PCSO Vetting

Before anyone joins Lancashire Constabulary we need to undertake a series of checks to ensure they meet our requirements. As part of this we look into every applicant’s spouse, partner or civil partner, and close relatives including parents, siblings or others living or anyone associating with the person.

To help us to do this we ask you to complete a detailed vetting form and to let anyone whose details you have provided know that they will be looked into as part of your employment checks. Legislative constraints mean that we're unable to disclose the results of enquiries on third parties.

Criminal Convictions

If you have convictions or cautions this doesn't necessarily mean that we won’t be able to appoint you. It depends on the role you've applied for and the nature of the offence. 

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 all police staff applicants have to declare previous convictions and cautions which would ordinarily be considered ‘spent’.

However, the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exemptions) Order 1975, provides that if you’re applying for a police staff role you do NOT have to declare any information in relation to a PROTECTED caution or a PROTECTED conviction.

A protected conviction is one where ALL the following applies:

  • It is not for a ‘listed offence’* under Article 2A(5) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975
  • No custodial sentence was imposed
  • The individual has not been convicted of any other offence at any time
  • 11 years or more have passed since the conviction, if the individual was aged 18 or over at the time of conviction, or 51/2 years or more have passed since the conviction, if the individual was under 18 at the time of the conviction.

A protected caution is one where ALL the following applies:

  • It is not for a ‘listed offence’* under Article 2A(5) of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975;
  • 6 years or more have passed since the caution, if the individual was aged 18 years or over at the time the caution was given, or 2 years or more have passed since the caution, if the individual was under 18 at the time the caution was given.

* Listed offences include serious, violent and sexual offences and offences which are of specific relevance to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, and will never be filtered or protected. There is a list of offences which will never be filtered or protected here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-list-of-offences-that-will-never-be-filtered-from-a-criminal-record-check

As an applicant, you are responsible for understanding if you have a protected caution or conviction and to complete the vetting form correctly. If in doubt, contact our vetting unit for advice.

Lancashire Constabulary apply the criminal convictions guidance contained in the College of Policing Vetting Code of Practice and associated Authorised Professional Practice (APP) to all police staff applications. We need to reject your application if you:

  • have offences that were committed as an adult or juvenile which resulted in a prison sentence (including custodial, suspended or deferred sentence and sentences served at a young offenders’ institution or community home); or
  • are a registered sex offender or are subject to a registration requirement in respect of any other conviction.

For all other convictions or cautions we’ll need to reject your application if you have offences where any of the following apply:

  • Vulnerable people were targeted
  • The offences were motivated by hate or discrimination
  • The offences are of a domestic abuse nature

We take particular care where an applicant has been convicted of (or cautioned for) offences of dishonesty, corrupt practice or violence.

We consider each case on its own merits and, whilst you should presume convictions, cautions or other sanctions will lead to your application being rejected, there may be cases where this will not be the case. 

There may also be circumstances where you don’t fall within the criteria, but your suspected involvement in crime, or criminal associations make an offer of employment inappropriate.

Financial Status  

We run a credit reference check on all applicants. Police staff have access to privileged and highly sensitive information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption, so it’s important for us to understand applicants’ financial situation. Applicants to the police service should normally be free from serious debt or liability and be able to manage existing loans. We place our emphasis on managing debt sensibly.   

If you have existing County Court Judgements outstanding or have been registered as bankrupt and have not discharged your bankruptcy we’ll be unable to consider your application. If you have been registered as bankrupt and have discharged their bankruptcy debts you won’t be considered until three years after your discharge of the debt. Debt Relief orders (DRO) are treated in the same way as a bankruptcy.   

We will consider your application carefully if a credit reference check reveals you have a current individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). We don’t make clearance decisions until we’ve seen evidence that you’ve maintained regular IVA repayments over a number of months. The same principle applies where you have defaulted on accounts.   

If you can show you have and are adhering to debt management arrangements you may be considered. We’ll need to see documentary evidence to demonstrate your commitment and adherence to any debt management arrangements and will consider each case on its own merits.

Vetting Decisions and Appeals

If your vetting is successful our vetting team will let the recruiting department know. If your clearance is declined our vetting team will notify you personally of the reason unless there’s a valid reason not to do so.

We wouldn’t be able to give you a reason if your clearance was declined for reasons that:

  • damage national security
  • result in Lancashire Constabulary breaking any law
  • frustrate the prevention or detection of crime
  • impede the apprehension or prosecution of offenders
  • result in the disclosure of sensitive information
  • breach the confidentiality of any information provided in confidence

If your vetting clearance is declined you have the right of appeal when one or more of the following factors apply:

  • further information is available that was not considered by the decision maker
  • the vetting rejection was disproportionate considering the circumstances or details of the case
  • the decision was perverse or unreasonable
  • no explanation has been given for the decision

The appeal decision is final.

 

 


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