Criminal Background Checks

At Global Investigations, we’re here to help you get peace of mind with our highly effective criminal background check service.

Whether you’re an employer who needs something more to trust than just your gut, or a landlord who wants to perform a criminal record check on your prospective tenants, our reliable team of private investigators are here to guide you through every step of the process.

Criminal background check form

What Is a Criminal Background Check?

A criminal background check is a type of background check that is specifically oriented towards investigating a person’s criminal record. It avoids all other areas of a person’s history, such as their educational background or their employment history and focuses entirely on showing crimes they may have committed.

Criminal Record Background Check for Employment

Employee vetting is the most common reason behind seeking a criminal record check. This is down to certain professions in the UK requiring criminal background checks before a person can be employed.

If you want to work in a school, with vulnerable people, or in a position that gives you access to sensitive data, your prospective employer will request a criminal background check before they employ you.

It should also be noted that all employers can check an applicant’s criminal record no matter what role they have applied for by way of a DBS check.

How Are Criminal Background Checks Done?

Criminal background checks in the UK are typically performed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The information they retrieve is not always about criminal cautions and convictions, but also any other information they find relevant.

This service is about ‘barring’ unsuitable people from working with vulnerable people.

For certain roles, an employer can request a more detailed type of DBS check e.g. working with children or in healthcare.

The different types of DBS checks are:

  • Basic DBS Check: This contains details of any unspent convictions or conditional cautions
  • Standard DBS Check: This contains details of any spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings
  • Enhanced DBS Check (excluding barred list check): This covers everything from the standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant
  • Enhanced DBS Check (including barred list check): This covers everything from the enhanced check plus whether an individual is on the list of people barred from doing the role

Statistics show that the process does work. 2012 figures revealed that thanks to employers requesting DBS checks, more than 130,000 unsuitable people – including convicted rapists and paedophiles – had been prevented from working with children and vulnerable people.

What Is the Difference Between Background Checks, Court Checks and Criminal Records Checks?

criminal records check, or a DBS check, can only be done with the permission of the person being checked. Employers can require a DBS check before they hire someone, but the potential employee must consent to the check before it can be applied for.

Court checks can be carried out without the individual’s permission.  It is important to understand that this service is also beneficial in confirming whether the individual has any past or pending appearances that may not necessarily be followed with a conviction.

Court checks can also flag any judgements or petitions for bankruptcy that have been issued against the individual or company. The National Crown Court is searched as well as the local Magistrates Court applicable to where the applicant has resided.  Court checks are conducted on a national, local and an international basis.

Background checks look at other aspects of a person’s history, and these can be carried out both nationally and internationally without the permission of the person being checked.

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How to Get a Criminal Background Check?

Employers in certain professions often have processes in place for requesting DBS checks. However, this isn’t always the case, and sometimes employers want to know more than what a standard DBS check or even an enhanced DSB check can provide. Sometimes a landlord wants to know about the background and history of a prospective tenant.

As experts, some registered private detective agencies like Global Investigations can apply for a standard or enhanced DBS check for you, and advise you on the process and your circumstances. But the benefit of hiring a private detective is that it can allow you to run a more thorough criminal background check on someone.

DBS checks rely on criminal records and other information – arrests, call-outs, etc. – gathered by the police. But a private investigator has their own tools, training and experience to do all kinds of background checks in order to produce a detailed picture of someone’s past for their clients.

Please see our other related sections: Due Diligence > Competitor Intelligence > Employee Vetting 

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