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Difference between Police Certificate, DBS check, SAR & Court Records for visas (and employment)


Difference between Police Certificate, DBS check, SAR & Court Records...

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AB2014
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BenFeb - 23 Feb 22 4:04 PM
@dedalus - Court records (i.e. transcripts) I got by paying for it from an official transcript service.
@AB2014 - Do the Embassies ask for a Police Certificate that is up to date? So for example if I get a certificate now, then spent time outside the UK for a couple of years, then applied for a visa from a country that needed a police certificate....can I rely on the old certificate + an equivalent statement of no criminal record from the police at my present country?
@JASB - Indeed the Judge's sentencing remarks are important if they are helpful.

Like any criminal record check, the older the document, the less reliable it is, as it is just a snapshot of how things were when it was processed. So, I suppose an embassy or high commission would expect a police certificate to be dated around the time of the application. I wouldn't expect them to be OK with one that is a few years old. After all, convictions received outside your home country are routinely communicated to that country, so an up-to-date police certificate should reflect that.

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

BenFeb
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@dedalus - Court records (i.e. transcripts) I got by paying for it from an official transcript service.
@AB2014 - Do the Embassies ask for a Police Certificate that is up to date? So for example if I get a certificate now, then spent time outside the UK for a couple of years, then applied for a visa from a country that needed a police certificate....can I rely on the old certificate + an equivalent statement of no criminal record from the police at my present country?
@JASB - Indeed the Judge's sentencing remarks are important if they are helpful.

JASB
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dedalus - 23 Feb 22 9:05 AM
BenFeb - 23 Feb 22 6:43 AM
Hey all, I have some questions about the above. I've summarised what I know below:

ACRO Police Certificate:

https://www.acro.police.uk/Police-Certificates-Online

What is needed:

  1. Proof of address
  2. Recent passport photo
  3. Colour copies of passports
  4. Any other relevant documents
  5. Valid email address
  6. Addresses for the past 10 years
  7. Endorser's details
  8. UK NINO and driving license numbers if relevant
  9. £55 for standard service, £95 for premium service

What it says:
  1. For those of us with a criminal record that has been stepped down, "No live trace". This will certainly trigger more questions.
When it is needed
  1. Specifically for visa applications
Questions
If we have a criminal record (spent or not) is there any point getting a Police Certificate? Should we just go straight for the Court Papers (below) or a DBS check?



DBS Check
https://www.gov.uk/request-copy-criminal-record
What is needed
  1. Addresses for the last 5 years
  2. NINO number
  3. Passport
  4. Driving licence
  5. £23

What it says:
Basic check: Unspent convictions and conditional cautions
Standard check: Spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
Enhanced check: Standard check + any information held by police that's considered relevant to the role
Enhanced check with barred lists.

When it is needed:
It states for finding work.

Questions:
  1. Could a basic check for a spent conviction be used to say you have no active criminal record?
  2. How can "qualifying" organisations ask for a DBS check for someone else?
  3. What information does a "qualifying" organisation need to do a DBS check on someone else?
  4. Can a DBS check be done on someone without their knowledge or consent?
  5. How does an organisation become a "qualifying" organisation?

Subject Access Request from the Police
https://www.acro.police.uk/Subject-access

What is needed
  1. One proof of identity
  2. Addresses for the past 10 years
  3. No charge
Questions:
    1. What information is provided in a SAR?
    2. Is the subject necessarily informed that a SAR is being done against them?
    3. For more "official" bodies - such as foreign embassies or border agents, can they ask for a SAR without the subject's consent or knowledge, and with just a copy of their ID?


Court Papers
Questions:
  1. For those of us with a criminal record, are court papers really the best and most authoritative source of the story?
  2. Presumably because Court Papers make some attempt at giving both sides of the story whereas the police's records on someone would state fact as far as convictions are concerned, but also unproven allegations/suspicions in their Police Intelligence
  3. One problem I can see is that Court Papers do not say you are not a wanted person or under active investigation, which may also be the primary concern of visa issuing authorities, or employers.

Thank you for any illumination you can provide on this subject.

