Recordable Offences

Nicola Narka made this Freedom of Information request to National Police Chiefs' Council

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Dear National Police Chiefs' Council,

I have a number of questions regarding the powers of the police to keep records of convictions for recordable offences on the Police National Computer (and LEDS in the future)

S.27(4) of PACE 1984 provides that the Secretary of State can make provisions for the power of the police to retain convictions for specific offences on the PNC (and LEDS in the future). S.27(4)(a)-(b) further provide that the definition of a conviction includes not only court convictions, but also cautions, reprimands and final warnings. The provisions referred to under a.27(4) of PACE 1984 are the National Police Records (Recordable Offences) 2000, Article 3 of which provides that the police can retain records of convictions for recordable offences.

Following the Soham murders, the Association of Chief Police Officers decided in 2006 that all records held on the PNC, including all convictions and non-conviction information (event histories which include arrests with No Further Action and Penalty Notices for Disorder disposals) until the subject is deemed 100 years.

In Chief Constable of Humberside v Information Commissioner [2009], the Court of Appeal upheld the power of the police to retain convictions for recordable offences until the subject is deemed to be 100 years old. This however was not a case regarding non-conviction information such as NFAs and PNDs which form part of an event history on the PNC but not a criminal record. This case was upheld by the subsequent case of R on the Application of QSA, Broadfoot and ARB v National Police Chiefs’ Council and Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021].

The ACPO 2005 guidance has been replaced by the NPCC guidance but still maintains the 100 year old rule for non-conviction information. Under paragraph 1.2.2 of the said guidance, it states that it does not have statutory effect.

An NFA or PND disposal is not a conviction under s.27(4) of PACE 1984 or the 2000 Regulations. Please could you clarify what legislation or regulations allow the police to retain non-conviction information on the PNC until the subject is 100 years old?

Yours faithfully,

Nicola Narka

Dear National Police Chiefs' Council,

Sorry but I omitted to also ask further questions.

Do the police retain conviction records on the PNC and subjects biometric data (fingerprints and dna) in relation to offences which used to be criminal but have been repealed and therefore decriminalised?

I note that the NPCC retention guidelines do not apply to court convictions and therefore if one wishes to have a court conviction removed, they must do so via the appeals process to the Court of Appeal. However, can a Chief Officer delete a conviction recorded for and DNA and fingerprints taken in relation to a historic criminal offence on the PNC which has been repealed and thereby decriminalised?

Yours faithfully,

Nicola Narka

National Police Chiefs' Council

Date Received: 11/03/2021

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST REFERENCE NUMBER: 118/2021

The following request for information under the Freedom of Information Act was received by NPCC on the date listed above.

NPCC Acknowledgement:

Your request will be considered in accordance with the legislation and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, subject to the provisions of the Act. In the unlikely event that NPCC is unable to meet the 20 working day deadline, you will be informed as soon as possible and given a revised time-scale for response.

If your request requires full or partial transference to another public authority, you will be informed. Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write or contact Sherry Traquair on telephone number 077 685 53447 quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Fiona Greenlees
[NPCC request email]

On behalf of and supporting:

Sherry Traquair
NPCC Freedom of Information Officer & Decision Maker
National Police FOI & DP Central Referral Unit (NPFDU)

National Police Chiefs’ Council
M | 077 685 53447
E | [email address]
W | www.npcc.police.uk

NB: Non-work day Friday

http://www.npcc.police.uk/NationalPolici...

*****

I have a number of questions regarding the powers of the police to keep records of convictions for recordable offences on the Police National Computer (and LEDS in the future).

S.27(4) of PACE 1984 provides that the Secretary of State can make provisions for the power of the police to retain convictions for specific offences on the PNC (and LEDS in the future).

S.27(4)(a)-(b) further provide that the definition of a conviction includes not only court convictions, but also cautions, reprimands and final warnings. The provisions referred to under a.27(4) of PACE 1984 are the National Police Records (Recordable Offences) 2000, Article 3 of which provides that the police can retain records of convictions for recordable offences.

Following the Soham murders, the Association of Chief Police Officers decided in 2006 that all records held on the PNC, including all convictions and non-conviction information (event histories which include arrests with No Further Action and Penalty Notices for Disorder disposals) until the subject is deemed 100 years. In Chief Constable of Humberside v Information Commissioner [2009], the Court of Appeal upheld the power of the police to retain convictions for recordable offences until the subject is deemed to be 100 years old.

This however was not a case regarding non-conviction information such as NFAs and PNDs which form part of an event history on the PNC but not a criminal record. This case was upheld by the subsequent case of R on the Application of QSA, Broadfoot and ARB v National Police Chiefs’ Council and Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021].The ACPO 2005 guidance has been replaced by the NPCC guidance but still maintains the 100 year old rule for non-conviction information. Under paragraph 1.2.2 of the said guidance, it states that it does not have statutory effect. An NFA or PND disposal is not a conviction under s.27(4) of PACE 1984 or the 2000 Regulations.

Please could you clarify what legislation or regulations allow the police to retain non-conviction information on the PNC until the subject is 100 years old?

Do the police retain conviction records on the PNC and subjects biometric data (fingerprints and dna) in relation to offences which used to be criminal but have been repealed and therefore decriminalised?

I note that the NPCC retention guidelines do not apply to court convictions and therefore if one wishes to have a court conviction removed, they must do so via the appeals process to the Court of Appeal. However, can a Chief Officer delete a conviction recorded for and DNA and fingerprints taken in relation to a historic criminal offence on the PNC which has been repealed and thereby decriminalised?

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Dear National Police Chiefs' Council,

Please could you provide a response to the FOI request?

Yours faithfully,

Nicola Narka

National Police Chiefs' Council

Good morning

A response will be provided no later than 12/04/2021 which is the statutory deadline date for us to respond to your request. Hopefully, a response will be provided before and every effort will be made to do so at the earliest opportunity.

Kind regards.

Sherry

Sherry Traquair
NPCC Freedom of Information Officer & Decision Maker
National Police FOI & DP Central Referral Unit (NPFDU)

National Police Chiefs’ Council
M | 077 685 53447
E   | [email address]
W | www.npcc.police.uk

NB: Non-work day Tuesday & Friday

http://www.npcc.police.uk/NationalPolici...

   

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National Police Chiefs' Council

3 Attachments

Good afternoon

Please find attached NPCC FOI response to your Freedom of Information
request.

With kindest regards.

Fiona Greenlees

[1][NPCC request email]

 

On behalf of and supporting:

 

Sherry Traquair

NPCC Freedom of Information Officer & Decision Maker

National Police FOI & DP Central Referral Unit (NPFDU)

 

National Police Chiefs’ Council

M | 077 685 53447

E   | [2][email address]

W | [3]www.npcc.police.uk

 

NB: Non-work day Friday

 

[4]http://www.npcc.police.uk/NationalPolici...

 

 [5]cid:image001.jpg@01D7261A.7DB33260   [6]NPCC-blue-RGB

 

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