Will a Police Caution affect my entry to RN?

#1
I think I might have had a formal police caution more than 4 years ago, Im not too sure if it was a formal caution or if it was a verbal warning. Does anyone know if this will show up in the security check if it was a formal caution? and if so will it affect my chances of being able to join? Any help would be great!
 
#2
It will probably depend the offence.

From the RN website:

Q. Would a criminal record stop me from joining?

A. Not necessarily. With reference to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 local Careers Office staff will advise individual applicants regarding spent and unspent convictions. The severity of the offence committed governs the time of the rehabilitation period, which has to be completed before an applicant can be processed for entry into the service.
So really, you need to contact the Careers Office, tell them about the FPC and the type of offence that was committed.
 
#3
If it is an adult caution (you would have been 18 or over at the time and admitted the offence to receive a caution) it remains valid for 5 years from the date of caution and must be disclosed on any application for employment where the question is asked.

If it was a juvenile caution, which was replaced by reprimands and final warnings (for 17 and under) from memory I believe they remain valid for three years from date of reprimand or from 18th birthday.

So I think it depends how old you were at the time of the caution/reprimand.

Either way, I suggest you disclose it and then you show you are not hiding anything - I would also hope our resident expert, Ninja, will be able to give you a definitive answer in the not too distant future.

Edited to add - either way, good luck with your application
 
#4
It was an adult caution and was definately more than 4 years ago, although probably less than 5. It was for possesion of a controlled class A substance (1 ecstacy tablet). I have no other criminal record at all. Im already quite far through the app process and have filled in the security clearance forms but didnt put it on because I thought a caution only stayed on record for 3 years, until today that is. I'm really worried now because I really dont want to let one stupid mistake mess this up. Any advice is appreciated.
 
#5
Unless things have changed radically in the past two years I think you will find that a formal caution for anything but an offence that would place you on the Register of Sex Offenders drops off the computor after 3 years. dead, finished, no longer exists, so we are back to the offence.

Dishonesty, Public Order, Assault (non sexual), motoring et-al 3 years.

Nutty
 
#6
bory_1876 said:
It was an adult caution and was definately more than 4 years ago, although probably less than 5. It was for possesion of a controlled class A substance (1 ecstacy tablet). I have no other criminal record at all. Im already quite far through the app process and have filled in the security clearance forms but didnt put it on because I thought a caution only stayed on record for 3 years, until today that is. I'm really worried now because I really dont want to let one stupid mistake mess this up. Any advice is appreciated.
You do of course understand that the Services, for obvious reasons, have a zero tolerence level to Controlled drugs, one strike and your out, no appeal no liberal you will get another chance. Even a bit of blow you would be back in civvie land so fast.

Also they do have random or not so ramdom testing and the culture is very much to report suspicions of drug use as one day your life may be on the line.

If you have not grasped that back away now.

NUtty
 
#7
So would you say that goes for the RN Security Clearance checks too?

Edit - I totally understand this, I dont do any kind of drugs, believe it or not (and i won't blame you for not) it was a total misunderstanding in a nightclub that got me the caution in the first place.
 
#8
bory_1876 said:
So would you say that goes for the RN Security Clearance checks too?
If you were cautioned for possession of a class A drug over four years ago in all my experience that caution no longer exists in Police Records. It should have gone 3 years to the day from when you were Cautioned

Unless there is any still serving Officer out there who knows different.

Nutty
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#9
Drug Offences by Young Persons

If you're under 17, the police can also tell your parent/s or carer, and inform the Social Services and the Probation Service. Depending on the circumstances of your case, and local prosecution policy, the police then have these options for punishment:

1. A formal warning (which is put on local police files. If you offend again this may influence the police to charge you, rather than caution you).
2. A formal caution (a central police record held for 5 years. If you offend again, this can be used against you).
3. Charge you with an offence leading to a Youth Court hearing. (This is more likely for repeat offenders, who may end up with a fine or a custodial sentence).
You can be cautioned more than once, but if you keep getting caught, you'll go to court.

Eligibility Requirements for RN Career Options - Criminal Record

If you are awaiting a court appearance, in any other capacity other than as a witness, you may not be eligible to apply until the outcome of the hearing is known. Please check with your Armed Forces Careers Office.

Spent and unspent convictions (including prison, young offenders institution or probation) for certain types of offence may mean that you are ineligible to apply for entry into certain branches or trades within the Armed Forces. If you have any doubts about which branches or trades fall into the above categories, please seek advice.

Ex-Servicemen or Servicewomen discharged for disciplinary reasons will be ineligible to re-enter.

Further advice: Criminal Records Bureau
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#10
Nutty said:
You do of course understand that the Services, for obvious reasons, have a zero tolerence level to Controlled drugs, one strike and your out, no appeal no liberal you will get another chance. Even a bit of blow you would be back in civvie land so fast.
Not necessarily; every incident is dealt with on a 'case-by-case' basis; not every positive drug result will end in that person being discharged from the RN, but that is a subject for another thread.

