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Alan – A surprise that it’s spent – and a security badge!


Alan contacted us for some information about applying to come off the Sexual Offences Register. He was on the register indefinitely and so far had been on it for almost 15 years.

He had found it almost impossible to get a job and has only had one short term temporary position since 2001. He’d had interviews and been offered jobs but once he disclosed his conviction, then the job offer was withdrawn. Alan felt that his ideal job would be a bus driver but he knows that his local bus company does basic criminal record checks and so he wouldn’t be able to apply as, in his words, “sexual offences never become spent.”

On the question of applying to come off the register, we advised him that there is now a right to appeal against being on the Sexual Offences Register for life, but that this isn’t possible under after 15 had passed.

However, more importantly to his problems with employment, we explained that it’s a myth that “sexual offences never become spent” and advised that when he received his 4 year custodial sentence in 1997, it was true that his conviction would never have become spent – but that was because of the sentence he’d received, not the offence he’d committed. Now, as a result of changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 which came into force in March 2014, his conviction was now considered spent and he would no longer need to disclose it for a bus drivers job that only involves a basic criminal record check.

Following his conversation with Unlock, Alan decided that he would not only apply for bus driving jobs but would also apply for an SIA Licence, something he had never had the confidence to do before. He used the criminal records indicator on the SIA site which stated that he would be eligible for a Licence even though he still had to disclose his conviction in this situation. Alan has just received his SIA badge.

Alan said:

“I couldn’t believe it when the lady at Unlock told me that my conviction was spent and I didn’t need to disclose if. I love driving and my dream had always been to be a bus driver. The minute I put the phone down I realised that I could do anything I wanted to do and in the end I had the confidence to apply for an SIA Licence which I’ve just received. Next step will be getting off the Register.”


This case shows the importance of understanding your rights. Alan had been over-disclosing to employers for many years. As soon as he realised where he stood, his employment chances changed overnight. It also boosted his confidence, giving him the push he needed to apply for his SIA badge.


There’s information on when convictions become spent on our self-help site here. You can also use our Disclosure Calculator to work this out online.

There’s information about applying for a SIA licence with the Security Industry Authority here.

Notes about this case study

This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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