- Before contacting us…
- Latest news & tweets
- Contact details for our helpline
- Frequently asked questions about contacting us
Before contacting us…
theHelpline is run on limited charitable resources and can get extremely busy. To try and make the best use of our resources, we encourage people with a criminal record to try some way other ways before contacting us directly…
Is the answer on here?
We maintain this self-help information site as a way of people finding answers to questions for themselves. It’s easier for you (and us) if you find the answer to your question on here.
We have a ‘quick links‘ page, which covers the key areas that we receive a lot of requests about. These include:
- Is my conviction/caution spent? Use our disclosure calculator or read our guidance on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 including our ‘is it spent’ poster.
- Will my conviction/caution be disclosed on a basic disclosure? Work out if it’s spent by using the links above
- What types of jobs involve criminal record checks? Read our information on the types of criminal record checks and the eligibility for standard and enhanced checks.
- Will my caution/conviction be disclosed on a standard/enhanced DBS check? Or will it be filtered? Read our simple guide on the DBS filtering process, using our flow-chart to help you to work this out.
- How can I find out the details of my criminal record? Get a subject access request from the police.
- I need to get insurance – where can I go? Read our guidance, download our list of insurance brokers (for home insurance) and list of motor insurers (if you’ve got non-motoring convictions only)
- Does my record stop me from going to the United States? Read our simple guide or detailed guide to see if you can travel as normal or whether you have to apply for a visa.
Try our online forum
We run an online forum for people with convictions. It has many members (who themselves have a criminal record) that regularly give up their time in helping others who are looking for information or advice.
theForum has many questions and answers, or if you can’t find one that answers yours, you can post it and see if anyone has had a similar experience or can share any useful information/advice.
Latest news & tweets
To contact our helpline you can:
Call: 01634 247350 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
Text or WhatsApp: 07824 113848
Skype: search for Unlock Helpline
Online: Complete our online form
Write: theHelpline, Unlock, Maidstone Community Support Centre, 39-48 Marsham Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1HH
We ask that individuals contact us directly if possible. If a family member or an organisation working with you contacts us on your behalf, we will normally ask to speak to you.
For more details about how our helpline works, and what issues we cover, click here.
Frequently asked questions about contacting us
Please note: Our helpline is closed on public holidays (e.g. Bank Holidays) and over the Christmas break. The status bar above will be updated accordingly.
We promise to respond to every enquiry that we receive. We try to respond to queries as soon as possible, and are normally able to do so within 5 working days, but sometimes this might be longer if we’re busy.
In the meantime, you may find the answer to your question on this self-help information site. In particular, check out our quick links section which has answers to some of the most common questions we get. Or you might find the answer on our online forum.
If you’re calling us, you can dial 141 before you dial our number. This will hide your number (please check with your network providers as this doesn’t work on some mobile networks.
Our number will appear on your itemised bill – if someone else will see your telephone bill and you don’t want them to know you’ve called us, you may prefer to use a public telephone or pay-as-you-go mobile.
The details you might want to include in your enquiry are:
- Your name
- A contact telephone number
- An email address (if you have one)
- Whether your contacting about yourself, a family member/friend, or somebody you’re working with
- The details of your criminal record
- The specific question that you have
- Any relevant background information (including how you have tried to resolve the problem so far)
- Whether there’s anything in particular that you would like us to do to support you with in regards to this situation
- Any accompanying information (e.g. copies of letters, documents etc) – please do not send originals as we’re unable to return these.
Texting us or contacting us by WhatsApp
Contacting us by Skype
Where you have a problem but it’s not linked to you having a criminal record, we’ll try to point in the direction of other organisations that might be able to help.