I was given a No Further Action (NFA) outcome so is the ground of ‘No Crime’ correct for me? 

Not necessarily.  ‘No Crime’ refers to when it has been established by the police that no recordable offence has been committed. This ground does not necessarily and automatically refer to those instances when an individual has been released with ‘No Further Action’. The reasons why, in certain circumstances, the police decide to take no further action in particular cases are many and varied. Sometimes the NFA decision is made by the police or relevant investigating authority (e.g. insufficient evidence to proceed) and at other times the decision is made by the relevant prosecuting authority (e.g. not in the public interest to prosecute). 

In either case, it cannot automatically be concluded that a decision to take no further action in any given case exonerates the person arrested of their alleged involvement in a crime that the police are lawfully bound to investigate.

I was found ‘Not Guilty’ at court so is the ground of ‘No Crime’ correct for me? 

Not necessarily.  ‘No Crime’ refers to when it has been established by the police that no recordable offence has been committed. This ground does not necessarily and automatically refer to those instances when a case is not proceeded with in Court. As per 6.2.1 of the Guidance, acquittal at court, or a conviction being overturned on appeal or by other judicial process, is not in itself grounds for early deletion. Insufficient evidence to convict does not necessarily mean there is sufficient evidence for an individual to be eliminated as a suspect. 

If there is documentation available to you (e.g. court transcripts) which supports your case for record deletion then you are encouraged to provide this as part of your application.

I have several arrest events, can I apply for the removal of all of them on one application? 

The application needs to be set out clearly and needs to address the ground(s) chosen for each arrest event.  Depending on the circumstances of the arrest event, certain ground(s) might not be relevant for all arrest events.  Therefore, for clarity, it would be best practice to complete pages 2, 3 (and 5 if required) for each arrest event you wish to be considered for deletion. 

I don’t know details of the offences and/or what is held about me on PNC.  What do I do? 

If you are unsure what information may be held on your record or if there is a record held in respect of you on the PNC then you can apply for an ACRO Subject Access request

Information on my PNC record is incorrect.  Can I apply to have it amended under this process? 

This is not the correct process to address the issue of inaccurate information held about you on your PNC record.  Any issues of this nature are regarded as a data dispute and you need to raise the issue directly with the force concerned.  

I’ve left page 3 blank is this acceptable? 

Whilst there is no legal obligation to provide supporting information, providing as much information as possible will assist chief officers in their decision making process and enable a meaningful review to be conducted.  See our range of different application scenarios which should act as a guide to what constitutes an acceptable application. 

How long will my record(s) be held on PNC? 

The PNC holds all records of arrest or summons regardless of the disposal outcome, a person may have an ‘Event History’ entered onto their PNC record even though they may have only come to the attention of the police on one occasion and regardless of whether or not that one occasion resulted in that person being convicted of an offence.  Currently, all such records entered onto the PNC are retained until an individual is deemed to have reached 100 years of age.

How long will my biometric information be held? 

Police powers to take and retain DNA samples and fingerprints are set out in Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).  Changes to PACE were implemented through provision contained in Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA) which include the requirement for the for the biological DNA sample obtained by the police to be immediately destroyed once the DNA profile has been obtained and no later than 6 months after it was taken, except in rare cases where it is needed as evidence for court. The length of time that an individual’s biometric information can be retained depends on their conviction / ‘Event History’.
Provisions contained within PACE (as amended), allow the police to indefinitely retain the biometric information of individuals convicted of a recordable offence . The amendments also provide a number of occasions whereby the police can no longer retain the biometric information i.e. in regards to persons who are charged but not convicted of a ‘Minor Offence’ or arrested but not charged with a ‘Qualifying Offence’.  In both instances, the legislation requires the biometric information to be immediately deleted unless, in respect of the latter, an application to retain the biometric information is made to the Biometrics Commissioner under section 63G of PACE. Find out more detailed information on retention periods for biometric information.

How does PNC relate to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) / Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) Certificates? 

DBS / CRB Certificate
The Information Management Unit at ACRO and DBS are separate entities.  The RDU does not know what Information is disclosed on a DBS certificate as we have no involvement in that process.  Any information disclosed from the PNC on a DBS certificate in accordance with the DBS filtering rules.  This is a model which was developed by the Home Office and is not governed by police.  Further information on filtering rules can be found via the DBS website.

Caution and Conviction Disclosure
A caution, received when 18 years or over, will not be disclosed if 6 years have elapsed since the date of issue - and if it does not appear on the list of specified offences (please see the DBS website for this list). If you were under 18 years old at the time that you received the caution, the elapsed time period would be 2 years.

An adult conviction will be removed from a DBS certificate if 11 years have elapsed since the date of conviction, if it's the person's only offence and it did not result in a custodial sentence.

If a person has more than one offence then details of their convictions will always be included.

Enhanced DBS Certificates
The DBS process works in a way that a chief officer can disclose any non-conviction information that they own which they feel is relevant to the job that is being applied for and ought to be disclosed. Therefore, an arrest does not necessarily have to have resulted in a court conviction or a caution for information relating to that event to be considered for disclosure by a chief officer on an enhanced DBS certificate.

The police have a legal responsibility to disclose such information in respect of enhanced DBS certificates in accordance with Part V of the Police Act 1997 (section 8). This process is completely separate to that of the RDP. 

Should you require any further information in respect of your DBS Certificate, please e-mail customerservices@dbs.gsi.gov.uk who will be able to advise you further.