If you have received a caution, you may be wondering how long a police caution lasts. In most cases an adult police caution will be disclosable on a standard and enhanced DBS (CRB) certificate check for 6 years.
How long does a police caution last?
If however you have received a police caution for an offence that appears on the DBS specified offences list, your caution will remain on a standard and enhanced DBS certificate check forever and will not be filtered. Typical examples of specified list cautions would be for actual bodily harm (ABH) or minor child cruelty allegations.
NB, November 2020 edit: Youth cautions, warnings and reprimands are immediately “protected” subsequent to changes implemented by the government. This means that even for offences that appear on the DBS list of unfilterable offences, youth cautions will not be automatically disclosed on an enhanced and standard DBS check. It should be noted however despite the changes, it is still possible for facts related to youth cautions, warnings or reprimands to still be disclosed on an enhanced DBS certificate if the police feel the information is “relevant”.
Police Caution Calculator
If you are unsure if your police caution will be revealed, you can try our police caution calculator, which will walk you through when and where your police caution will be disclosed.
Enhanced DBS Certificates and Police Cautions
In addition, even for non-specified list cautions, facts related to a caution can potentially always be disclosed on an enhanced DBS (CRB) check even after six years.
A caution can be disclosed forever in certain circumstances depending on the offence and the type of DBS certificate you require.
You can however get your police caution removed if you have been unfairly or illegally issued your police caution.
If you have been misled about the police caution, including being told that the caution is only a “slap on the wrist” and/or that it would not show up on employment/immigration checks, then you may have a case to have the caution removed.
What happens if my Police Caution is removed?
If your police caution is removed you will no longer have a police caution and so a police caution will no longer show up on your DBS certificate. Your criminal record will either be updated to say that no further action was taken in respect of your case ( known as NFA by the police) or your entrie record will be deleted.
Police Caution Deletion Solicitor
I am a qualified solicitor and I have extensive experience of applying for the deletion of police cautions from the police computer.
I have had many successful cases of police caution expungement/deletion. I have also had many arrest record removed for clients as well as challenging unfair DSB barring decisions.
I am also able to assist in applying for information disclosed on DBS certificates to be removed – if you feel information has been unfairly disclosed you have the right to dispute its disclosure.
I recently co-authored a journal paper on the reform of the police cautioning procedure in the Criminal Law Review (Suggestions for Reform to the Simple Cautioning procedure). I also write the UK Westlaw Insight on Police Cautions, and had an article published on anonymity in the Criminal Justice and Law Weekly on criminal proceedings and its relationship with the police caution.
I offer a reasonable fixed fee for removing a police caution and DBS certificate/barring disclosure disputes.