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Removal of Criminal Record for Consensual Sex

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and DNA Sampling

Devon and Cornwall Police recognise that It is unacceptable that men have been living for decades with criminal records for consensual sex. The Government has taken concrete action to remove this slur on their character and allow those affected by this to apply for their convictions to be disregarded. We would encourage individuals wishing to address any conviction to contact the Home Office Click Here

After successful application to the Home Secretary, previous convictions (including cautions, warnings and reprimands) for acts of consensual sex (under sections 12 and 13 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 and some other provisions) will no longer be disclosed in Court proceedings or appear on a person’s DBS Certificate (formerly CRB)

  • Where an application is approved, the Home Secretary will write to data controllers to notify them of the ‘disregard’ and request the deletion of relevant records. Where physical deletion of a record is not possible, records must be annotated so as to prevent subsequent disclosure.


The issue of DNA.


DNA is a great aid to the police in preventing and detecting crime but we need to ensure the right people are on the database. Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, only those convicted of a criminal offence will have their DNA retained indefinitely. The Protection of Freedoms Act ends the indefinite retention of DNA belonging to people not convicted of a criminal offence except in very specific circumstances where there is a higher risk of harm to the public from certain individuals.

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