Explanation of Terms
Biometric information – is the term that refers to the DNA profile and fingerprints, collectively referred to as section 63D material in PoFA.
Arrest Event – information held on individuals arrest history.
Conviction – The act of being found guilty of an offence. Primarily this refers to a finding of Guilt at Court. However, under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 a conviction also includes cautions, warnings and reprimands which means that biometric information will be retained indefinitely. Cautions, warnings and reprimands are also known as ‘Out of Court Disposals’.
Disposal – the outcome of an investigation eg, No Further Action, Caution, Guilty etc.
DNA Profile – A numerical representation of 13 specific points on a person’s DNA which is developed from the biological sample originally provided. A DNA profile amounts to nothing more than a string of numbers.
DNA Record – An electronic record held on the NDNAD encompassing the DNA profile(s) and accompanying demographic data.
DNA Sample – Any material that has come from a human body and consists of or includes human cells.
Event History – refers to non-conviction outcomes held on the PNC.
IDENT1 – National Criminal Fingerprint Database
LEA – Law Enforcement Agency – an organisation authorised to take DNA samples under PACE.
Minor Offence – is any recordable offence that is not a ‘Qualifying Offence’
MoPI – Management of Police Information.
NDNAD – National DNA Database – where an electronic record of DNA profiles are held.
NPPA – Non Police Prosecuting Agency
Out of Court Disposal – Caution, Warning Reprimand, Youth Caution, Conditional Caution, Youth Conditional Caution.
PACE – Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
PNC – Police National Computer. Records held on the PNC show whether a person has ever been convicted of a recordable offence or a non-recordable offence associated with a recordable offence. Under PoFA, ‘conviction’ includes both court convictions and ‘out of court disposals’ issued by the police specifically cautions, conditional cautions, reprimands and warnings. Records also contain information about non-conviction outcomes including ‘Not Guilty’ adjudications, ‘acquittals’, ‘discontinuances’ and ‘No further action’ disposals.
PND – a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) is a one-off fine that can be issued on the spot to anyone over the age of 16. They are issued for low level anti-social and nuisance offending such as drunk and disorderly.
PoFA – Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
Policing Purpose – relates to the investigation, detection and prevention of crime.
Qualifying Offence – currently there are over 400 ‘Qualifying Offences’. They are the more serious offences such as murder, manslaughter, rape, wounding, grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, robbery and burglary. Also included are numerous sex, indecency and firearms offences.
Recordable Offence – is an offence for which the police are required to keep a record. Generally speaking, these are crimes for which an individual could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment or they have otherwise been made recordable by statute. The term also includes a number of non-imprisonable offences for example begging and illegal taxi touting. The police are not able to take or retain the biometric information of an individual who is arrested for an offence which is not recordable.
Record Deletion Process (RDP) – is the process by which an individual can apply to have their biometric information and/or PNC records deleted from national police systems provided the grounds for doing so have been examined and agreed by a chief officer.