Removing Police Records

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For many of our clients being suspected of a crime can have a damaging effect on their professional and personal life, even if they are not charged with an offence.  There are a growing number of people who are employed in jobs which require an Enhanced or Standard DBS check to be completed. 

It can be quite distressing to learn that, despite having no convictions, information about an investigation where you were a suspect might still be disclosed to prospective employers.  Sometimes the disclosure might not concern you directly; for example it might concern your relationship or connection to another person who was suspected of a crime.

 

After The Investigation: Police Records And Disclosure

We offer 3 types of service which can help people protect their reputation and clear their record.  They are:

  1. Applications for deletion of PNC records and biometric samples
  2. Applications to remove a police caution incorrectly administered (known as expunging)
  3. Representations to remove material in a proposed DBS check.

Police Record Deletion

If you have been arrested for a crime for the first time in your life only to have the investigation discontinued or to be found not guilty you might be able to apply to have your entry on the Police National Computer (‘PNC’) deleted.  In some circumstances (for more serious allegations) you may also apply to have your personal samples removed from the database early (such as your DNA profile and fingerprints).

While the retention of your details may have no lasting effect, the following events could potentially cause adverse treatment in the future:

  • Applications for employment in for positions which require enhanced scrutiny.
  • Applications for VISAs for countries with rigorous immigration controls.
  • General contact with the police; many officers can search the PNC when interacting with members of the public.
  • Increased risk of being wrongly suspected of a crime.  While your samples remain on the database they will be compared to new crime scene samples.

It is not possible to list all potential issues and some might go undetected.  It is also only fair to point out that simply knowing you are on the PNC does not necessarily mean you will face discrimination or unfair treatment.

Feeling a sense of injustice may in itself be a good enough reason to pursue this application process and offer peace of mind.  If you were innocent you are likely to feel aggrieved at being treated differently to everyone else with a clean record.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council receive applications for early deletion of samples and removal from the PNC. 

The following is a non-exhaustive list of circumstances they will consider:

  • Mistaken identity
  • The police later believe no crime was in fact committed
  • Malicious or false allegations, where the police are satisfied that there is independent evidence to support a suspect’s assertion.
  • Proven alibi, again where the police obtain evidence which supports your claim.
  • Your ‘suspect status’ being unclear at time of arrest: where the police initially treated you as a suspect but then believed you to be a victim or witness.
  • On the recommendation of a judge or magistrate.  If they have said something supportive upon your acquittal we could go further to ask they support an application for data removal.
  • Another person is convicted of the offence (this is case specific and not universal)
  • Where your arrest is subsequently deemed unlawful.

Removal Of Police Cautions

Frequently we are approached by people who received a caution for an offence when they denied the allegation.  They later discover this will have adverse consequences for them and they feel a sense of injustice.  This can occur because they either had no legal representation or who were inadequately represented by other providers while at a police station.

A national police body provides a process whereby you can apply to have a caution removed, this is known as expunging it from the record.  There are however restrictive criteria in place and in most cases there is an evidential burden on the applicant.

We are expert in quickly diagnosing the position and considering ways in which an application can be greatly supported and enhanced.

Representations To Remove Material In A Proposed DBS Check 

For certain jobs a prospective or current employer is entitled to request an Enhanced DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service, previously the Criminal Records Bureau).  This will be submitted to a local police force who will search their records for information which they consider is relevant to the application.  This includes any information and is not restricted to allegations of misconduct by the person involved. 

Past examples have included the fact that a person lives with someone who has a criminal record.  Before making the disclosure the police must provide the person with an opportunity to make representations and provide evidence where appropriate. 

This is where we can assist.  With our extensive knowledge of criminal investigations and prosecutions we can help you identify the key factors which will the difference and thereafter assist with drafting the representations to be submitted.

Funding

Legal advice and support in making these applications can only be provided on a private basis and is not a recoverable expense.  We are willing to act under an hourly rate or fixed fee basis depending on the nature of your case.

If you think your case has merit we will consider your enquiry free of charge to give an initial opinion. If you were represented by this firm please speak to your case worker first.

For more information please visit our Fees & Funding page.

 

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