Understanding How Background Police Checks are Conducted

There are many reasons police conduct background checks, landlords and housing authorities, employers, banks and credit agencies, and even insurance companies investigate the financial and criminal histories of people they meet in business. They do this for various reasons, but in most cases, it is to make sure that working with the person in question involves only limited risk.

Police background checks have many names.

It is sometimes referred to as criminal background check, criminal background check, police background check, also known as a police referral check or a criminal referral check. However, the preferred term is background check because criminal background check can be misleading. You may be misled into thinking that a person’s criminal record is the only information contained in their criminal record.

When a person has had any contact with the police or been associated with the police for any reason, you may have a police file. It may consist of information about a person’s mental or psychological health, charges filed, charges that have been dropped or acquitted, cases without a conviction or charge of any kind. The police report also includes information on a specific person.

Always know that local, state, and federal agencies may have information about a person that police background checks will discover. However, conducting a police background check involves several different levels of police information, where data can be delayed. These different agencies do not share computer equipment or records, and some do not even maintain files that can be quickly transferred to the agency requesting information.

There are many reasons to request a police check. The background check can help the organization determine if you are a good fit for the activity or job. Background checks are sometimes part of the selection protocol, including reference checks, questionnaires, and face-to-face interviews.

If you want to be checked by the police, application forms are usually available from your local police station. People can apply at the local branch or go directly to the police station. Employers, agencies, and police departments sometimes agree to submit their potential applicants’ certificates.

When presenting a check, you may be required to bring identification documents such as a passport or driver’s license to verify the identity and address of those who wish to purchase them. The fee usually varies from one police station to another. Sometimes the employer may cover the costs, or the agency may agree with the police station to waive the value of the check.


Some states are currently restricting the data that can be released during background checks by the police, and this is to prevent the massive identity theft that is taking place. The data is often irrelevant to those investigating because they often have ready-made data such as social security numbers and dates of birth.