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Case of Dennis

Dennis has two minor convictions. The first was in 2004 when he was 17 years old – for criminal damage to a phone box for which he received a fine and community service. The second was in 2012 when he was 25 years old – for common assault after an altercation one evening with another young man.

Dennis is studying hard for exams that will lead him to be qualified to take up regulated positions in the finance industry which will require him to undergo standard DBS checks. He is terrified that his past will block his career for which he is working incredibly hard.

Dennis said:

“I regret both instances. I wish I could turn back the hands of time to change the situation but unfortunately I can’t. I’ve done my absolute best to move forward and build a career but truthfully it’s not myself holding back my progress but these two minor convictions. When is the law going to change so that I can apply for a job without having the stigma of disclosing a criminal record? These convictions are not relevant to the jobs that I want to do but an employer will obviously choose the candidate without the conviction and justify it by saying that the other candidate was stronger for the role.


When will this nonsense stop! Even if the law changes for minor convictions, having to wait for over 11 years for it to be filtered is ridiculous. Justice has been done. I’ve paid the fine and more than suffered for my mistake. I plead that the law does not destroy my future as it has many others who simply want to just get on with life.”


Notes about this case

  1. This case relates to Unlock’s policy work on challenging the DBS ‘filtering’ process.
  2. Dennis’ story was originally published on our online magazine, theRecord.
  3. We have practical guidance on filtering of spent cautions/convictions – a simple guide.
  4. Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.
  5. Other policy cases are listed here.

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