PNC Record/Custody Image Removal
If you have been arrested but no further action was taken against you, or you are charged but the matter is discontinued at court, then you may still face difficulties even though you do not have a criminal record.
People who have an arrest record may have troubles when travelling to countries such as USA or Canada, even though they’ve not been convicted of an offence nor have a caution.
In order to remove all traces of any previous arrests, you need to make an application to remove your PNC record. This is done through the ACRO Criminal Records Office.
ACRO guidance confirms that in certain situations you can apply for your biometric information and PNC record deleted early in the following circumstances:
- You have no previous convictions and your biometric information is held due to a Penalty Notice for Disorder; or
- You have no previous convictions and your biometric information is held as a result of you being arrested and charged with an offence, but you were not subsequently convicted; and
- You are able to evidence the grounds for making an application for the early deletion of your biometric information and PNC record
Provided that the evidence and grounds for deleting your records from national police systems are examined and agreed by a chief officer, then the expectation will be that any records held will be deleted together with the associated PNC record. However, this will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
You should be aware that even if your biometric information and PNC record is deleted, the police may still have your Custody Image (more commonly known as a mugshot) on record. In order to delete this, a separate request must be made to a chief officer. Someone can request deletion of their custody image if they were:
- not charged
- not convicted of the offence for which the image was taken
- convicted and a predetermined time has elapsed since the conviction
Where an individual who was not convicted makes an application, there should be a presumption in favour of deletion. Chief officers have the discretion to retain a custody image where this is necessary for a policing purpose and there is an exceptional reason to do so.
It is important to seek legal advice in relation to this before making an application. If you have any queries please call us for free legal advice on 01623 397200.