Memorandum from the Home Office
1997 (CRIMINAL RECORDS)
REGULATIONS 2002 (S.I. 2002/233)
Section 118(2) of the Police Act 1997 authorises
the Secretary of State to refuse to issue a certificate unless
the applicant (a) has his fingerprints taken at such place and
in such manner as may be prescribed, and (b) pays the prescribed
fee. Subsection (4) requires regulations under subsection
(2)(b) to provide for refunds in specified circumstances. Explain
why the Regulations, which make provision as envisaged by subsection
(2)(a), do not prescribe the fee referred to in section 118(2)(b)
or provide for the refunds referred to in subsection (4).
1. In practice it is expected that fingerprints will
be required only in exceptional cases. These are likely to fall
into 2 categories. Firstly where the Secretary of State cannot
be sure of an applicant's identity from the information provided
on the application form and, secondly, where an applicant disputes
the accuracy of information shown in a certificate issued to him.
2. In the first category it is considered, as a matter
of policy, inappropriate to charge a fee to an applicant required
to provide fingerprints.
3. In the second category any applicant who successfully
challenged the accuracy of a certificate issued to him following
the provision of fingerprints should not be expected to bear the
costs of providing fingerprints. As a matter of policy it is considered
that the costs involved in collecting any fee prescribed and administering
an associated refund system are disproportionate and it is preferable
not to prescribe a fee.
4. The Regulations therefore do not prescribe a fee
in relation to the taking of fingerprints. As no fee is prescribed
no question of a refund arises.
5. The position will be kept under review in the
light of developing operational experience.
11 March 2002