A recordable offence is a criminal offence for which the police are required to keep a record on their systems.
Broadly this means crimes for which an individual could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Most common types of offence are recordable, namely common assault, assault by beating, theft, possession of drugs, and public order offences (Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 does not carry a term of imprisonment, but is recordable nevertheless).
Recordable offences also include a number of non-imprisonable offences for example begging, illegal taxi touting, non-payment of a TV licence and driving without insurance.
The police are not able to take or retain the DNA or fingerprints of an individual who is arrested for an offence which is not recordable.
Are Non-Recordable offences Recorded Anywhere?
You would imagine the answer to this question would be no. Non-recordable offences can however sometimes still be recorded on the PNC if you are convicted of both a recordable and non-recordable offence at the same time.
Also non-recordable offences will generally be held locally by the police and may be recorded on the Police National Database (PND) – see here for more information on the PND.