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Ford receives Final Report on Records Regime

Justice Minister David Ford has today published the final report into the review of the criminal records regime in Northern Ireland.
Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Minister of Justice David Ford MLA

Undertaken by Sunita Mason, the UK Government’s Independent Advisor on the Management of Criminality Information, the review finds that, overall, the system for storing and sharing criminal records locally is well managed and controlled.

The publication of the report concludes the review that was launched last March and undertaken in two parts. The first report, published last August, concentrated on the disclosure of information while part two focused on the management of records.

David Ford said: “It is essential that we have robust and joined up approaches for managing criminal records if we are to have an effective criminal justice process to protect the public.

“I welcome Mrs Mason’s endorsement of the Causeway system for the sharing of information as a means of improving public protection. Causeway captures and manages information from the different parts of the criminal justice system and is central to ensuring a joined up, current and accurate criminal records system.”

“Sunita Mason makes a number of recommendations in her report to further strengthen the current system and I want to reflect on these carefully.”

Sunita Mason highlighted the benefits of the Causeway system for the sharing of information between the different agencies within the criminal justice system.

She said: “Relative to the rest of the UK and neighbouring jurisdictions, Northern Ireland is now in a strong position with regard to the management and handling of its criminal records.”

“Causeway is considered to be an important asset that has delivered improved capability and an efficient system for the management of criminal records throughout the criminal justice system.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Justice Minister David Ford, asked Mrs Sunita Mason, the Independent Advisor for Criminality Information Management for England and Wales to undertake a review of the Northern Ireland criminal records regime. The review was carried out in two parts.
  2. A Managed Approach – Part One (found here ) which was published on 12th August 2011, considered the use of the criminal record and other related information in the context of Disclosure relating to employment and volunteering in Northern Ireland. Some of the Recommendations in this review were put out for consultation by the Department of Justice on the 14th December 2011. David Ford has formally accepted other recommendations for implementation such as the recommendation for portability and online updating for AccessNI checks.
  3. A Managed Approach – Part Two (found here) which is published today (7th March) considers in detail issues surrounding the management of criminal records, in particular the definition, retention and arrangements to share and access the information. It makes 10 recommendations for improvement.
  4. The Part Two report contains 10 recommendations and the report can be found here
  5. All media enquires should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.