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Police record checks

In Victoria, the release of your police record is governed by Victoria Police policy. You can find this on the Victoria Police website at http://www.police.vic.gov.a [1]

Victoria Police does not release information about a person's police record to any organisation outside the sphere of law enforcement and the administration of justice without the subject's consent.

Victoria Police releases criminal history information on the basis of findings of guilt regardless of whether or not a conviction is recorded. Victoria Police releases police records in accordance with any or all of the following guidelines:

  • If the individual was an adult (seventeen years or over) when last found guilty of an offence and ten years have elapsed, no details of previous offences will be released
  • If the individual was a child (under seventeen years) when last found guilty of an offence and five years have elapsed, no details of previous offences will be released. (Exception: court orders on care/protection applications will not be released regardless of the age of the order)
  • If the last finding of guilt resulted in a non-custodial sentence or a custodial sentence of 30 months or less, the ten or five-year period commences from the day the individual was found guilty
  • If the last finding of guilt is an appeal or re-hearing the ten or five year period will be calculated from the original court date
  • If the last offence qualifies to be released, then all findings of guilt will be released, including juvenile offences
  • If the record contains an offence that resulted in a custodial sentence of longer than 30 months the offence will always be released. If 10 years have elapsed since the last finding of guilt, then only the offence(s) that resulted in a custodial sentence of longer than 30 months will be released. (Information Release Policy, Victoria Police, 2004)

Findings of guilt without conviction, good behaviour bonds, outstanding charges and traffic matters

Findings of guilt without conviction and findings resulting in a good behaviour bond are considered to be findings of guilt and will be released under Victoria Police policy. If the check shows that the individual has been charged with offences, or is under investigation regarding outstanding matters that have not yet been heard at court, Victoria Police will release details of the charges or pending matters and state that they are yet to be determined at court. Victoria Police only releases traffic offences where the court outcome was imprisonment or detention.

Exceptions

There are some circumstances where a record that is over ten years old may be released. These are:

  • If the record includes a term of imprisonment longer than thirty months
  • If the record includes a serious offence of violence or a sex offence and the records check is for the purposes of employment or voluntary work with children, elderly, disabled or vulnerable people
  • If the records check is for the purposes of employment in prisons, state or territory police forces or the gaming industry
  • In other exceptional circumstances where the release of older information is in the interests of crime prevention, the administration of justice or public safety

The following information concerning the release of police records in Victoria is repeated verbatim from the information release policy.

Offences outside Victoria

Where a police record with another Australian police force has been obtained, any relevant legislation (and/or release policy) affecting that police force will be applied (including Victoria Police's 'Information Release Policy') before it is released.

Under various pieces of Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation a person has the right, in particular circumstances or for a particular purpose, to not disclose certain convictions (eg findings of guilt over a certain age). Such convictions (widely referred to as 'spent' or 'rehabilitated' convictions) will not be released unless the records check is for the applicant's personal information only and providing that this is in accordance with relevant legislation (and/or release policy). Please contact individual police jurisdictions directly for further information about their release policies and legislation.