Criminal Records in the UK

Criminal records are not freely available on the internet nor are they freely available from government departments. No matter if an employer or any other persons accept for a law enforcement officer which legally may have direct access to a person’s criminal record. Depending on the reason for wanting access to such records will depend on whether you will be allowed access or not. Also note that a PNC record is not the same as a criminal record.

Criminal records are maintained by the Criminal Records Bureau in theUK. And inWales, North Ireland andScotland the national police computer have partial access to such documentation. A criminal record may not be viewed without the consent of the said person although some employers will make this a condition of employment. Such records are not accessible to the public.

Depending on the level of disclosure will depend on the information supplied. For example a disclosure that is low level will only reveal unspent convictions which mean these convictions have not been expunged under the ROF Act. In the case of comprehensive disclosures these include all final warnings, reprimands, convictions and cautions. A comprehensive criminal record necessarily does not mean that these criminal records pertain to criminal matters only although they may contain relevant information.

In the case of an arrest taking place whereby there were no official findings of guilt such as a conviction, such records are not considered part of a person’s criminal record and are not in any way disclosed to appropriate bodies. However, the Chief of Police in the UKmay disclose such information should it be a comprehensive criminal record. Comprehensive criminal records are used to screen applicants applying for positions such as healthcare staff, social workers and police officers.

Looking for criminal records has become far more practical and efficient when using the internet as a tool for accessing such free records. There are now several online record providers and commercial information services that has access to obtaining these records. Many corporate companies and individuals have started making use of these services in order to do background checks on partners, tenants and employees.

One can also conduct a background and criminal record check on their own if they have the right service provider. Having access to criminal records can be a life saver especially when employing a caregiver or babysitter. Knowing that your company or loved ones are in the hands of a trustworthy person will give one peace of mind.

Criminal Records Differ from Country to Country

Criminal records form an integral part for obtaining security clearances no matter the level of access. In order to ensure public safety some countries and states may request high risk professions to be screened. For instance all hospital staff, volunteers, school staff, healthcare students, healthcare professionals and childcare staff have to undergo a CRC which is a requirement by law.

For example pardon in Canadais delegated by the National Parole Board or the Governor General or by the Federal Government and under the criminal records act will be determined by the crime committed. Other countries such as Hong Kongall criminal records are held by the Police Force. As opposed to other countries the authorities of Hong Kong do not allow employers or schools to access criminal records.

Any offenses committed inHong Kongcan only be pardoned by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. The Chief Executive exercises the functions and powers to pardon people that have commuted their penalties or were convicted of a criminal offense. Regardless of time or seriousness of the offense criminal records are not purged.

If it was the persons first criminal offense or the jail sentence was less than three months or if the person was issued a fine of less that ten thousand dollars the criminal record is considered spent within a period of three years has passed since the conviction and that no other convictions were committed by the person in question. This law falls under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance.

However, there is an exception with regards to spent records such as those attempting to register as an accountant, insurance broker, barrister or solicitor. Criminal records will not be regarded as spent when a person has a criminal record and is applying to become a trustee for a Provident Fund or employee, executive or bank controller. Hong Kong has it own jurisdiction and set of laws pertaining to criminal records and people with such records are given protection under this law.

In addition those that plan to travel or immigrate or adopt kids can apply for a certificate of no criminal conviction. Such certification is issued to a government agency or the consulate but no to the person requesting it. So it is not true that one can obtain criminal records freely or online for that matter, even if an employer is running a check on a potential employee.