A metaphorical slap to the face...

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Suedehead, May 23, 2007.

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  1. The story so far -

    After training for months, and really making an effort to get in shape, I make the first step of going down to my local detachment for an informal chat. At this point I am 100% sure I am ready for a career in the TA, and know it would make the world of difference to me mentally and physically, and is a chance to break away from my mates who in 10 years will still be on the dole fcukin around and doing nothing with their lives. At which point, the matter of my 2 convictions come up (You really wouldnt believe how minor they are). Now I am told that I have to wait until my conviction is spent, this will either be between 12 months and 5 years. Before you ask, I'm not a chav who goes round nicking cars etc, I just got caught up with the wrong crowd. I have heard of people being offered the choice of prison or army - why do I have to wait up to 5 years to join for minor offences which would never get you sent to jail? Now I don't know if I will ever make it into a career in the army as I am now caught up in the same lifestyle and surroundings which got me into trobule in the first place - ironically the only thing I want to do is to get out.
  2. I fail to see the choice here.

    Seriously though, the spend time is from the date of conviction - if you have five years to spend then you are still in habit of doing things that I don't want importing into my unit, thank you, if you're within the final 12 months, then it's not really that much longer to wait - so long as you can keep yourself out of old ladies handbags.

    After you've spent the time, you suggest, researching and preparing for your enlistment, the requirements can't have been a complete surprise.

    As for 'doing time or joining the colours', those days are thankfully gone: perhaps The Sealed Knot is more your thing.
  3. Its commendable that you wish to serve.

    However, if you committed a crime, were convicted and these convictions are'nt spent, your simply not eligable to join.

    To be brutally honest, if you dont have the moral fibre to keep yourself out of trouble until your convictions are spent, then you wont be of much use to the army.

    It may sound harsh to you, but the army has good reason for maintaining these rules, however unfair they may appear to you.
  4. Yes, I did do my research into this so I wasn't completely wasting my time. This is direct from the army website -

    "Remember, past convictions, 'spent' or 'unspent' will not necessarily debar you from entry into the Armed Forces.

    However at the unit I was told any unspent convictions were a bar.
  5. try joining your local infantry unit - previous convictions spent or unspent are an asset!!
  6. Are there any other units within a distance you'd be able / prepared to travel? If there's wriggle-room, just because one says "No" it doesn't mean that they all will.
  7. Try the Careers Office, they will have the correct details. The detachment you went to might be acting in good faith but be technically wrong.

    Is that actually a Smiths track? :D
  8. Or just possibly, considering that we don't know what these "minor" convictions where for then the dectachment might know full well that they could let him join but don't want to due to whatever he actually did, so they are using this as a technical way out.

    "Remember, past convictions, 'spent' or 'unspent' will not necessarily debar you from entry into the Armed Forces."

    Also means that they can be a bar to entry.
  9. so what did you do ?
  10. I'm with EX_STAB on this one. Suedehead should go to the Armed Forces Careers Office and have a chat.

    There is discretion to allow someone to join even if they have an "unspent" criminal conviction (ie, one which they have fulfilled but are required to disclose when asked if they have ever been convicted of a crime).

    Sometimes, if the person is allowed to join, they are told to wait for a period. That waiting period should not be confused with the period of time it takes for a conviction to become "spent". See silverratcat's post on this thread.

    Given that he has not been given a custodial sentence, being told to feck off seems a bit harsh - although much depends on exactly how "minor" the offences were: drugs offences and anything involving race or sexual assault are not looked on kindly by the Army, even though the penalty the courts impose might be slight.
  11. We had a soldier pre-SDR who joined without informing us of unspent convictions. He was actually in, serving and shaping up to be a damn fine Infantry Soldier before the paperwork caught up and we had to bin him. He was gutted.

    Mind you , we had another one who informed the PSAO he was unable to attend a training weekend because he was in Winson Green prison :D

    Just be honest , and wait till your convictions are 'spent'. Think of it as 'probation prior to joining'. Though if you haven't got the moral compass swung to stay out of trouble, are you sure we are for you?
  12. It was 2 counts of criminal damage - one to the value of £100, the other to the value of £25. I'll go down to the careers office and find out exactly what the score is. Thanks for the advice.
  13. What the offences were and for what amounts is of less importance than the sentence (or suspended sentence).

    When were these offences dealt with (as apposed to commited) and what was the outcome for each? Also how old were you when the offences were dealt with as if under 18 years the time limits are different.

    This information will be used in conjuction with the 'Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974', to determining elligability, or otherwise, to join the Armed Forces.

    If you PM me with the details I will be able to advise more.

    Nishka :batman:
  14. PTP: For the sake of clarity, I should re-emphasise that applicants do not in all cases have to wait until their convictions are spent before they can join the armed forces.

    For instance, a conviction for which the sentence was a fine takes 5 years to become "spent" if the criminal (for that is what he is) was 18 or over at the time of conviction; if he was less than 18 it becomes spent after 2.5 years.

    That does not mean that the person who committed a minor offence such as that needs to take a 5 (or 2.5) year operational pause in his military career.

    Think about it: a fine of £100 but a 5-year hiatus in the life you want to lead - that's just nuts. That subverts the whole point of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, which is designed to give people with criminal convictions the chance to regain a clean slate. Instead, the 5-year pause would act like a bolt-on addition to the £100 fine - a sort of bonus criminal sentence.

    On the other hand, a 5-year wait before he is free from the obligation to to declare that the conviction happened and reverts to a clean slate - that's fair enough and is what the Act is supposed to achieve.

    Bottom line, as said before: talk to the Careers Office. They may still want him to wait a bit, but it should be a lot less than 5 years and there is definitely no outright ban on joining before such a minor conviction is spent.
  15. My Bold

    Sorry to be pedantic but, as a convict (for that is what he is) he will never be 'free from the obligation to declare that the convition happened'. There are some roles that require all convictions, 'spent' and 'un-spent', to be declared.

    However, as you say bottom line is to speak to the ACIO.