My old force had a similar concept, neighbourhood disposals which were an adult version of the restorative justice resolutions which had been on offer to juveniles. I have answered to the best of my knowledge below each question.
I recently received an Adult Restorative Disposal (ARDs) in the Thames Valley Police Area. It was for an offence I denied but it was positioned as the best way of dealing with it, which I accepted. The offence was shop lifting, I denied it as I unknowingly mis-scanned 2 items at the self service tills. I accepted I should have been more careful and that I left the shop without paying for the items, but it was not deliberate.
It was a bit of a blur and now I'm concerned that I have a mark against me. This has been confounded by the information I have read on the net about warnings, cautions, reprimands and CRB checks.
I was told it was not a criminal record or a conviction. That it would not be held on a national database. But it would be stored locally and 'may' be disclosed on an enhanced CRB check.
I asked how long it would be held for and the officer wasn't sure, first saying forever but then they tend to keep records for one year longer than standard which would be 9 in total.
A record of everything is held forever. That is not the same as disclosure rules. Most documents are kept for a fixed term, I think my force keep paperwork for 5 years in general.
The alternative to the ARD was a fix penalty notice, I had heard of that and when I asked about it the PC said you don't want to got there, it is worse than the ARD, a level up. So I took the ARD,
It's a funny system because yes a PND shows on the PNC but a PND is not an admission of guilt and can't be used as such. An ARD in effect requires an admission of guilt
I wasn't given anything to take away and nor was I taken to the police station. I did sign a mini writeup in his notepad. I should have read it better, but by that time I wasn't thinking clearly, feeling terrible I was in a rush and not more careful and was wondering what it all meant!
Since then I have been reading up on the matter of ARDs. I'm concerned it would come up on an enhanced CRB as a view that I am dis-honest which is a serious thing for any job!
I wasn't too concerned about an enhanced CRB check as I can't see myself working with children/vulnerable adults, but have read since that 89% of all CRB checks are enhanced. So am worried
Can you confirm the following please.
1) an ARD is not a caution and not recorded as such. It is not recorded as a caution. It is not a caution and unless you signed acknowledging a caution you have not been cautioned
2) an ARD does not appear on the PNC as it is not a caution and reprimands/warnings are only for under 18s? so it can't be classified as a warning/reprimand?. ARD's do not appear on the PNC. They are only stored on a local system for the force area they were issued in
3) Held locally as a crime report???? and now that local police records have been joined up into a national database will be on the police national database (PND). so it is on a national database....? Possibly but the PND is not exactly up an running at a grass routes level and I don't think this will show on there for a considerable time if it ever does. Information placed onto PND is generally assessed by intelligence units and I dout they would push this forward onto PND
4) It may turn up on the enhanced CRB check, but that is at the discretion of the chief officer/disclosures team? if it did how would it? I'm worried about this, as it suggests it may or may not and I wouldn't know.... CRB disclosure would generally give the circumstances of the incident. So in this case it would show as a low value retail theft of x number of items.
5) if I did a Subject access request to find out about my records, (which I will), will it tell me definitively if it would appear on an E CRB? No- a subject access request might be interesting but ultimately it is not in the same format as disclosed on a CRB. It will have the entire information in it. A CRB is what is relevant.
6) I was told I didn't have a criminal record, but if it is held permanently??? surely that means in effect I do! You DON'T HAVE a criminal record. You do not have a CRO number, basically a criminal records office file number. If you were stopped by police anywhere other than Thames Valley they would not have this information and you would return a no trace from PNC (unless there are other matters you haven't mentioned). YOU CAN LEGITIMATELY and LEGALLY state on any application that you DO NOT HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD or any criminal convictions. You can also state you do not have any cautions
7) Is it ever stepped down? Thames Valley Police will have some form of record of this forever, as they have a record of every time you call police, every time a check is conducted on your vehicle, in fact almost everything a police officer ever does is recored. That doesn't mean that something is effective and active. There is a concept of spent and unspent convictions. Generally after 5 years a conviction doesn't have to be declared. So if you no longer have to declare being foud guilty in court after 5 years (or different years in certain circumstances) don't worry too much about this
The confusion is that ARDs don't seem to be consistently dealt with across the police forces. According to
Page 13 shows that ARDs aren't on the PNC, are not disclosed on a strd or enhanced CRB, disclosed abroad etc. The funny thing is at the end of the document it lists all the areas that hjave contributed and thames valley police and TVP CPS all contributed. Very confused!
I would like to know what it all means in terms of disclosure and am worried that it comes down to the views of someone in a disclosure office????
I appreciate your help
As a final point on CRB checks it is worth noting that the majority are probably done to enhanced level. That is because anyone employed in a school, nursery, hospital etc in a position where they come into contact with kids has to have it to this level. There are a hell of a lot of these and as you can imagine they are done for one main reason and it isn't low value retail theft.
Also CRB checks are sent off to one police force to carry out. If, for example you were to be dealt with by ARD in Thames Valley but live in Hertfordshire and apply for a job in Hertfordshire then there is no real likelyhood of the Thames Valley Police crime system being interrogated at length. The appropriate checks for serious offences will be conducted and intelligence in relation to sex offences and all that is shared nationally but not retail theft.
Generally these things are easiest dealt with if you are honest. You can fill in the form saying NO CONVICTIONS, NO CAUTIONS. For some jobs with a higher level of CRB checking it might ask for 'police contact' or something like this and if you write down honestly what has happened they can't really use it against you as evidence of dishonesty