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Our mission is to support & advocate for people with criminal records to be able to move on positively in their lives. Find out more

Do you have a caution or conviction that can never be filtered?

The filtering rules set up following Supreme Court’s judgment in R (On the application of T and another) [2014] UKSC 35 mean some cautions and convictions can be filtered from standard and enhanced DBS checks after a period of time. Convictions for specified offences, custodial or suspended sentences and multiple convictions could not be filtered.

In R (On the application of P, G and W) [2019] UKSC 3, it was argued that the rules didn’t go far enough. The court ruled that multiple convictions ought to be filterable, and we’re gathering evidence to show how important it is that these changes are made quickly.



We’d like to hear from you if:

  • you’ve only been to court once, but you were charged for two ‘counts’.
  • you have two separate convictions.

We still don’t think these changes go far enough to help people move on positively with their lives. The court did not rule that the list of offences that can never be filtered should be changed. None of the cases addressed the question of whether custodial or suspended sentences should be filtered. We are gathering evidence to show why this should change. We want to hear from you if you:

  • served a short prison sentence, or suspended sentence, for an offence that could be filtered
  • have a caution or conviction for an offence that currently cannot be filtered – such as
    • Assault occasioning ABH (s.47 Offences Against the Person Act 1861)
    • Robbery (s.8 Theft Act 1981)
    • Loitering for purposes of prostitution (s.27 Sexual Offences Act 1992)

What we need from you

If you are affected by the filtering rules, contact us at using the subject header ‘Call for evidence: DBS filtering’. Please include:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Contact details (email and telephone) and how you’d be happy for us to contact you
  • Which example above you think your case fits into
  • Details of your cautions/convictions including the dates and a DBS certificate if you have one
  • The difficulties you’ve faced, recently or in the past, as a result of your criminal record not being filtered.
  • Whether you would be willing to contribute to any media coverage on this issue in future (this is for our reference, we won’t share your details without consent)

Any information you provide will be kept in line with our confidentiality policy. Any personal information provided to us will not be shared externally without your consent.

Find out more about how we handle your data.

Find out more about our work on DBS filtering



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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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