Do you have suspicions about a dodgy character you have been in contact with? If you perform criminal checks on possible offenders in SA this can help you confirm or deny your suspicions and may even prevent something bad from happening to you or your family.
Whether you are am employer, landlord, or just a curious individual, you can use background search resources online to sift through crime records and get an idea of the background of the person you are suspicious of. If your lack of trust is proved right, you can act accordingly (and even solve a crime); and if you are proved wrong, you can now approach that person with peace of mind.
To perform a criminal record check you need to have a valid reason for doing so. Just seeing a man wearing a balaclava hanging around won’t cut it. A criminal record check is more detailed than a regular background check which would involve phoning references and other such research; a criminal background check will look deeper into that person’s history and check various databases to see if that person has been involved in any misdemeanours or criminal activity.
However, this kind of information is not always readily available to Joe Public, and you will have to contact the police force or a specialist company to conduct a criminal background check. On your own accord, however, you can do a general online search using the person’s name (and possibly their identification number) to see if you can come up with any results yourself.
How can I perform a criminal background check?
In South Africa, trained professionals will conduct criminal record checks that involve a thorough scan of any instances of crime or violence.
There are a number of online resources through which you can dig through the dirt of a potential criminal offender. Using public databases and other sources, the police, lawyers and private investigators can look for any dodgy dealings such as theft, sex offenses, lawsuits, judgement, bankruptcies and a host of other misdemeanours.
To find out about a person’s history (particularly before you enter into any kind of contract with them), it is best to approach the local police station to find out if someone has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. The police station should have a database of offenders in your area. You may need the identity number of the person to allow for easier access to any information pertaining to them on various databases.
Depending on why you need the information, you may or may not have to pay to make use of the screening service offered by the police service. They will run the identification number (you don’t need the actual identity document of that person) of the possible offender through the database to inform you if there are any results corresponding to that person.
For companies who would like to perform criminal checks on possible offenders in SA, there is a computer program that will allow you run the person’s identification number through a number of criminal databases. The company will pay a fee for each search conducted. This kind of screening is available to most companies, and is commonly used by companies who hire out goods. In fact, it is compulsory for some companies to conduct criminal record checks before hiring a new employee or hiring out their valuable equipment.
Before conducting a criminal background check on a potential employee, you can warn them that you will be doing so as a courtesy to them. This can also save you money, because if the interview subject pulls a runner after you have told them this…well, let’s just say it probably won’t be necessary to pay for a criminal check after all!