If a person leaves crime behind them then we as a society should do what we can to help in that process. Why should someone continue to pay for what they did many years ago, when they have learned their lesson and never done it again?

UNLOCK wants to see the establishment of a Criminal Records Tribunal (CRT), sitting at local magistrates’ courts where ex-offenders would be able to apply to have their convictions classed as spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Applicants would need to prove to the Tribunal that they have genuinely changed their way of life.

If successful, the conviction(s) of the applicant would be considered ‘spent’ and in normal circumstances there would be no need to disclose them. It needs to be recognised, however, that people applying for employment with vulnerable groups are required by law to disclose all convictions – spent or otherwise – and thus the public would remain protected. Any further conviction would mean the convictions would become ‘live’ again.