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Declaring criminal proceedings

Where a student (or applicant) is under investigation by the Police or where criminal proceedings have been initiated by the Office of the Procurator Fiscal, or where a student has been convicted it is the responsibility of the student to report this to the University.  Students are required to report criminal involvement when applying to the University, but also at matriculation and after matriculation to the Director of Student Services.

Why is this information required?

The University aims to maintain a safe environment for all students and must take appropriate steps to protect students, staff and other members of the University. For this reason, the University will collect and record information on any offences committed by a student or any ongoing investigations.

How will the University use this information?

When applying to the University

Any application which indicates a criminal conviction or proceedings will be passed to the Director of Student Services who will then undertake a risk assessment in consultation with relevant members of staff to assess the measures required to minimise any potential or identified risk deemed necessary in respect of that applicant, or if the applicant poses an unacceptable risk.

The outcome of this risk assessment may be one of the following:

  • No further action, the application proceeds as normal
  • A request for further information
  • The application may proceed, but with certain conditions, for example arrangements for accommodation and/or support
  • The applicant is rejected

After matriculation

The Proctor or Director of Student Services will advise on the interface between internal disciplinary and external criminal procedures. The student will normally be required to meet with the Director of Student Services for a risk assessment meeting. At this meeting, the Director of Student Services will assess the immediate measures required to minimise any potential or identified risk s/he deems necessary in respect of that student and to minimise disruption to other members of the University. S/he will advise on appropriate disciplinary procedures to be followed on an internal basis, separate to the external proceedings and without prejudice to them.

The outcomes of a risk assessment may be one, or any combination, of the following:

  • No action taken
  • Further meeting(s) to be scheduled
  • A recommendation to avoid particular buildings/areas/people
  • Suspension from part of a University building or service for a period appropriate in
  • line with criminal proceedings
  • Review of University accommodation contract

Efforts will be made to support students involved in criminal proceedings prior to a judgement being reached externally, and, where possible, the University will seek to facilitate the continuation of academic studies to all parties during this time.

Will the University take disciplinary action in addition to criminal proceedings?

If a student is found guilty of an offence in a criminal court, the University may take disciplinary action against that student in respect of the same matter, provided that such action is confined to deciding whether or not the student is a fit and proper person to continue as a member of the University or to reside in University accommodation.

How long will the information be held and who will have access to it?

The information will be held and accessed in accordance with the University's Data Protection Policy and the Code of Practice: personal information about students, and will only be disclosed to University personnel if strictly necessary. Records will be held while the individual is a matriculated student, and for six years after.

What happens if the University is informed of an offence which has not been disclosed by the student?

If the University receives information that an applicant or current student has been responsible for a criminal offence, an investigation will follow. The University will contact the student to determine the situation. Where the information received is unverified, the University will attempt to verify the information prior to contacting the student. If an applicant or current student has failed to disclose details of a criminal conviction or proceedings, a risk assessment will be carried out as soon as possible, and disciplinary action may be taken at this stage.