Pastor joins call for childhood criminal record overhaul

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A new House of Commons report suggested some sexual or violent offences committed under the age of 18 should not always be automatically flagged up in checks.

MPs said the current approach is hindering access to employment, education, housing, insurance and visas for travel for large numbers of people.

Pastor Philip Noel from Jesus House in London counsels young people, and some have criminal records.

He told Premier that difficulties to secure jobs and housing sometimes drive them back to crime.

He explained: “Society’s not allowing the youth to forget their past.

“The youth don’t actually forgive themselves and the circle of friends that have wide open arms are the friends that were in the crimes in the first place.”

MPs have called for a major overhaul of the regime, saying it undermines youth justice principles and may fall short of the UK’s international obligations.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, individuals are not required to divulge past convictions and cautions once they have become “spent” – meaning a certain period of time has passed.

But there are some circumstances when disclosure can be requested, and employers are required to carry out checks when hiring people for certain roles such as work with children or vulnerable adults.

Pastor Noel told Premier: “I’ve witnessed many of them have put lies on their CV to actually get in front of an employer in the first place.

“The majority of the time the outcome is not good. So they’re…

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