Nutty said:
Also they do have random or not so ramdom testing and the culture is very much to report suspicions of drug use as one day your life may be on the line.

If you have not grasped that back away now.
All Compulsory Drug Testing is random; neither the Regulators or the CDT can choose who to test. If the name is on the list, they get tested. If a name isn't on the list then you cannot 'add' them, just because they're a 'bit sus'.

The RN has recognised - as has the Army before it - that, regrettably, abusing recreational drugs is a common social occurrence. Therefore recruits who declare they had taken drugs prior to joining up - and assuming they no longer use them - will be 'educated' on the Armed Forces' policy on drugs and alcohol abuse. In fact these lectures (by the Fleet Substance Abuse Team) are also a good source of intelligence, as it helps educate us about what is happening 'on the streets'.
 
#11
sgtpepperband said:
The RN has recognised - as has the Army before it - that, regrettably, abusing recreational drugs is a common social occurrence. Therefore recruits who declare they had taken drugs prior to joining up - and assuming they no longer use them - will be 'educated' on the Armed Forces' policy on drugs and alcohol abuse. In fact these lectures (by the Fleet Substance Abuse Team) are also a good source of intelligence, as it helps educate us about what is happening 'on the streets'.
So would you advise I call the AFCO and tell thema bout this? Even though I have already filled in the security clearance forms? Or would I be better to just wait and see if it shows up and if it does explain I thought the caution would be gone after 3 years? Thanks
 
#12
bory_1876 said:
So would you advise I call the AFCO and tell thema bout this? Even though I have already filled in the security clearance forms?
Yes, definitely - honesty is best in this case. They will find out eventually and it shows you genuinely regret your mistake.
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#13
The AFCO will check your criminal record via the CRB anyway; assuming you've not committed a capital offence there should be no problem. But I would definitely advise you to notify your Careers Office sooner rather than later.

Good luck and keep us up to date on your progress.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#14
bory_1876 said:
Im already quite far through the app process and have filled in the security clearance forms but didnt put it on because I thought a caution only stayed on record for 3 years, until today that is. I'm really worried now because I really dont want to let one stupid mistake mess this up. Any advice is appreciated.
Whoopsie!

On the Security Questionnaire you are meant to disclose ALL convicted offences, spent & unspent. You DO NOT have to disclose spent offences to your Careers Adviser & any conviction disclosed on the Security Questionnaire ("SQ" or MOD Form 1109) should be detached, put in a signed, sealed envelope & attached to the SQ.

Regardless of whether it is spent or unspent the DVA will ask you if you have disclosed all convictions if they come across anything you've omitted. If you fail to disclose to the DVA (NOT the Careers Adviser), your Security Clearance (SC) will be rejected for dishonesty. No SC, no entry.

Nutty is entirely correct with regard the RN policy on drugs -Zero. And Nutty is Ex- RN & Civil Police.

Sgt PB is entirely correct about compulsory random drug tests. Sgt PB is current Service Police.

Convictions regarding Class A Drugs can be a complete bar to entry in certain circumstances.

My advice? Continue worrying until your SC is granted.
 
#15
Ninja_Stoker said:
bory_1876 said:
Im already quite far through the app process and have filled in the security clearance forms but didnt put it on because I thought a caution only stayed on record for 3 years, until today that is. I'm really worried now because I really dont want to let one stupid mistake mess this up. Any advice is appreciated.
Whoopsie!

On the Security Questionnaire you are meant to disclose ALL convicted offences, spent & unspent. You DO NOT have to disclose spent offences to your Careers Adviser & any conviction disclosed on the Security Questionnaire ("SQ" or MOD Form 1109) should be detached, put in a signed, sealed envelope & attached to the SQ.

Regardless of whether it is spent or unspent the DVA will ask you if you have disclosed all convictions if they come across anything you've omitted. If you fail to disclose to the DVA (NOT the Careers Adviser), your Security Clearance (SC) will be rejected for dishonesty. No SC, no entry.

Nutty is entirely correct with regard the RN policy on drugs -Zero. And Nutty is Ex- RN & Civil Police.

Sgt PB is entirely correct about compulsory random drug tests. Sgt PB is current Service Police.

Convictions regarding Class A Drugs can be a complete bar to entry in certain circumstances.

My advice? Continue worrying until your SC is granted.
I didnt realise a caution was classed as a conviction, I wasnt convicted of any thing I was only cautioned. Are they the same thing?

I'm sure my Careers advisor said he couldn't or wouldn't send the Security clearence forms until I'd passed my PJFT (Which I havent yet), do you think they would let me change what I put on the forms if I explained the circumstances? thanks in advance
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#17
bory_1876 said:
I didnt realise a caution was classed as a conviction, I wasnt convicted of any thing I was only cautioned.
If it was a Formal Police Caution, it means you have admitted the offence & accept the caution. You probably signed it to that effect.

