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In 2012 the Protection Of Freedoms Act changed the law so that historical convictions for consensual gay sex with over 16s will be treated as 'spent' and will not show up on criminal records checks.

Under provisions contained in chapter 4, part 5 of the Protection of Freedoms Act (s.92-101), the Secretary of State for the Home Department ("Home Secretary") has new powers to disregard certain convictions upon written application by the individual.

In order for an eligible conviction to be disregarded it must appear to the Home Secretary that (a) all parties involved in the conduct constituting the offence consented to it and were aged 16 or over at the time the offence was committed, and (b) any such conduct now would not be an offence under section 71 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

The Home Office has further information on its website and more detailed guidance is attached to the application form that applicants will be required to submit.

Completed application forms should be submitted to the dedicated Home Office Casework Team:

Chapter 4 Applications
SPPU
4th Floor Fry Building
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF
chapter4applications@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Application forms submitted to West Midlands Police will be returned and not re-directed.