Certain homosexual offences can be removed from criminal records

Date published: 28 June 2018

If you have a conviction or caution for a homosexual offence, which is no longer criminal, you can apply to have it removed from police and court records.

Offences which are no longer criminal

The decriminalised offences are:

  • buggery
  • gross indecency
  • procuring others to commit homosexual acts

The activity must have been:

  • consensual
  • with a person aged 17 or older

It must also not be an offence today. Sexual activity in a public toilet is not included as it is still illegal. 

If you received a conviction or caution for any of the decriminalised offences, you can apply to have your record wiped clean or ‘disregarded’.

Receiving a disregard

A disregarded offence means it will be treated as never having happened and won’t appear in criminal record checks. You also don’t need to disclose it on application forms or in court cases. A successful application also leads to an automatic legal pardon.

Posthumous pardons

Anyone who has since died but was convicted of a decriminalised consensual homosexual offence with someone over 17, will be automatically pardoned. 

How to apply

It is free to apply for a disregard. Go to the link below for more information on pardons and disregards and to complete the application form:

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