We have recently had a Community Resolution expunged from our client’s police records.
The client was training to work in the health sector; had the community resolution come to the attention of the client’s regulator, due to the nature of the offence, it may have prevented the client from qualifying.
On receiving the case papers from the police, we were able to determine that the community resolution had been unlawfully issued, and the police agreed to expunge the community resolution from the client’s records.
The rules related to the retention of Community Resolutions are unclear, and police forces have altered their published policies over the years.
At present the current general policy appears to be that police forces will not record a community resolution on the Police National Computer (PNC), and so if a DBS check is done, it is likely that no information will show up on an enhanced DBS check – as there will be no record of you on the Police National Computer (PNC).
If however you were arrested during the course of the investigation of the case, then a PNC record will have been created. The police will not record the community resolution, but the police will record that your case concluded as “No Further Action – NFA” – namely your details will be retained on the PNC.
The fact that you have a “NFA” record on the PNC does not guarantee that the community resolution will show up on an enhanced DBS check, but as you have an arrest record on the PNC, it could act as a trigger for the police to then check the local records with the police force that issued you the community resolution. This could then lead to a review of the circumstances that led up to the community resolution – and it may get disclosed on an enhanced DBS check. Although community resolutions are issued for minor offences, a community resolution is an admission of guilt to a criminal offence, and so for any trusted profession (such as a health care or a teaching role) there is a possibility that the police may disclose the community resolution.
Any disclosure of a community resolutions on an enhanced DBS certificate is appealable.
In addition to the above, it is also possible that community resolutions may become disclosed more frequently; there is a current government consultation to combine the PNC with the Police National Database (PND), and other police databases:
The PND includes more information than just convictions, caution and arrest records, and includes local and national intelligence reports.
Once the proposed system – the Law Enforcement Data Service (LEDS) – is created, then it is likely that the DBS/police will be able to more easily track individual records, easily cross-referencing local intelligence reports, which may include community resolutions. Liberty, the human rights pressure group, has withdrawn from the consultation on the LEDS stating that they believes the super-database poses a “grave” threat to privacy.
Any disclosure on an enhanced DBS certificate would still be appealable, but with easier and more comprehensive access to national and local police systems, it may mean that the police will more frequently disclose information on Enhanced DBS checks.
If you feel you have been unfairly issued a community resolution, and would like it expunged from your records, then please get in touch.
We offer reasonable fixed fees, and will be able to provide you a written advice on your prospects of success after an initial consultation.
Please get in touch to arrange a consultation – unfortunately we do not offer legal aid.