Post Office – 2024 Letter to Postmasters Impacted by the Horizon Project

The letter sent by the Post Office on 24 May 2024.

Dear postmasters,

The Horizon IT Scandal is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in our history. Some of you have endured financial ruin, the loss of homes, livelihoods, and reputation. We have a duty to right these wrongs and deliver justice to you as quickly as possible. That’s why we introduced this Act, and why we acted quickly to make sure it was passed by Parliament before the general election.

Parliament’s decision means that hundreds of convictions of innocent postmasters have been quashed. This clears your names, delivers justice, and ensures swift access to the financial redress that postmasters deserve.

Convictions will be quashed if they meet the criteria set out in the Act, but in summary you will be eligible if:

  • prosecutions were brought about by the Post Office or CPS (or in Northern Ireland, the state prosecutor or the police)
  • offences were carried out in connection with Post Office business between 1996 and 2018
  • your conviction(s) were for relevant offences such as theft, fraud and false accounting
  • your conviction(s) were against postmasters, their employees, officers, family members or direct employees of the Post Office working in a Post Office that used the Horizon system software
  • the conviction has not been considered by the Court of Appeal

Updating court and criminal records

At this stage you do not need to take any further action. The Ministry of Justice has established a casework team who are in the process of identifying individuals in England & Wales whose convictions have been quashed by the Act and will write to them in the coming weeks to inform them of the quashing of their convictions. The Department of Justice is responsible for identifying and notifying individuals in Northern Ireland.

The Ministry of Justice casework team will then provide details of convictions to His Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and the Police, and those agencies will amend court and police records to reflect the changes brought about by the legislation. The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) acting for the Police Service will entirely delete any records relating to quashed convictions from the Police National Computer.

Completely deleting the conviction record from the Police National Computer will mean the information is not available for any operational Police or law enforcement investigations, and in addition will no longer show up on any criminal record check, such as a DBS check. The Department of Justice, Northern Ireland Courts & Tribunals Service and Police Service of Northern Ireland will take similar steps to amend records in Northern Ireland.

We will write to you again to confirm when your relevant court and criminal records have been updated.

Claiming financial redress

If you have had your convictions quashed under this legislation you will be entitled to financial redress. Work to establish the new redress scheme is underway and it will be in place by the summer, in line with previous government commitments. We will provide further information on how you can register for this scheme in due course.

When you should contact us

We will provide further updates on progress but expect that most relevant convictions will have been identified and letters sent by the end of July. If you have not heard from the Ministry of Justice casework team or the Department of Justice by the end of July, we would encourage you to contact them directly to ensure that your conviction has been considered.

To make us aware of your conviction, or for any further queries, please email: PostOfficeConvictions@justice.gov.uk, or, for Northern Ireland, PostOfficeHorizon@justice-ni.gov.uk

If you would prefer you can write to:

Post Office Convictions

Unit 8B
Berkley Way
South Tyneside
Tyne & Wear
NE31 1SF

Or for Northern Ireland:

Post Office Convictions (Northern Ireland)

Legacy Litigation & Projects Unit
Massey House
Stormont Estate