We’re looking for examples where DBS ‘filtering’ doesn’t go far enough

by / Monday, 21 July 2014 / Published in Latest, News & Media, What DBS disclose

Following on from the Supreme Court judgement in Twe’ve been looking to pull together examples of where the DBS ‘filtering’ process doesn’t go far enough.

In short, the Supreme Court ruling applied specifically to the system in place before May 2013, when no filtering process existed. Since then, the DBS has introduced a system set up by the Home Office, but we know from our Helpline, and from the results to a Freedom of Information request that we made, that the system doesn’t go far enough.

As a result, we’re continuing to push for the Government to widen the filtering provisions. As part of this work, we’re looking for examples that show that the filtering system introduced in May 2013 doesn’t go far enough.

We’ve identified four key areas of the system that rules a lot of people out of benefitting from it, which are on the borderline of the existing rules.

If you think your situation fits into one of these categories, we want to hear from you!

Types of examples we’re looking for:

  1. If you have two (or more) ‘offences’ as part of one conviction – We’d like to hear from you if you’ve only been to court once, but you were charged for two ‘counts’ which would be eligible for filtering if the system wasn’t limited to ‘one conviction/offence’.
  2. If you have two separate convictions – We’d like to hear from you if you have two separate convictions, which if the system wasn’t limited to ‘one conviction’, would be eligible for filtering. In particular, we’re particularly keen for examples where one conviction was when you were under 18 and one when you were over 18.
  3. If you were cautioned or conviction of certain offences that are not eligible – We’d like to hear from you if you’ve been cautioned or convicted for a ‘borderline’ offence which falls into the list of offences that currently cannot be filtered. Examples might include:
    1. Assault occasioning ABH (s.47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861)
    2. Robbery (s.8 Theft Act 1981)
    3. Loitering for purposes of prostitution (s.27 Sexual Offences Act 1992)
  4. If you received a short prison sentence or a suspended sentence – We’d like to hear from you if you’ve been given a suspended sentence, or a very short prison sentence, which would be eligible for filtering if the rule didn’t exclude convictions which resulted in a prison sentence.


Any of the above apply to you?

If your situation fits into one of the above, we want to speak to you. The more examples we get, the better chance we have of getting the filtering process changed in the future.

You can get send your details to policy@unlock.org.uk.

In your email, please send us:

  1. Your name
  2. Your date of birth (we need this to calculate your age at the time or conviction or caution)
  3. Contact details (email and telephone) and how you’d be happy for us to contact you
  4. Which example above you think your case fits into
  5. The details of all your cautions/convictions including the dates (if you have a copy of your criminal record, please send us a copy)
  6. How the continued disclosure of this has caused you difficulties in the past, and/or how it continues to cause you problems

Any personal details that you send us will be entirely confidential and will not be shared outside of Unlock without your express permission.

For more details on sending your details to us, click here.


You can find out more details about our policy work on the DBS filtering process.

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