Deletion of Records from National Police Systems
You can apply for the
deletion of records from the Police National Computer (PNC), National
Fingerprint Database (IDENT1) and the National DNA Database (NDNAD) under the
Record Deletion Process as defined in guidance issued by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC)
of Records from National Police Systems.
The Record Deletion
Process combines aspects of the Exceptional Case Procedure, previously defined
in the ACPO Retention Guidelines
for Nominal Records Held on the Police National Computer, with
provisions contained in statutory guidance issued by the National DNA Database
(NDNAD) Strategy Board relating to the early deletion of DNA profiles and
fingerprints in certain circumstances. Both antecedent documents have now been
The Record Deletion Process only extends to records held on the PNC,
NDNAD and IDENT1. Locally held records, including custody photographs, are not
covered by this process and instead, are managed by chief officers in accordance
with the Authorised
Professional Practice (APP) – Information Management.
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 amended the
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), to allow the police in England and
Wales to indefinitely retain your DNA profile and fingerprints (collectively
referred to as ‘biometric information’), if you have ever been convicted of an
offence; this includes receiving an out-of-court disposal such as a caution,
warning or reprimand. Equally, the legislation identifies a number of
occasions whereby your biometric information will be deleted from national
police systems (PNC, NDNAD and IDENT1) if you were not convicted of a
recordable offence, provided specified time constraints and other criteria are
The length of time that your biometric information
can be retained depends on your conviction and/or ‘event history,’ i.e. whether
or not you were arrested and charged or charged but not convicted of an offence
or issued with a PND.
Follow this link to a summary of the biometric
information retention schedule.
The guidance provides that, in certain situations,
you may apply to a chief officer to have your biometric information deleted
before the end of the retention period as defined by law. The early deletion of
your lawfully held biometric information may be possible if:
Provided that the evidence and grounds for
deleting your records from national police systems are examined and agreed by a
chief officer, then the expectation will be that any records held on the NDNAD
and IDENT1 will be deleted together with the associated PNC record. However,
this will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
If your biometric information has already been
deleted automatically under provisions contained in the Protection of Freedoms
Act 2012, and you make an application under the Records Deletion Process,
consideration need only be given to the deletion of the PNC record.
It should not be assumed though that just because
your biometric information has automatically weeded that your PNC record will
be approved for removal as well. The grounds and evidence for deletion will
still need to be examined and agreed by the chief officer.
Whether a chief officer agrees to the deletion
of your PNC record depends on a number of factors.
For information on making an application please follow the link below.
Making an application under the Record Deletion Process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please check our Definitions page for further explanations of the terms used.