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police record


what restrictions are in place regarding applications to RN/RM from people with minor police records?
is every case taken on its own merit, or are they just ruled out from the start?
am only taking common assault etc.
thanks in advance.
It is on a case-by-case basis, both at the application stage and in security clearance. Talk to your careers office - there's no point trying to hide anything as these things are checked. I would be surprised if this was a show stopper, but obviously it depends on circumstances.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 enables some criminal convictions to become 'spent', or ignored, after a 'rehabilitation period'.

A rehabilitation period is a set length of time from the date of conviction. After this period, with certain exceptions, an ex-offender is not normally obliged to mention their conviction when applying for a job or obtaining insurance, or when involved in criminal or civil proceedings.

The Act is more likely to help people with few and/or minor convictions because of the way further convictions extend the rehabilitation period. People with many convictions, especially serious convictions, may not benefit from the Act unless the last convictions are very old.

Rehabilitation Periods

The length of the rehabilitation period depends on the sentence given - not the offence committed. For a custodial sentence, the length of time actually served is irrelevant: the rehabilitation period is decided by the original sentence. Custodial sentences of more than 2 1/2 years can never become spent.

The sentences become spent after fixed periods from the date of conviction; see for rehabilitation guide.


The rehabilitation period for a disqualification is the length of the disqualification. If a person is disqualified at the same time as receiving another penalty, the longer rehabilitation period applies. (For example, if a motorist is banned from driving for seven years and fined - which takes five years to become spent - the rehabilitation period would be seven years, not five years.)


An endorsement is not a 'disability, prohibition or other penalty' within the meaning of the Act, and therefore it cannot affect the rehabilitation period of a motoring conviction. So, for example, if a motorist is fined for drink driving and has his or her licence endorsed, the rehabilitation period would be five years (the length applicable to the fine) rather than 11 years (the length of time before a driver convicted of drink driving is entitled to a clean driving licence).
Further Convictions

If a rehabilitation period is still running and the person concerned commits a minor offence (a 'summary' offence that can only be tried in a magistrates' court), the minor offence will not affect the rehabilitation period still running. The rehabilitation period for each offence will expire separately. (For example, if someone had received a two year probation order, then one year later was fined for a minor offence, the probation order would become spent before the fine. Therefore once the probation order was spent, only the fine would need to be disclosed until it became spent.)

However, if the further offence is one that could be tried in the Crown Court, then neither conviction (even if the first one is for a minor offence) will become spent until the rehabilitation periods for both offences are over. (For example, if someone had received a two year probation order, then one year later was fined for a serious offence, both convictions would have to be disclosed until the fine became spent.) If the further conviction leads to a prison sentence of more than 2 1/2 years, neither conviction will ever become spent.

Once a conviction becomes spent, it remains spent, even if a person is convicted of other offences later.

Concurrent and consecutive sentences
If an offender receives two or more prison sentences in the course of the same proceedings, the rehabilitation period will depend on whether they run concurrently or consecutively. For example two 6 month terms ordered to run consecutively are treated as a single term of 12 months, giving a rehabilitation period of 10 years. But two such sentences ordered to take effect concurrently are treated as one sentence of 6 months, giving a rehabilitation period of 7 years.

Prison sentences ordered to run consecutively to sentences already being served are not affected by this rule.

Criminal Records

A person's offence will still remain on the Police National Computer even after it has become spent - it will not be deleted. Broadly, according to the guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers, records of 'recordable' offences (i.e. offences which can be tried in the Crown Court, whether or not they are) should be deleted after 10 years, unless they show that the offender has 3 or more convictions for recordable offences (in which case the record will be kept for 20 years); has been given custodial sentences (in which case the record will be kept for life); has been convicted of indecency, sexual offences, violence, possession of Class A drugs, or trafficking in, importing of or supply of any drug (in which case the record will be kept for life); been found unfit to plead by reason of insanity, or has been sentenced under the Mental Health Acts (in which case the record will be kept for life); been convicted of an offence involving a child or vulnerable adult where the MO indicates that the person deliberately targets such people ( in which case the record will be kept for life).

Individual Chief Constables are not bound by the ACPO guidelines so policy and practice will vary between police forces.

Criminal records are generally kept confidential. Broadly, vetting is limited to protecting vulnerable people; to ensuring the probity of the administration of justice; and to matters of national security. This means, for example, that private employers will not usually have access to criminal records. However this is due to change in July 2002 when any employer will be able to obtain details of unspent convictions. Applicants for taxi, heavy goods vehicle and passenger service vehicle licences should also be vetted. (See 'Criminal Record Checks' by NACRO)


Cautions, reprimands and final warnings are not criminal convictions and so are not dealt with by the Act. So if people with cautions, reprimands or final warnings only are asked whether they have any 'criminal convictions' they can answer 'no'. Sometimes people are asked if they have a 'criminal record'. This is a less precise term, but it is usually understood to mean convictions. So people who are asked if they have a 'criminal record' may also answer 'no' if they have no convictions.

However, people who are specifically asked if they have cautions, reprimands or final warnings should disclose them until they are deleted from police records. Records of cautions should be deleted after five years if there are no convictions on the record. (In practice, some police forces may retain records of cautions for much longer than this or indefinitely.)

