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Caution with cautions

by Katie

In 2008 the police called my phone and asked me to come into the station and explain something I’d done. I explained what happened, and I was told that they would issue me with a caution, which would stay on file for 3 years.

I currently work in the health care industry, I always have, and for over 10 years now. Recently I applied I for some extra work, notifying the employer that a caution may possibly be still on record, but added that I had been told it would be cleared after 3 years.

This was not the case.

I received my enhanced DBS check with the caution on the certificate. I then contacted the customer line where they informed me it will be on there for six years, not three, and then told to contact the Unlock helpline for further advice. Even though I had voluntarily declared possible caution, it now appears I’m being judged automatically, as still remains on certificate because of the offence type.

We live and learn from acts of impulsiveness and, in my case, I was sent something and then sent it back and explained briefly to employer, and yet it’s unfortunate when you try and move forward and explain your past, that it’s judged upon – even when successful at interview.

Police officers should give correct information. If they had told me at the time that the caution would be on my record much longer, I would have accepted this. But when you find its still on your record it just deflates your hopes, as employers do judge. As much as they talk about equal opportunities, this doesn’t always apply to people with cautions.

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