We recognise that employment plays an important part in preventing ex-offenders from sliding back into crime. Therefore, although our criminal record criterion will be robust and rigorous, we will also pay due attention to the principles of rehabilitation so there are no unnecessary barriers for the employment of ex-offenders.
We will in all cases verify an applicant’s identity and undertake a criminal record check. Where the check reveals that the applicant has a record of convictions or cautions and warnings, we will consider these carefully on the basis of…
- How relevant the offences were to the licence applied for
- How serious the offences were, and
- How recent they were.
We will pay special attention to offences involving violence, weapons, drugs, criminal damage and sexual offences.
Whilst a licence is in force, we shall receive updates of new convictions and cautions for licence holders. This will allow us to decide whether action needs to be taken on the continuation of the licence.
We will require access to at least a continuous five year period of verifiable, authoritative records against which to assess an applicant’s criminal record. If we can’t obtain this (for example if an applicant has been overseas where verifiable records are unavailable) then we won’t be able to grant a licence. We are working with the Criminal Records Bureau and the Foreign Office to minimise the occasions on which this will apply.