Otherwise it is not an offence.
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#19
Ninja_Stoker said:
bory_1876 said:
I didnt realise a caution was classed as a conviction, I wasnt convicted of any thing I was only cautioned.
If it was a Formal Police Caution, it means you have admitted the offence & accept the caution. You probably signed it to that effect.

Otherwise it is not an offence.
Technically you are correct; it is an admission of guilt for an offence without the need to go to court:

Cautioning
A caution is a warning given by the police to adults who admit they are guilty of an (often first-time) minor offence, such as vandalism or petty theft. A caution acts as a first official warning and deterrent to anyone from getting involved in crime.

Types of cautions
There are two types of cautions:

a. simple cautions
b. conditional cautions

Simple cautions
A 'simple caution' - previously known as a formal caution- is used to deal quickly and simply with those who commit less serious crimes. It aims to divert these kind of offenders away from appearing in court and to reduce the likelihood of them offending again.

If you are given a simple caution you will be officially warned about the unacceptability of your behaviour, and the likely consequences if you commit any further crimes will be explained to you.

The main aim of a simple caution is to prevent offenders reoffending. So if you offend again, you're likely to be charged with the crime instead of getting a second caution unless:

a. the second offence is a minor offence unrelated to the first
b. two years or more have elapsed since the original offence

When do police use simple cautions?
Police can only issue a simple caution if:

a. there's evidence an offender is guilty
b. the offender is eighteen years of age or over
c. the offender admits they committed the crime
d. the offender agrees to be given a caution – if the offender does not agree to receive a caution then they may be charged instead
e. There are no rigid rules about the particular situations in which cautions should be used – this is at the discretion of senior police officers.

The only exception to this is for indictable-only offences - these are the more serious crimes like robbery - which must always be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Will a simple caution go on my criminal record?
A simple caution is not a criminal conviction, but it will be recorded on the police database and may be considered in court if you are tried for another offence.

The record will remain on the police database along with photographs, fingerprints and any other samples taken at the time.

If the victim of your offence requests your name and address for civil proceedings, the police are legally obliged to give this information out, so you may still be sued for damages.

Conditional cautions
A 'conditional caution', which was introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, differs from a simple caution in that the offender must comply with certain conditions to receive the caution and to avoid prosecution for the offence they have committed.

Like simple cautions, conditional cautions aim to keep lower level offenders out of court.

They also address the needs of both victims and offenders - they deal with the offender's behaviour quickly and allow action to be taken to rehabilitate the offender or to repair the damage caused by the offence.

Types of conditions
The conditions that can be attached to a conditional caution must have one or more of the following objectives:

a. rehabilitation – conditions that help to change the behaviour of the offender, reduce the likelihood of them re-offending or help to reintegrate the offender into society
b. reparation – conditions that aim to repair the damage done either directly or indirectly by the offender.

Rehabilitative conditions could include attendance at drug or alcohol misuse programmes, or interventions tackling other addictions or personal problems, such as gambling or debt management courses.

Reparative conditions could include apologising, repairing or otherwise making good any damage caused, provided this is acceptable to the victim. Specific financial compensation may be paid.

Where the offending has resulted in damage to community property, reparation may take the form of unpaid work to repair that damage or of a payment to an appropriate local charitable or community fund.

Changes to conditional cautions
The Police and Justice Act 2006 introduced 'punitive measures' - these are conditions which punish or penalise the offender for their law-breaking and could include:

a. the payment of a financial penalty
b. unpaid work for a period not exceeding 20 hours
c. attendance at a specified place for a period not exceeding 20 hours
d. Punitive measures are likely to be introduced from Autumn 2007.

When do police use conditional cautions?
Police can administer a conditional caution after consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) when they think it is the most appropriate way to address the offender's behaviour or to make direct reparation to the victim of the crime. The views of the victim can also be considered.

A conditional caution can only be offered to offenders who have admitted their guilt.

If the offender does not comply with the conditions attached to the conditional caution they will be charged with the original offence and the case will go to court.

Will a conditional caution go on my criminal record?
Just like a simple caution, a conditional caution is not a criminal conviction. But it will be recorded on the police database and may be considered in court if you are tried for another offence.

The record will remain on the police database along with photographs, fingerprints and any other samples taken at the time.

If the victim of your offence requests your name and address for civil proceedings, the police are legally obliged to give this information out, so you may still be sued for damages.

Do young offenders receive cautions?
No. Young offenders (aged 17 and under) are given 'reprimands' and 'final warnings' instead of simple cautions. This is to try and keep them out of the court system.
Home Office Website: Police Powers - Cautioning
 

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
#20
bory_1876 said:
I think I might have had a formal police caution more than 4 years ago, Im not too sure if it was a formal caution or if it was a verbal warning. Does anyone know if this will show up in the security check if it was a formal caution? and if so will it affect my chances of being able to join? Any help would be great!
To avoid any confusion, I would suggest that as this was over 4 years ago it would have been a formal caution. If this is the case it is a conviction and should be declared.
If it was after 2003 it will be as per SgtP post
 

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