South Wales Police Crest

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Deletion of Records from National Police Systems

The Government wants to protect the civil liberties of innocent citizens, whilst giving police the powers they need to identify suspects and solve crime using DNA and Fingerprints (biometric information).
The Government also recognises that there is a requirement for the police to hold certain information about an individual’s criminal antecedents for policing purposes (prevention and detection of crime) and to satisfy the requirements of criminal justice partners, e.g. the Courts.

Eligibility for Record Deletion

In certain circumstances, individuals are able to apply to have their lawfully retained biometric information and/or Police National Computer (PNC) record deleted.

  • Those whose biometric information is held as a result of having been arrested and charged with a qualifying offence are eligible to apply for Record Deletion – provided they have no previous convictions.
  • Individuals who have been arrested, but are clearly not linked to any crime can make an application under the Records Deletion Process – but it will be necessary to “evidence” the grounds for doing so; those grounds have to be examined and agreed by a Chief Officer. Examples of the grounds that Chief Officers are obliged to consider are provided in Annex A (refer to link, below).
  • Those who have been arrested but not convicted of a minor offence, and those arrested but not charged with a “qualifying”** offence will have their biometric information automatically deleted – so there is no need to make an application simply to have biometric information deleted. However individuals may still wish to apply for the deletion of the associated “event history” on the PNC.
  • Individuals with a Court conviction are not eligible for Record Deletion, as Chief Officers cannot overrule the convictions handed down by Courts.
  • Where an investigation or Court proceedings remain ongoing, an individual cannot make an application for Record Deletion as the full circumstances of the case might not be known at the time the application is made.

If you feel that you are eligible to make an application for the deletion of your PNC and/or biometric records, having read the above document, please contact the National Police Chief’s Council ACRO Criminal Records Office.

Please note that this document does not apply to the retention of custody photographs. Requests for deletion of photographs can be considered locally after deletion of biometrics/PNC information has taken place. Requests should be emailed to: