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Coronavirus: Crime

Question for Home Office

UIN 146616, tabled on 24 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason some covid-19-related offences were recordable; and in what circumstances those offences would need to be disclosed.

Answered on

21 April 2022

Recordable offences are offences in England and Wales where the police must keep records of convictions and offenders on the Police National Computer (PNC). Non-recordable offences do not carry the risk of a custodial sentence. All coronavirus breaches were non-recordable summary offences which did not come with prison sentences. They were only punishable by fines. These offences were therefore unlikely to be recorded on the PNC. However, there may have been cases where a non-recordable offence could be recorded on the PNC if there was a conviction of both a recordable and non-recordable offence at the same time.

Under the coronavirus regulations, Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) enabled individuals to discharge their liability to prosecution for an offence by payment of a fixed penalty. However, failure to pay the notice could mean someone was later prosecuted, and subject to a summary conviction. Individuals convicted for a covid related offence would generally not have their conviction recorded on the PNC as Covid offences were non- recordable.

Non-recordable offences are held locally by the police and may be recorded on the Police National Database (PND) which is a separate system from the PNC, and include details of people who may have been questioned by police but not charged. Where individuals have their Covid offence recorded this conviction may be disclosed on a DBS certificate, subject to the type of certificate and whether the conviction is spent/unspent and/or protected. Once a conviction or caution is considered to be spent, it is usually not necessary for an individual to declare it to prospective employers when applying for a job, and it would not be disclosed on a basic criminal record certificate.

Answered by

Home Office
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