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In England and Wales, you can request that your records are deleted from the DNA Database, the National Fingerprint Database, and the Police National Computer. However, only certain people are eligible to pursue the record deletion process (RDP), including those who were issued with a Youth Caution as a juvenile.
If you need a criminal defence solicitor, please contact us for a free initial inquiry. We specialize in criminal defence law and offer free police station representation. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There may come a time in life when you need to apply to the Criminal Records Office (ACRO) for a police certificate or international child protection certificate. This is most commonly the case where you are emigrating abroad, and the country in question requests a police certificate from any country you have lived in for a certain length of time.
When it receives such a request, ACRO uses information about you stored on the Police National Computer (PNC). The PNC contains all records of arrests and summons, regardless of the outcome. The record is kept until you reach 100 years old. This means that if you were arrested for an offense – but the charges were dropped – the arrest will remain on your file.
Your fingerprints and DNA may also be recorded in other databases held by ACRO. This includes the National DNA Database and the National Fingerprint Database.
Deleting your police records
This may come as a shock to you, especially if you committed an offense as a minor or were mistakenly accused of a crime. This could jeopardize your plans, as any brushes with the law may show up on your police certificate. However, you can actually apply for the early deletion of records from databases held by ACRO. This means that any information held about you on the Police National Computer will be deleted, as will your biometric information.
Eligibility for the police records deletion process
Only certain people are eligible to have their records deleted. You can apply if you were:
- Issued with a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND)
- Issued with a Final Warning as a juvenile
- Arrested but not charged or convicted of a minor offense
- Given, as an adult, a Caution or Conditional Caution
- Issued with a Youth Caution or a Reprimand as a juvenile
- Arrested and charged with a qualifying offense (see below), but you were not convicted
- Arrested but not charged for a minor offense and given a Discontinuance
There are over 400 ‘qualifying offences’ including murder, rape, assaults, robbery, burglary, and sex offences. Minor offences are those which are not ‘qualifying offences’.
You are not eligible to apply if:
- You have been convicted at court
- You were issued with a conditional or absolute discharge at court
- The information held on your arrest history is owned by the Police Service Northern Ireland or Police Scotland
- The record is held for Police Intelligence purposes
- The matter for which you were arrested is still under investigation
- You were charged with but not convicted of a qualifying offence, and biometrics have been approved for three-year retention by the Biometrics Commissioner
- You were charged with but not convicted of a qualifying offence, and biometrics have been approved for two-year extension by a District Judge
When you instruct our criminal defence solicitors, we will advise you in relation to the record deletion process. We understand that you will not want these records to be preserved, especially if you were not even convicted of an offence. We will assess your eligibility and guide you through the process, ensuring your future is not unfairly impacted. Do you have to answer police questions UK ?
Call 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.