Cautions and police warnings could be considered under future vetting and barring procedures if the government agrees to an independent review’s recommendations.
The proposed change is part of a review by Sunita Mason, the government’s independent adviser on criminality information. The Home Office is currently reviewing her recommendation to widen the existing definition of ‘criminal record’ for vetting and barring checks.
At the moment, the system only takes into account convictions for imprisonable offences. This means penalties with large fines, including cruelty to animals, are ignored.
In future, Ms Mason wants employers to consider cautions, reprimands, non-imprisonable offences, and police warnings when deciding on a person’s suitability to work with children. However, penalty notices for disorder or restorative justice and community resolutions would not be included.
This is the second review Ms Mason has carried out into criminal records and vetting and barring checks. Many recommendations in her first review, including stopping checks on under-16s and allowing applicants to review and dispute police information held on them, have been made law.