What types of offences are eligible for filtering?

Since the introduction of filtering in mid-2013, our helpline has been constantly asked “is my conviction or caution eligible for filtering?”

In some ways, this has been an easy to identify.

  1. When was it?
  2. Is it your only conviction?
  3. How old were you at the time?

However, where things have been tricky is when it comes down to the nature of the offence. So far, the DBS has only published a list of offences that will never be filtered.

Since filtering came in, we’ve been asking the DBS/Home Office to publish a list of offences that are eligible for filtering (so long as they meet the other criteria), but after waiting over 6 months, we got fed up. So we recently made a Freedom of Information request to the DBS, to ask them for a list of the most common offences that have been filtered so far.

The result is that they’ve sent us a list of offences that have been filtered so far. The list is over 1,000 offences long. The top ones are listed below:

  1. THEFT – SHOPLIFTING
  2. DRIVING A MOTOR VEHICLE WITH EXCESS ALCOHOL
  3. COMMON ASSAULT
  4. DESTROY OR DAMAGE PROPERTY (VALUE OF DAMAGE #5000 OR LESS – OFFENCE AGAINST CRIMINAL DAMAGE ACT 1971 ONLY)
  5. THEFT
  6. BEING DRUNK AND DISORDERLY
  7. POSSESSING CONTROLLED DRUG – CLASS B – CANNABIS
  8. USE DISORDERLY BEHAVIOUR OR THREATENING/ABUSIVE/INSULTING WORDS LIKELY TO CAUSE HARASSMENT ALARM OR DISTRESS
  9. CRIMINAL DAMAGE

So, if your conviction or caution is on this list, you know that it’s one that could be eligible for filtering (so long as it meets the other criteria). However, please bear in mind that this is a list of offences that HAVE been filtered – the DBS has since admitted to us that they’ve made mistakes, so some of the offences on this list are also on the list of offences that will NEVER be filtered.

Now, at this point it’s worth remembering that this is not a comprehensive list – there will be other offences that are not on this list, but that are not on the list that will never be filtered. If it’s not on the list that will never be filtered, it can be eligible for filtering.

For more information on the other criteria that makes up whether a conviction or caution is eligible for filtering, take a look at the filtering section of our Hub.

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Christopher Stacey