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  • Jonathan Wallace

Have you been suspected of committing a crime?

Being suspected of committing a crime can cause significant damage to your professional and personal life. For some people, when undergoing an enhanced Disclosure and Baring Service check, it can be quite distressing to learn that, despite having no convictions or police cautions, information about an investigation where you were a suspect might still be disclosed to prospective employers even if the disclosure might not concern you directly. It might, for example, concern your connection to another person who was suspected of a crime.

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 outlines when police are required to destroy personal samples, fingerprints and DNA that have been taken from those arrested.

For those not convicted of an offence then the treatment of their samples depends on the level of seriousness of the alleged offence. The Act divides charges into ‘Minor’ and ‘Qualifying’ offences.

In cases involving only Minor offences, regardless of whether a person is charged or not, the samples will be destroyed.

Persons arrested for, but not charged with, a Qualifying offence such as a terrorism offence, sexual offence or violent offence will have their samples destroyed unless the police apply to a Biometrics Commissioner to keep them.

Irrespective of how your fingerprint or DNA profiles are treated if you were arrested your name will still appear on the Police National Computer (PNC). You can, however, apply to the police to have your record deleted, for example, if you were not charged with an offence.

For some kinds of work an employer is entitled to apply to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for an Enhanced Check. This is submitted to a local police force who will search their local records for any information which they consider is relevant to the application. This can include information on allegations of misconduct by the person involved. It can also include the fact that a person lives with someone who has a criminal record. Before making any disclosure to the potential employer however the police must provide the person being checked with an opportunity to make representations and provide evidence where appropriate.

If you need help with making a request to have data destroyed please contact the team at Garden House Solicitors on 01992 422128. Always in your corner.

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