The Police National Computer (PNC) is a system that stores and shares criminal records information across the UK.
Law enforcement agencies use it to access information that will support national, regional and local investigations.
ACRO provides PNC services to support the criminal justice work of a range of organisations including:
- Non-police prosecution agencies
- Regulatory bodies
- Government agencies
- Non-departmental public bodies
- Foreign embassies in the UK
ACRO’s PNC services are provided for the purpose of ensuring these agencies are able to:
- Create and manage PNC records about people being prosecuted where the offence must be recorded on the PNC
- Meet court requirements by providing criminal conviction information about defendants or witnesses in cases that go before the courts
- Conduct security checks on roles not covered by the Disclosure and Barring Service
- Conduct criminal record checks on people who are subject to a misconduct investigation by a regulatory body or who are facing disciplinary action as part of a fitness-to-practice hearing.
ACRO offers two main services to meet the above requirements:
- Conducting enquiries against names on the PNC
- Creating and managing records on the PNC
Before ACRO undertook this work, it was either not done or agencies relied on police forces to facilitate their requests.
By centralising this work, ACRO has made it more efficient, provided a consistent delivery and reduced the burden on forces.
ACRO does not provide agencies with direct access to the PNC.
Names enquiry checks are carried out on the agency’s request.
ACRO only discloses information that relates only to a subject’s convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands.
ACRO only discloses this information for the specific purpose of supporting prosecutions and legal proceedings, security checks, misconduct proceedings or fitness-to-practice hearings.
ACRO does not disclose general information on the PNC.
ACRO does not disclose PNC information to a requester unless there is a positive, confirmed subject ID match based on the information the requester provides.
Information is disclosed within a timescale determined as part of a service level agreement.
When bringing a prosecution, agencies can ask ACRO to create a record on the PNC on their behalf.
As part of this process, ACRO provides the agency with an arrest summons number (ASN), which is required to bring a defendant to court, and the relevant PNC prints to meet the requirements of the criminal justice system.
As well as creating the record, ACRO manages it and keeps it updated from the start to the finish of the prosecution process, ensuring information is recorded in a consistent and timely way.
Other services available to non-police agencies
- Updating PNC records with current information
- Converting historical records held on microfiche and adding them to the PNC
- Circulating warrants when a subject is wanted
- Conducting overseas conviction checks
Please contact us for further details of these services.
Information sharing agreements
ACRO only provides PNC services to a non-police organisation where a legal basis to share information has been established.
All ACRO’s PNC services are underpinned by information sharing agreements with individual organisations. Go to publications to see the agreements we've published.
Please contact us for further details.
Requesting PNC services for your organisation
ACRO’s PNC services are available to non-police organisations who have a legitimate requirement to access information held on the PNC.
Services are charged on a cost-recovery basis.
If your organisation or agency is interested in ACRO becoming your PNC services provider, please email email@example.com to discuss the products and pricing plans available.
Please note this service is not for members of the public.