You can now apply to have previous convictions for consensual gay sex disregarded.

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 changed the law so that historical convictions for consensual gay sex with those over 16 years of age would not show up on criminal records checks.

Under the provisions of the Act, you can now apply to the Home Secretary for a formal disregard of a previous conviction (which includes cautions, warnings and reprimands).

If the Home Secretary considers that a disregard is appropriate, those convictions will be deleted or annotated and will no longer be disclosed, including in certificates issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

In order for a conviction to be disregarded, it has to be shown that:

  • Everyone involved in the offence consented to it.
  • All were 16 or over at the time the offence was committed.
  • Any such conduct now would not be an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

You can get further information and download an application form from the Home Office.

Completed application forms should be submitted:

By email to: chapter4applications@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Or in writing to:
Home Office Casework Team
Chapter 4 Applications
5th floor Fry Building
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF