Caution deleted from the police database

By Christopher Stevens  |  26.06.2016

Sonn Macmillan Walker’s Richard Easton has again successfully applied for the deletion of a client’s caution from police databases.

Richard argued that his client had wrongly been cautioned for an offence relating to failing to pay a taxi fare. The client (who had been represented by another firm during her interview at the police station) had clearly not intentionally avoided payment of a taxi driver’s fare and yet she had received a conditional caution despite denying the offence in interview. Richard’s representations to the police led to the deletion of the conditional caution along with her biometric (DNA, fingerprints etc.) data.

On the surface a small victory. But for the client, who holds a position of trust and frequently travels abroad, the win represents the reinstatement of her good reputation. Cautions are not simply ‘a slap on the wrist’. Records of a caution can be held until an individual’s 100th birthday on the Police National Computer (PNC) and can be disclosed on criminal records certificates when applying for many forms of work. Accepting a caution can have unexpected consequences for you: your career prospects could be blighted and emigration could prove difficult.

Obtaining the deletion of a caution is not a simple task. A recent Freedom of Information Act 2000 request showed that in 2014, only 20 of 129 applications to the Metropolitan Police Service for a caution to be removed were successful. In the same year the Met issued 29,560 cautions. Only 15%, therefore, of all cautions challenged were deleted. The number of deleted cautions in 2014 represented a mere 0.0006% of the total number of cautions administered that year. Often, people find themselves accused of offences only to be advised that a caution is the easy way out. Not all solicitors (and, indeed, police officers) are aware of the strict guidelines that regulate when a caution should not be administered.

If you  believe you should not have been cautioned, please contact Richard Easton.

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