CRB database wrongly labels thousands as criminals

Criminal records four times worse than thought

More than 12,000 people have been wrongly branded criminals due to mistakes on their criminal records, the government has revealed.

A Parliamentary answer reveals that 12,225 people have disputed the results of a criminal record check and had their complaint upheld in the last five years. The number of complaints upheld has risen slightly - from 2,265 in 2004-2005 to 2,785 in 2007-2008 - but over the same time the number of records disclosed has risen from 2.4 million to 3.3 million.

In total the Criminal Records Bureau received 4,931 complaints about records in 2007-2008 and 2,785 of these were upheld. The year before there were only 3,077 complaints but 2,797 of these were upheld.

The Home Office had previously admitted less than 700 errors in the year to February 2008.

The errors are especially worrying because of the extension of criminal record checks to millions more people next year. The Independent Safeguarding Authority will vet a much wider range of people who might have contact with children. Up to 14 million UK citizens could need such checks.

The full answer is here. ®

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