Hi, how does one get a copy of their court papers?

Hi
You may find that the Court papers are in archives which mean you will have to pay for them. Cost me £100 for the Judges sentencing remarks. the cost depends on the work involved to access and qty of the elements you apply for. It is a simple but admin heavy process.
  I did find that a great document as quite offended you are told / accused by your local PPU something and you have the evidence to show you was not.
Example I was told I had targeted a female by a Force solicitor when I applied for a SOPO dismissal. I showed them the Judges sentencing statement that stated I had not targeted anyone. Therefore I was able to ask the Force Solicitor to prove his statement was correct or show the Judge was incorrect.

I will dig out the Court archive contact details for you unless you contact the Court for them first.

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AB2014
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Well, first of all, a police certificate is specifically for immigration purposes, so it is what the embassy or high commission will want to receive from you. Many of them specify that they want a police certificate and won't process the application without one.

I'm not sure there is an agreed definition of an active criminal record. After all, anything on your police record, which can also be a criminal record, is there until you are 100, so it can be said to be active. It is just a list of any unspent convictions, and any conditional cautions that have not become spent yet, and how people choose to interpret that is up to them. It can also be used for purposes other than employment, especially insurance if you make a claim. You could, in theory, be asked to produce one for a social housing application. By "qualifying organisation", I'm assuming you are referring to umbrella bodies. They are intermediaries in the DBS check process for organisations that don't process enough themselves over a year. They are registered with the DBS and followed agreed processes to pass on requests for DBS checks. The information they need is the same as the information you need to do a basic DBS check on yourself, but they won't process a check without your consent. That would be a data protection breach. They achieve their status by meeting the DBS's requirements and applying to become a qualifying organisation.

An SAR is a complete record of what is held about you on the Police National Computer (PNC). It lists your name, date of birth, aliases, addresses, appearance and anything relating to being arrested, including whether DNA and fingerprints were taken and whether you were released on bail or under investigation. It then lists what the outcomes (disposals) were, and there is a separate section at the end that lists each disposal in turn. An SAR is what you can do to get your own information. Access is strictly controlled, but there are organisations who officially have access. You can probably make a separate SAR to ACRO to ask for details of anyone accessing your PNC record. You can also make an SAR to your local police force to ask for any information they hold about you in their files. That is stuff that isn't put on the PNC, such as allegations and intel, and also non-recordable offences. As with any information, it is yours and can't be accessed without your consent, except by people and organisations who have legally been granted access. That does not include foreign embassies and high commissions.

The court transcript can give a bit more context to the case, and will certainly include the judge's remarks, which might be helpful if those remarks are favourable. It is a transcript of what was said, and nothing else. It is also only available for a few years, after which it is deleted. If someone is wanted by the police, they would have trouble leaving the country, and if it is suspected that they want to leave the country, an Interpol alert may well be issued. That wouldn't be communicated to any embassies or high commissions, but the border control of the relevant countries would be aware of it.

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

dedalus
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BenFeb - 23 Feb 22 6:43 AM
Hey all, I have some questions about the above. I've summarised what I know below:

ACRO Police Certificate:

https://www.acro.police.uk/Police-Certificates-Online

What is needed:

  1. Proof of address
  2. Recent passport photo
  3. Colour copies of passports
  4. Any other relevant documents
  5. Valid email address
  6. Addresses for the past 10 years
  7. Endorser's details
  8. UK NINO and driving license numbers if relevant
  9. £55 for standard service, £95 for premium service

What it says:
  1. For those of us with a criminal record that has been stepped down, "No live trace". This will certainly trigger more questions.
When it is needed
  1. Specifically for visa applications
Questions
If we have a criminal record (spent or not) is there any point getting a Police Certificate? Should we just go straight for the Court Papers (below) or a DBS check?



DBS Check
https://www.gov.uk/request-copy-criminal-record
What is needed
  1. Addresses for the last 5 years
  2. NINO number
  3. Passport
  4. Driving licence
  5. £23

What it says:
Basic check: Unspent convictions and conditional cautions
Standard check: Spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
Enhanced check: Standard check + any information held by police that's considered relevant to the role
Enhanced check with barred lists.

