If you have received a police caution then it may only be now, sometime after you have left the police station, that you are realising the impact a police caution may have on your future.
- The police may have told you the simple police caution was a “slap on the wrist” and wouldn’t harm your future.
- It might be the case that you were afraid of being taken to Court.
- Perhaps you were afraid if you didn’t accept the police caution things would get much worse.
- You might even of admitted the offence, and taken a police caution, when you were innocent just to escape the police station.
Regulated Professions and Police Cautions
If you plan to or currently work as a:
- Doctor or other health care professional (nurse, dentist etc.)
- Barrister or other officer of the Court (court clerk, security etc.)
- FCA Regulated Worker (Banking and Finance)
- Care worker
- Social worker
- Police officer
- Security worker
- In Government office (MI5, The Home Office, Ministry of Justice etc.)
- Other regulated environment
then you may find that a police caution on your record will have very serious and long standing implications on your future work.
If you work or wish to work in a regulated environment then you will usually have to undergo a standard or an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background check (formerly a criminal records bureau CRB check).
Police Cautions and Enhanced and Standard DBS Checks
On a standard check a police caution for less serious offences will be removed after 6 years – a more serious offence may always be disclosed (pending a government review). On an enhanced check even after 6 years for less serious offences, the police retain a discretion to disclose the facts surrounding a police caution on a DBS certificate. For example if you received a police caution for assault 7 years ago, and you now wish to enter a trusted professional such as teaching, then the police have the option to disclose the facts of a police caution on an enhanced check, even though the 6 year period is expired.
Even if you did not receive a police caution, but were simply investigated for a criminal offence, this can still be disclosed on an enhanced DBS certificate, which may of course have a serious impact on your career prospects.
Can I get a Police Caution Removed?
It is possible to get a police caution removed from your record, depending on the circumstances. It may be the case that you were incorrectly advised to accept a police caution or you were unfit to accept the caution at the time.
The police are required to follow a defined procedure at the police station – if they have not properly followed this procedure, to the extent that it has made your caution unfair, it may be the case that your police caution can be removed.
It is also possible to dispute the information that is disclosed on a DBS certificate, so that even if facts are mention on a DBS certificate, you can appeal to have this information removed.
Police Caution Removal and DBS Appeals Solicitor
I am a solicitor and I have extensive experience of applying for the removal of police cautions and arrest records from the police national computer (PNC).
I have had numerous successful police caution removal cases, and for cases where judicial review proceedings have been issued, I have been able to recoup my clients’ costs from the police.
I am also able to assist in applying for information disclosed on Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates to be removed – if you feel information has been unfairly disclosed you have the right to dispute its disclosure.
I am also often instructed to appeal barring decisions made by the DBS. I have significant experience of applying for the removal from either the child or adult barred lists, or both. I also have extensive experience in challenging the DBS when they are considering placing someone onto the lists. I usually work with experienced clinical psychologists, to be able to present my clients’ cases to the DBS in the best possible light, and thereby maximise their chances of avoiding a negative barring decision.
In addition I am also able to assistant clients who have been issued with restraining orders either post conviction or acquittal. Restraining orders will have long term implications with respect to DBS checks. A restraining order that is stated to be ‘unlimited’, ‘indefinite’ or is issued until ‘until further order’ will be permanently disclosed on all levels of DBS check.
I have co-authored a journal paper on the reform of the police cautioning procedure in the Criminal Law Review (the leading criminal law journal : “Suggestions for Reform to the Simple Cautioning procedure”). I also write the UK Westlaw Insight on Police Cautions and published an article in the Criminal Law and Justice Weekly on anonymity in criminal proceedings and its impact on the police caution: Adult Defendant Anonymity in Criminal Proceedings