The Government has made plans to relax the present system used to check criminal records by filtering out particular old and minor offences and cautions from checks.

Under these proposals an adult conviction will usually be removed from a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate if 11 years have passed since conviction, the individual has only committed one offence and there was no custodial sentence. However, particular offences including violent and sex offences shall never be omitted. In addition, if someone has more than one offence, then a search will reveal details of all convictions.

Adult cautions will normally be filtered after 6 years of the date that the caution was given. Although as stated above exceptions will apply.

If an offence was committed by someone under the age of 18, as a rule convictions will be removed following the elapse of 5.5 years. There will be exceptions for certain offences and exceptions for where a custodial sentence was given or the person in question has more than one conviction. Cautions given to a young person will usually be omitted if 2 years have passed since the issue date, though as before exceptions do apply