When it is needed:
It states for finding work.

Questions:
  1. Could a basic check for a spent conviction be used to say you have no active criminal record?
  2. How can "qualifying" organisations ask for a DBS check for someone else?
  3. What information does a "qualifying" organisation need to do a DBS check on someone else?
  4. Can a DBS check be done on someone without their knowledge or consent?
  5. How does an organisation become a "qualifying" organisation?

Subject Access Request from the Police
https://www.acro.police.uk/Subject-access

What is needed
  1. One proof of identity
  2. Addresses for the past 10 years
  3. No charge
Questions:
    1. What information is provided in a SAR?
    2. Is the subject necessarily informed that a SAR is being done against them?
    3. For more "official" bodies - such as foreign embassies or border agents, can they ask for a SAR without the subject's consent or knowledge, and with just a copy of their ID?


Court Papers
Questions:
  1. For those of us with a criminal record, are court papers really the best and most authoritative source of the story?
  2. Presumably because Court Papers make some attempt at giving both sides of the story whereas the police's records on someone would state fact as far as convictions are concerned, but also unproven allegations/suspicions in their Police Intelligence
  3. One problem I can see is that Court Papers do not say you are not a wanted person or under active investigation, which may also be the primary concern of visa issuing authorities, or employers.

Thank you for any illumination you can provide on this subject.

Hi, how does one get a copy of their court papers?
BenFeb
BenFeb
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Hey all, I have some questions about the above. I've summarised what I know below:

ACRO Police Certificate:

https://www.acro.police.uk/Police-Certificates-Online

What is needed:

  1. Proof of address
  2. Recent passport photo
  3. Colour copies of passports
  4. Any other relevant documents
  5. Valid email address
  6. Addresses for the past 10 years
  7. Endorser's details
  8. UK NINO and driving license numbers if relevant
  9. £55 for standard service, £95 for premium service

What it says:
  1. For those of us with a criminal record that has been stepped down, "No live trace". This will certainly trigger more questions.
When it is needed
  1. Specifically for visa applications
Questions
If we have a criminal record (spent or not) is there any point getting a Police Certificate? Should we just go straight for the Court Papers (below) or a DBS check?



DBS Check
https://www.gov.uk/request-copy-criminal-record
What is needed
  1. Addresses for the last 5 years
  2. NINO number
  3. Passport
  4. Driving licence
  5. £23

What it says:
Basic check: Unspent convictions and conditional cautions
Standard check: Spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
Enhanced check: Standard check + any information held by police that's considered relevant to the role
Enhanced check with barred lists.

When it is needed:
It states for finding work.

Questions:
  1. Could a basic check for a spent conviction be used to say you have no active criminal record?
  2. How can "qualifying" organisations ask for a DBS check for someone else?
  3. What information does a "qualifying" organisation need to do a DBS check on someone else?
  4. Can a DBS check be done on someone without their knowledge or consent?
  5. How does an organisation become a "qualifying" organisation?

Subject Access Request from the Police
https://www.acro.police.uk/Subject-access

What is needed
  1. One proof of identity
  2. Addresses for the past 10 years
  3. No charge
Questions:
    1. What information is provided in a SAR?
    2. Is the subject necessarily informed that a SAR is being done against them?
    3. For more "official" bodies - such as foreign embassies or border agents, can they ask for a SAR without the subject's consent or knowledge, and with just a copy of their ID?


Court Papers
Questions:
  1. For those of us with a criminal record, are court papers really the best and most authoritative source of the story?
  2. Presumably because Court Papers make some attempt at giving both sides of the story whereas the police's records on someone would state fact as far as convictions are concerned, but also unproven allegations/suspicions in their Police Intelligence
  3. One problem I can see is that Court Papers do not say you are not a wanted person or under active investigation, which may also be the primary concern of visa issuing authorities, or employers.

Thank you for any illumination you can provide on this subject.

Edited
5 Months Ago by BenFeb
GO


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