The Police National Computer (PNC) is the principal police database used by the police.

The PNC is an amalgam of a number of databases containing text information relevant to policing. Fingerprints and DNA are not placed onto the PNC, but a reference to these items is logged against names files which link to the National Fingerprint Database (IDENT1) and the National DNA Database (NDNAD).

The PNC is different to the Police National Database (PND), which is a repository of “local” police force information know as “soft” intelligence, for example details of criminal investigations that did not lead to a conviction.

Along with individual “Names” files there are also vehicle files which contains information from the DVLA regarding ownership, tax records, and other vehicle records. Crime reports can also be attached to these vehicle records.

There are also property files where certain types of stolen property can be listed, also there are driver files which contains driver licence records.

Along with providing real time checks on people, vehicles, crimes and property it also links in with the European-wide IT system called Schengen Information System (SIS II) that enables all participating member states to share real-time information on persons and objects of interest via a series of ‘Alerts’. These SIS II alerts are for:

  • Persons wanted for extradition
  • Missing persons
  • People wanted for judicial purposes
  • People or vehicles requiring discreet checks 
  • Misappropriated, lost or stolen objects sought for the purposes of seizure or providential purposes .

Information on the PNC can be shared with foreign nations in certain contexts, see here for details on how PNC information is shared with the United States of America.

Who has Access to the PNC?

The PNC is available to all police forces and law enforcement agencies throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands.

Along with law enforcement agencies, a number of other agencies are also permitted access to the PNC. These include, amongst many others, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), HM Prison Service, HMRC, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Home Office, and Royal Mail.

Names Files

In respect of individuals, the PNC holds information in relation to people who are, or were, of interest to UK law enforcement agencies because they:

  • have convictions/cautions (including youth warnings/reprimands) for criminal offences
  • are subject to the legal process, for example waiting to appear at court
  • are wanted
  • have certain court orders made against them
  • are missing or have been found
  • have absconded (escaped) from specified institutions
  • are disqualified from driving by a court
  • have a driver record held at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
  • hold a firearm certificate.

Can I Check the PNC?

You can check the PNC but only in relation to your own information, or if you have express authority (a third party request) to do so by another individual; see here to check your PNC records.

How long are Police Records held on the PNC?

If you have been issued with an arrest record, police caution, conditional caution, youth caution, youth conditional caution, reprimand or final warning then these records will be retained on the PNC until you are deemed to be 100 years of age, effectively for life.

Can you Delete Police Records off of the PNC?

It is possible to have cautions and other police disposals deleted from the PNC if you are able to evidence good grounds for deletion. If you can show for example that the a police caution was unlawfully issued, or perhaps that it is not in the public interest, the caution may be deleted from the PNC.

PNC Record Deletion Solicitors

If you have a police caution, an arrest record, or any other police disposal held on the PNC and you are worried about its impact on you, then please get in touch.

We have successfully applied for the expungement of many police cautions, and other police records, in the past.

Please get in touch to arrange an initial consultation if you have any police record or DBS related issue.

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