debt to society legally, then it’s not in the public interest and would be totally against an individual’s human rights for their criminal record to be available to the public.

greengreengrass Fri 04-Sep-20 20:12:22

citizens rights are important.
If you are concerned for example for the safety of your grandchildren then Claire's Law is very important.

It does have short comings however as the disclosures are only available to those with parental responsibilty . Your local police can advise. They are certainly not available to the press. Likewise the findings of the family court are not available to the press currently. This makes sense. As the child has a future and needs to be kept safe from tittle tattle and gossip.

Furret Fri 04-Sep-20 20:14:20

I suggest you stop being so nosey.

Elegran Fri 04-Sep-20 20:15:33

When someone is convicted of a crime and sentenced, some part of the media usually reports it. That news report will be archived somewhere, so with the right search it could be unearthed if someone really wanted to confirm their suspicion that XXXX did time for something. That is not the same as everyone's whole criminal record being easily available.

EllanVannin Fri 04-Sep-20 20:19:36

There are times when it is in the public's interest to view records particularly if there's a suspected miscarriage of justice. Police hold certain records under PII and sad to say not all of these are shown during a trial. They could be documents pertaining to forensic reports and general investigative procedures. Important to the defence.

As for being published, no. If records need to be viewed for any particular reason then a court order has to be obtained in applying for them. Although there are times when a court order isn't worth the paper it's written on for a case I'm following no less than 3 court orders have been handed in to the police but they still won't release records which could set a man free from serving 35 years for a crime he didn't commit.

Missfoodlove Fri 04-Sep-20 20:24:03

Every sinner has a future and every saint a past.
No they should never be public.

Callistemon Fri 04-Sep-20 20:57:01


And if someone is not charged or is cleared of a crime then their DNA should be removed from the National Database.

janeainsworth Fri 04-Sep-20 21:04:54

I'm wondering why criminal records aren't publically available?
Because if you appear in court charged with an offence, the jury aren’t allowed to know about any previous convictions.
Their decision about someone’s guilt or otherwise has to be based on the evidence presented in court, and nothing else.
It’s the same reason why the media aren’t allowed to publish anything that might be prejudicial to a trial.

greengreengrass Fri 04-Sep-20 21:12:28

OP, ,why did you ask? Are you worried about someone for example someone involved as a survivor of domestic abuse

If so phone women's aid.

Not sure why certain posters are so afraid of public scrutiny.

You can google claires law if you are concerned. Speak to Womens' Aid also

Good luck

greengreengrass Fri 04-Sep-20 21:14:31

Callistemon Fri 04-Sep-20 20:57:01

And if someone is not charged or is cleared of a crime then their DNA should be removed from the National Database.


Not sure why this poster is leaving it at a no.
Calleistamon 'no' what.

the poster has a right to know what his/her rights are including claires law. etc.

There is no 'no'. There is the law and there are human rights.

fevertree Fri 04-Sep-20 21:15:24

That's a good saying MissFoodLove.

MerylStreep Fri 04-Sep-20 21:22:44

not sure why this poster is leaving it as no
No is a complete sentence. No need to elaborate. Unless you like the sound of your own voice.

janeainsworth Fri 04-Sep-20 21:24:26

I am not even sure that employers can do random DBS checks. All they can do is ask potential employees to supply one.
Can you clarify that Marythebookeeper?

Callistemon Fri 04-Sep-20 21:32:34

Read the title of the OP ggg and all will be explained.

MerylStreep Quite

greengreengrass Fri 04-Sep-20 21:40:59

I LIKE the sound of my own voice. Loud and clear. And in fact getting louder.

Claires Law can be googled if needed.

EllanVannin Fri 04-Sep-20 22:13:11

OP didn't mention domestic abuse ?

Callistemon Fri 04-Sep-20 22:16:45

The OP did say anyone, ie in the public domain.

MawB2 Fri 04-Sep-20 22:23:31


I LIKE the sound of my own voice. Loud and clear. And in fact getting louder.

Claires Law can be googled if needed.


Did you mean Clare’s Law ?

janeainsworth Fri 04-Sep-20 22:24:19

I got the impression that the OP wasn't asking the question for personal reasons ggg.
I don't know why you seem to have assumed that she was, or that she was particularly concerned about domestic abuse.