Benefits Of The Act

Applying For Jobs

Applicants with a criminal record who are asked on an application form or at an interview whether they have any previous convictions can answer 'no' if the convictions are spent and the job applied for is not excepted from the Act. Under the terms of the Act, a spent conviction shall not be proper grounds for not employing - or for sacking - someone. (If on the other hand, job applicants do not disclose unspent convictions, if asked to do so, they may be found out, dismissed on the grounds of having deceived the employer - and possibly prosecuted.)

The Act does not provide any means of enforcing a person's right not to be refused employment (or entry into a profession) on the grounds of a spent conviction. If, however, an employee can prove that they have been dismissed for a spent conviction and they have been in employment a year or more, they may be able to claim unfair dismissal under employment legislation.

Applying For Insurance

If the proposal form asks whether the applicant has any previous convictions, the answer can be 'no' if the convictions are spent. This is the case even if the conviction is relevant to the risk which the insurers will underwrite. (For example, spent motoring convictions are not required on a proposal form for motor insurance.)
Civil Proceedings

In civil proceedings, no-one should be asked questions which might lead to disclosure of spent convictions. If such questions are asked, they need not be answered. This rule does not apply:

*in civil proceedings relating to children (adoption, guardianship, wardship, marriage, custody, care and control, schooling);
*when the court is satisfied that justice cannot be done unless evidence of spent convictions is admitted (NB anyone who has spent convictions can always consent to evidence being given about them);
*if the proceedings involve a matter excepted from the Act

The rule on civil proceedings applies not only to ordinary courts, but also to arbitration proceedings, disciplinary proceedings before an administrative tribunal, and to a club committee which has powers to affect anyone's rights, privileges, obligations, or liabilities.

Criminal Proceedings

Previous convictions can be cited in criminal proceedings, even if they are spent. The Lord Chief Justice and the Home Office have, however, advised the courts that spent convictions should not be mentioned except in very special circumstances.

Confidential Information

The Act makes it an offence for anyone with access to criminal records to disclose spent convictions unless authorised to do so. The Act makes it a more serious offence to obtain such information by means of fraud, dishonesty or bribe. The Data Protection Act 1984, as amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, also makes it an offence to procure or supply confidential computer data.

It might be possible for a person with spent convictions to sue for libel anyone making allegations about spent convictions, if he or she can prove that the allegation was made with malice.

Exceptions To The Act

There are some situations in which people will be expected to declare their convictions, even if they are spent. Some of the principal ones are:

*Appointment to any post providing accommodation, care, leisure and recreational facilities, schooling, social services, supervision or training to people aged under 18. Such posts include teachers, school caretakers, youth and social workers, child minders.
*Employment involving providing social services to elderly people, mentally or physically disabled people, alcohol or drug misusers or the chronically sick.
*Appointment to any office or employment involving the administration of justice, including police officers, probation officers, traffic wardens.
*Admission to certain professions which have legal protection (including lawyers, doctors, dentists, nurses, chemists, and accountants).
*Appointment to jobs where national security may be at risk (for example, certain posts in the civil service, defence contractors).

Application forms for posts which are excepted from the Act should always make this clear, although some employers claim posts are excepted when they are not. If in doubt, seek advice.

Going Abroad

The Act only covers Britain. Other countries have their own rules about those they will give visas and work permits to. Embassies or overseas employment agencies should have information about this.
Are you saying that unless a conviction is spent, an individual can not serve? I don't think this is the case but will bow to your professional knowledge. I'm sure I've met people in the mob who do not have the most squeaky clean of pasts, shall we say
Everything is 'case by case' so it's worth enquiring at least. Although it depends on the nature and length of the conviction; would you want to employ someone who has done time for theft if they're gonna join up as a Writer or Stores Accountant with access to money and desirable items, or someone with a public order/violence conviction if they're going to be a Medic?

You are right that not everyone in the Mob is squeaky clean - myself included - and there are plenty of people who have civilian convictions for a variety of offences and are still serving.

Discuss the matter with your AFCO and they will consider the application; we need all the help we need!
I'll PM you with details later - don't want to incriminate myself in public! I thought you were supposed to be busy? Haven't you got any work to do, apart from eating muffins and trawling the internet looking for pictures of Golden Rivets to send me? :twisted:
sgtpepperband said:
You are right that not everyone in the Mob is squeaky clean - myself included

Always thought that reggies got returned to source branch if they did anything wrong, unless it was really minor. Were you a naughty boy before you went over to the dark side and left all your friends behind? :lol:

Incidently, in nearly 20 yrs I've never done a days puns. Fcuk knows how I managed that, more by luck than judgement.
sgtpepperband said:
or someone with a public order/violence conviction if they're going to be a Medic?

Oh i dunno,i knew a few RN Commando MA;s that were a bit mad!One even slashed a guys throat with a beer glass!He got off lightly as he suenly came to his senses an save the blokes life.Got a suspene sentance i believe.
ok, iv got a joining date. Got caught driving without road tax :( silly, i know, but the thing is, the police just reported it to the DVLA and i had to pay them, not the police. whats the stance on that?

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