Criminal record disclosure
The world is less safe than it was years ago, as all types of criminal activities have grown thanks to the access to Internet, so verifying a person, a company or any other entity no longer comes as a surprise for anyone. Luckily, the methods through which these verifications can be done have also been enhanced and one can appeal to private investigators or even the authorities when in need to check a person or a company.
In the case of individuals, the matter is less complicated, as every person in the world has his/her own history of crimes held by the police under the well-known criminal record.
Among the countries that have one of the best criminal record systems is the United Kingdom. Here, criminal record checks can be performed online with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), based on a fee.
The criminal record in the UK
The information one will find in a person’s criminal record is related to all the severe and less severe offences, police warnings and even convictions, however this does not mean an individual cannot have a clean criminal record.
Those who want to verify someone’s criminal record must file a request with the DBS, pay the fee in accordance with the interrogation to be performed and wait for the verification certificate to be issued.
It is also possible to verify one’s own criminal record.
Types of criminal record verifications
Those planning on verifying someone’s criminal background in the UK can select the amount of information they will receive, meaning a search with the DBS can be targeted for specific types of crimes.
The following types of criminal checks are available with the Disclosure and Barring Service:
- basic verifications
- standard checks
- enhanced verifications
The basic check implies access to caution orders and convictions deemed as unspent, according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. These are available with the Police National Computer.
Standard checks are more extensive and the certificate issued by the DBS will contain information on both unspent and spent police warnings, cautions, reprimands and convictions. The standard verification is the most requested and it is usually asked by employers and banks.
Then, we have the enhanced verification which is requested in specific conditions such as employment of special categories of workers in the education, childcare, healthcare and gambling industries. Apart from the information available in a standard verification, the enhanced one can also provide details on the licenses held by the person subject to the check. The information available under an enhanced criminal verification check will only be issued to certain persons.
How does one need to verify a criminal record?
Accessing one’s criminal record is a delicate and a human rights matter, therefore it will not be that easy to take a look at. The DBS has a well-organized system through which the criminal record check applications are filed.
The conditions one must meet in order to gain access to another person’s criminal record are:
- a minimum age of 16
- to present a valid identification document
- to indicate all the addresses they had in the past five years
- the National Insurance Number
- a debit or a credit card, in order to pay the access fee
It takes about 14 working days for the DBS to issue the certificate.
Verifying a criminal record in the UK is not complicated, but not easy either; however, it offers all the information needed in order for certain authorities to make an informed decision. Also, self-interrogation of the criminal record will help individuals know if they can apply for certain roles or jobs.