Figures show how many criminals applied for jobs in education, health and sport

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THOUSANDS of criminals have applied for professional jobs in education, health and sport, The News can reveal.

Data on criminal record checks submitted by job hopefuls analysed by The News found nearly 200 would-be teachers and 800 taxi drivers had scores of convictions or cautions.

Several taxi driver hopefuls had been convicted over five fatal crashes, with 90 drink-driving offences and more than 260 in handling stolen goods offences.

Those applying for teacher jobs had records for violent assaults, death by dangerous driving and exposure.

The Disclosure and Barring Service, which carries out the checks, released the figures under freedom of information law.

The News asked DBS to provide figures between 2013 to 2016 covering postcode areas PO1-17, and SO31-32.

It included data on DBS checks for those hoping to become teachers, taxi driver, carers, football coaches, referees, nurses, doctors and security workers.

Overall, across all professions there were 31,482 applications – with 2,060 people turning out to have records. Of those, there were 12,349 offences.

Out of 11,525 people hoping to become teachers, very few – just 191 – had convictions or cautions between the four years.

But just less than a fifth of the 409 security workers who applied for jobs had a record according to DBS checks.

More than 20 child abuse images offences were discovered, along with around 90 offences of theft.

Out of 6,467 carer applicants, 668 had records uncovered by DBS checks.

Between them they had 835 offences of theft, two records of child neglect, nine indecent assaults – and one for manslaughter.

Amanda Martin is executive member for Portsmouth, Southampton, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in the NUT section of the National Education Union.

The trade unionist, who represents teachers, said: ‘It shows the checks are there for a reason and they’re working, which with the loss of the General Teaching Council there’s no actual register of teachers any more.

‘It shows that it’s working and maybe they aren’t teachers and are applying for the roles.

‘The system is working and that’s vital because children need to be safe at schools.’

Just 189 out of 6,316 nurse applicants had records uncovered by the checks.

They included abandoning children, burglary, theft and soliciting prostitution. Only six doctor hopefuls out of 848 applicants had records.

Offences included theft, assault, wounding and threatening behaviour.

More than one in 10 of the 1,074 football coach applicants turned out to be convicted or cautioned.

Incidents included two child sex offences, violent disorder, robbery, harassment and drug dealing.