Conflict-Related Convictions

This information applies to conflict-related convictions that pre-date the Good Friday Agreement (April 1998). It should be read in conjunction with our supplementary guidance document.

Supplementary Guidance on Conflict Related Convictions (download size: 85kb)

When you apply for an SIA licence there are three possible outcomes:

  • Grant - the criteria for licensing have been met
  • Refuse - the criteria for licensing have NOT been met
  • Consider additional factors - depending on other factors, the criteria may or may not have been met. This is not an immediate refusal: we invite you to supply to us (within a specific time period) additional information before reaching our final decision.

If you have conflict-related convictions these convictions will be assessed under 'consider additional factors' in line with guidance for employers from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

When we consider additional factors the following points are taken into account in relation to conflict convictions:

  • The criteria we apply in deciding whether to grant a licence are approved by the Secretary of State (section 7(5) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001).
  • We have a statutory duty to apply those criteria in our decision making (section 8(3) of the Private Security Industry Act 2001).
  • When considering a criminal record, we take into account the relevance, seriousness, recency and the disposal of each offence.
  • We consider all offences on a person's criminal record, regardless of whether in other circumstances they might be considered 'spent'.
  • The fact that an offence was conflict related and pre-dates the Good Friday Agreement will be taken into account when considering the whole of a person's criminal record.
  • We believe that our approach to considering offences is consistent with the judgement of Kerr J- this link opens in a new window in Damien McComb application for Judicial Review [2003] NIQB 47. Kerr J ruled that the fact a person has been released under the Good Friday Agreement (in accordance with the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998) and has been determined as no longer a danger to society was a relevant consideration as to whether or not a licence can be granted for working as a taxi driver.
  • We believe that our approach to considering offences is consistent with the guidance- this link opens in a new window to employers issued by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, which states that any conviction for a conflict-related offence that pre-dates the Good Friday Agreement (April 1998) should not be taken into account unless it is materially relevant to the employment being sought.

We work with interested parties to ensure that we can verify when an offence can be properly considered as conflict-related.