What is a criminal record?

A criminal record is a record of a person's criminal convictions history. This information can be held on two main systems:

1. The Police National Computer (PNC)
2. Police National Database (PND)

What is a PNC and how long is information kept on there for?

The PNC records details of convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings and arrests. An individual's record on the PNC is retained until their 100th birthday.

What is a PND and how long is information kept on there for?

The PND records "soft" local police intelligence, for example, details of investigations that did not lead to any further action. This is generally retained for a minimum of six years, although for serious offences or if the individual concerned is considered to pose an ongoing risk, it may be retained for longer.

Can I apply to have a criminal record removed?

In exceptional circumstances, it is possible for non-court disposals, (such as cautions), and any non-conviction outcome to be deleted. You can apply for the removal of a record from the PNC through the 'Record Deletion Process'. You can make an application by contacting deletions@acro.police.uk.

Note that if you have a court conviction or court proceedings against you are still ongoing, you cannot apply to have your records deleted.

What is a DBS check?

A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is usually used by employers to check a person's criminal record. There are different types of DBS checks which may show spent and/or unspent convictions. Once a record becomes spent it does not usually need to be declared to employers.

However, roles in certain licensed occupations or positions of trust, for example, work with children or vulnerable adults may require a more enhanced DBS check which could detail both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings.

The information above does not accommodate for specific circumstances of any particular individual. We do not accept any liability whatsoever for any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein. Please contact ACRO for specific advice or information.