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Our mission is to support & advocate for people with criminal records to be able to move on positively in their lives. Find out more

Monthly update – November 2015


Welcome to our monthly update for November 2015.

This update provides a summary of:-

  1. the latest updates to our self-help information site for people with convictions
  2. recent posts to our online magazine, theRecord
  3. other news and developments that might be of interest to people with a criminal record

Update to Information Hub

Here’s a summary of the updates that we’ve made recently to the Information Hub. There are links within each update to where you can find more information about the update on our Hub. There are also links next to many of the updates, which link to threads on our online forum where you can discuss these with other members of the forum.

About criminal records

  • DVLA records – We’ve produced some new information about DVLA records of driving licences and how information is shared with employers, insurance companies and car hire companies since the scrapping of paper records.
  • Is this a scam – Employment offers and criminal record checks – As a result of an enquiry through our Helpline, we’ve highlighted an organisation, Online UK Disclosure who appear to be offering employment checks as part of a bigger employment scam. Find more information here.

theRecord posts

Below are links to recent posts to our online magazine, theRecord. These are often linked to from the practical information that we have, to help give some personal experiences.

SuccessesConvictions accounted for‘In 2006 I received a custodial sentence for possession with intent to supply. Prison gave me lots of time to reflect on my past and consider my future and I realised that when I was eventually released, I didn’t want to carry on like before – I wanted to change ………’

SuccessesSam’s top tips for job hunting‘Like lots of people with convictions, I’ve struggled to get work. You know how it is, if the employer asks about unspent convictions, you have to tell them but if they don’t ask then you can keep quiet. If like me, you’re still on Licence then your Probation Officer might tell you to disclose even when you’re not asked……….’

NewsA criminal record and a fair shot at a job ‘This was originally published by the New York Times on the 13th November and we thought it would be of interest to people with convictions ….’


Other news and developments

Below are links to other news and developments that might be of interest to people with a criminal record. For more news, check out the news and media section of our main website.

Information Commissioners Office Policy Conference – The ‘Google effect’

Christopher Stacey, Unlock’s Co-Director was invited to speak at the conference on “Privacy versus the right to know; balancing privacy and access to personal information in the internet era” and to take part in a panel discussion, “Technology, information and its consequences”. The ICO will be publishing a report on the conference in the coming months but in the meantime, read the opening comments here.

Scottish filtering consultation

We considered it important to respond to this consultation and to make comments based on the approach that the UK Government had taken in England and Wales in 2013, as well as raising some practical considerations when reflecting on the legislation in the UK. You can download our response to the consultation from here.

Spent convictions still showing on DVLA records

We are aware that the DVLA’s records of driving offences include spent convictions, but these are not shared with third parties. We’ve had reports that employers, car hire companies and insurers are asking people to print off their own driver records. This can be a problem if there are spent convictions on your driver record and we are requesting that individuals who have experienced this, send us their evidence.

Responding to a review of education in prison

A review of education in adult prisons was announced by Michael Gove in September. As a result of Unlock’s Helpline and the training we provide to practitioners working within prisons, we believed that we had some valuable comments to make to this consultation process. In particular, ensuring that people leaving prison are properly prepared for life with a criminal record through improved education in prison. Have a look at our response to the review.

Marking 15 years of Unlock

We marked our 15th anniversary as a charity with a reception hosted by our President, Lord Ramsbotham at the House of Lords. The event was attended by supporters and beneficiaries as well as staff, trustees, patrons, Peers and volunteers. Read more here.

Calling on all forum supporters

Over the summer work has been continuing on re-designing the Unlock forum. We hope to have a pilot version by the end of the year and we are keen to hear from anybody who would be interested in helping us test it. Find out how here.




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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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