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CPS website - policy for removal of personal information

This policy is designed to ensure that personal information is not available on the website for longer than is appropriate. This policy applies to all publications where small snapshot reports of offenders and their offences are summarised. This is not exclusive and will impact all personal data references with regard to spent convictions.

Guidance has been sought from both the Information Commissioners Office and the Ministry of Justice Clearing House. While other departments seem aware of the potential issue, there is no current guidance being offered.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is mindful that once a person has been convicted, it is a matter of public record. The CPS will use the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) (ROA) as a guide to when removal of personal details from the website should take place.

ROA identifies rehabilitation periods dependent on the sentence given as indicated below. ROA provides further guidance, if required.

Sentence: prison sentence of six months or less

  • rehabilitation period - 18 or over when convicted: seven years
  • rehabilitation period - 17 and under when convicted: three and a half years

Sentence: prison sentence of more than six months to 2.5 years

  • rehabilitation period - 18 or over when convicted: 10 years
  • rehabilitation period - 17 and under when convicted: five years

Sentence: custodial sentence of more than 2.5 years

  • rehabilitation period - 18 or over when convicted: never spent
  • rehabilitation period - 17 and under when convicted: never spent

Sentence: consecutive sentences

  • rehabilitation period - 18 or over when convicted: added together, then as periods above
  • rehabilitation period - 17 and under when convicted: added together, then as periods above

Sentence: concurrent sentences

  • rehabilitation period - 18 or over when convicted: treated as one sentence, then as periods above
  • rehabilitation period - 17 and under when convicted: treated as one sentence, then as periods above

Sentence: fines, probation, compensation, community service, drug treatment and testing, reparation orders

  • rehabilitation period - 18 or over when convicted: five years
  • rehabilitation period - 17 and under when convicted: two and a half years

Sentence: disqualified driving

  • rehabilitation period - 18 or over when convicted: length of ban
  • rehabilitation period - 17 and under when convicted: length of ban

Sentence: supervision, care order, conditional discharge or bind over

  • rehabilitation period: one year or until the order expires (whichever is longer)

Sentence: attendance centre orders

  • rehabilitation period: one year after the order expires

Sentence: hospital orders (with or without a restriction order)

  • rehabilitation period: five years or two years after the order expires (whichever is longer)

Sentence: referral order

  • rehabilitation period: once the order expires

CPS Corporate Annual Reports will not be amended on the website as they are subject to Treasury and National Audit Office rules. However, they should not contain any personal data where convictions become spent (where a sentence is less than two and a half years).

CPS Areas are to ensure that they remove all personal data, including that in case studies within Area Annual Reports, after five years and replace it with the below sentence:

"Personal data has been removed from this report. A copy of the full report is available on request."

Should any references be missed and remain for longer than the specified five year period, these will be removed immediately upon request.

Cases cited in the CPS Legal Guidance are exempt from the application of this policy.