Welcome to our monthly summary for May 2017.
This provides a summary of:
- the latest updates to our self-help information site for people with convictions
- recent posts to our online magazine, theRecord
- discussions on our online forum
- other news and developments that might be of interest to people with a criminal record
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Here’s a summary of the updates that we’ve made recently to the theInformationHub. There are links within each update to where you can find more information about the update. There are also links next to many of the updates, which link to threads on our online forum where you can discuss these with other people with convictions.
About criminal records
- Organisations that have access to the Police National Computer – We have produced some new information which sets out the range of non-police organisations which have access to the Police National Computer (PNC).
- Criminal record databases – We’ve updated this page to explain the different types of criminal record databases and where details of any arrests, cautions and convictions may be recorded.
Work and volunteering
- Security industry – We’ve updated this page to include a new section on getting a job in the security industry and the types of criminal record checks an employer can carry out if you already hold an SIA licence.
Other areas of life
- Compensation as a victim of crime – We’ve written an advice post highlighting the impact of having an unspent conviction if you’re looking to claim compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
- Important links and organisations– We’ve added a new section to this page with details of organisations who provide information, advice and support to families of people with convictions.
Below are links to recent posts to our online magazine, theRecord. These are often linked to from the practical information that we have, to help give some personal experiences.
Struggles and stigma – Why do Ofsted take so long in approving waivers for those who have been disqualified by association? – ‘I’d like to tell you about my disqualification from the primary school that I’ve worked in for the past fifteen years. In August last year, my 21 year old son was convicted of a sexual offence – arranging to meet a 13 year old girl and sending her explicit photographs. He received a suspended sentence, was put on the Sex Offenders Register and told he had to attend some courses …..’
Success – Sometimes you have to believe you’re worth it – securing the job of my dreams with a criminal record – ‘I’ll never forget the day I sat across from the smiley prison officer who told me “You’ll never get a job with a fraud conviction. You’d have more chance if you’d murdered somebody”. So much for moving on, being rehabilitated – from what this woman was telling me, I had a life on benefits to look forward to …..’
Struggles and stigma – Lessons in disclosure – just because an employer doesn’t ask the question, you’ll still be seen as dishonest if they find out you’ve got a criminal record – ‘In 2015 I was sentenced to 16 months in prison for fraud against my employer. I was 33 years old when I was convicted and the offence was completely out of character. Up until that point, I’d had a completely clean record and had never had any dealings with the police or the courts …..’
Success – Staying positive and being resilient – my journey from prison to normality – ‘Having a little bit of time on my hands, I just wanted to share my experience of being out in the real world. It’s been eight months since my release from prison after serving four years of an eight year sentence for conspiracy to defraud. From the outset, I have maintained my innocence and stated that trust and stupidity are the only crimes that I’ve been guilty of …..’
Discussions on our online forum
Working for a local government admin job – Bambi was looking for some advice about a criminal record check she needed for a job in local government. Although it looked as though a basic check would be carried out, the wording provided by the employer was quite confusing. Have you had any experience of working in local government?
Advice needed – DBS check – Sue has been asked by her employers to undertake an enhanced DBS check for an office based job she’s had for three years. She’s worried about what’s going to be disclosed and whether her employers are allowed to carry out this level of check. Do you have any advice you can offer her?
Other news and developments
Below are links to other news and developments that might be of interest to people with a criminal record. For more news, check out the news and media section of our main website.
Landmark Court of Appeal ruling – Government loses appeal against DBS filtering regime
The Court of Appeal rejected the Government’s appeal to a decision made in the High Court in January last year, which ruled that the criminal records disclosure scheme was disproportionate and unlawful. You can read the full press release here.
Families of prisoners pay high insurance premiums and face more refusals
An article in The Independent this month reports that families of offenders face higher premiums and even flat refusals when it comes to getting insurance. This article quotes a report by Unlock which revealed that 37% of calls to its helpline related to insurance.
My top 4 priorities for the next government
Looking ahead to beyond the 2017 election, Christopher Stacey has set out his top four priorities for the next government. Read his blog here.
Please help us unlock funding so that we can help more people
We are looking to make some improvements to our self-help information hub. An independent funder, J Leon Philanthropy has guaranteed to provide half of the £6500 we need. If you’re able to contribute to the remainder of the money, find out how you can make a donation.