I was pleased when my hard copy contract and formalities from Saudi Arabia arrived this week by courier. After some further thoughts, soul searching and stress. I have rejected the 100K per annum offer for "personal reasons" ,this because the thought of digging up the past would have been too embarrassing. I would be working with a Management team that I have worked for in the past and the possibility of reputation damage is something I could not personally accept. Rather than rattling a possible "hornets nest", I will let "sleeping dogs" lie. I will try and get an SAR sometime in the next 40 days. I didnt want to lie on the Police Certificate application form. I am sure I would be accused of fraud if I chose that route. Basically it means that at the age of 58, I shall remain unemployed in the UK rather than returning to employment in the Middle East. I have also realized that in the UK we have an "ageist" approach to employment. People over 55 have enough problems getting work let alone bringing up black marks from 30+ years ago. I suppose I can count my blessings that this is a fairly new requirement. During the past 25 years I have worked in the UK,Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and this is the first time I have been requested to provide an ACRO Police Certificate for an employment visa.
I do believe that there should be a campaign to get such old minor convictions removed from the PNC, not just DBS, CRB, especially when it comes to employment visa reasons. The step down process is really not satisfactory when it comes to the statement "No Living Trace". As Deb says, most organizations will know there is something possibly lurking in the shadows. This is not my understanding of an acceptable "rehabilitation". If the UK is happy by law that a person can apply a spent conviction non-disclosure by policy, then this should also apply to Police Certificates. I understand the importance of protecting vulnerable people but this policy on the ACRO Police Certificate is discriminating against professional people that want to get on and work. I wonder how may Pilots, engineers, air traffic controllers, oil industry staff etc etc can no longer work in Saudi Arabia because of their new requirement to provide a UK Police Certificate requirements. Its also costing the UK money. I am sure the UK government would prefer that I worked rather than be unemployed. Thats another 100K that wont be spent in the UK! This doesnt seem a good policy when they are trying to improve the economy.
My other area for campaign would be to amend the application forms for PNC. When people apply I would expect this to be mainly for immigration and/or employment reasons. Why should it be necessary to disclose past UK convictions on the forms when the whole intent is to establish what the PNC record shows. This seems ridiculous. I would imagine that if a past conviction is really serious, then there is something drastically wrong with the system if its not recorded on the PNC. Why should I mention that I stole the farmers apples 99 years ago and invite a PNC update!