Disclosure & Barring Service – Filtering of old and minor convictions and cautions

The following statement is from the Disclosure and Barring Service regarding the proposed arrangements for the filtering of old and minor convictions and cautions. Please note that the changes have not yet been ratified by parliament.

Disclosure & Barring Service – Filtering of old and minor convictions and cautions

March 2013

Today, the Home Office has started the legislative process (subject to agreement by Parliament) so that certain old and minor cautions and convictions will no longer be disclosed on a DBS certificate.

This action is in response to the Court of Appeal judgment in January this year which stated that the disclosure of all cautions and convictions on a DBS Certificate was incompatible with Article 8 of the Convention for Human Rights.

Since the judgment, we have been working very closely with the Home Office to develop a set of filtering rules that would remove certain old and minor convictions and cautions from a DBS certificate. The filtering rules which are now before parliament for consideration are:

An adult conviction will be removed from a criminal record certificate if:

(i) 11 years have elapsed since the date of conviction
(ii) it is the person’s only offence and
(iii) it did not result in a custodial sentence.

Even then, it will only be removed if it does not appear on the list of specified offences. If a person has more than one offence, then details of all their convictions will always be included.

An adult caution will be removed after 6 years have elapsed since the date of the caution – and if it does not appear on the list of specified offences.

For those under 18 at the time of the offence:

A conviction received as a young person would become eligible for filtering after 5.5 years – unless it is on the list of specified offences, a custodial sentence was received or the individual has more than one conviction.

A caution administered to a young person will not be disclosed if 2 years have elapsed since the date of issue – but only if it does not appear on the list of specified offences.

The changes will not come into force until after the legislation has completed its passage through Parliament. Until then, it’s business as usual.

We will keep you informed of this process and provide more information to you as soon as it is available.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

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