A Cautionary tale….


Are you aware of potential repercussions after accepting a police caution?

A formal police caution is very often used as an alternative to prosecution before a court and as such presents many attractions for those faced with one, including:

  • If you accept a caution, you do not  have to go to court
  • You can avoid a conviction and any resulting publicity

The problem is however that your police caution is recorded on the police national computer record (PNC) and is likely to show up on a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Possible repercussions of a police caution

Having a caution listed on your record could have lasting effects on your personal and professional life, many of which you may not have even considered.

A caution could:

  • exclude you from particular employment,
  • prevent you from holding certain positions or offices
  • prevent you from entering some countries – that family trip to Disneyland may have to be put on hold!

These consequences are not always understood when someone is in the police station, usually for the first time, and under substantial pressure.

Requirements for issuing a police caution

Before a caution can be properly administered the police must have sufficient evidence to prosecute the case and the person being cautioned must unequivocally accept the offence.

If these requirements have not been met, it is possible to apply to have the caution expunged.

Burnett Barker Solicitors’ criminal law specialists can help by making structured representations to the police after researching the investigation, interviewing and cautioning process.

A recent example…

Mr XXX’s  job involved the processing of sensitive data.

He was in line for a promotion until his DBS check disclosed a previous caution for ‘harassment with the threat of violence’.

This unfortunately prevented his promotion.

He sought advice from Declan Gallagher, crime and motoring partner at Burnett Barker, who listened to a record of the initial interview. It was clear from this that he had not admitted either a course of conduct or the threat of violence.

Further, on checking the investigation it was clear that neither a course of conduct or threat had even been alleged.

As a result of our representations to the Office of the Chief Constable,  the police were persuaded that the caution and associated biometric data should be removed from the police national computer.

The result being that he could now take his promotion – a great result.

How we can help

If you have any concerns regarding a caution we can give you a preliminary assessment under our £99 fixed fee scheme.

Call 01284 701131 to make an appointment to see either Declan Gallagher or Graham Boutel today.