Bob Ashford welcomes step forward in fight over 'unfair' criminal record checks
A former Frome mayor has welcomed a decision by Appeal Court judges who ruled criminal record checks breach human rights.
Bob Ashford, of Somerset Road, Frome, launched a campaign last year along with Falklands War veteran Simon Weston.
Wipe The Slate Clean is calling for a change in the law on criminal record checks and was launched after Mr Ashford was forced to step down as the Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Avon and Somerset because of childhood offences committed when he was 13 years old, 46 years ago.
The Court of Appeal said in its verdict that the system which requires automatic disclosure of all convictions and cautions when applying for certain jobs, regardless of how long ago, how minor or their relevance to the job being applied for is incompatible with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which is the right to a private and family life.
Three people had challenged the decision to order the full checks.
One of the cases involved a 21-year-old man who had received warnings from Manchester police in connection with two stolen bikes when he was 11.
The information was disclosed at two interviews.
The decision was made in December last year but the Government raised concerns and the announcement was delayed until after the hearing, which was held earlier this month.
Criminal record checks, provided in England by the Disclosure and Barring Service, are available to employers recruiting for certain roles and are also used by educational establishments.
Mr Ashford said: "The whole system of criminal records checks is unfair, uncoordinated and far too complex.
"Why should people with criminal convictions receive a life sentence when it comes to seeking employment and being full members of society?
"This is a positive and major step forward and a step on the way to a true rehabilitation revolution."
A full judgment was expected to be released this week.