Police National Computer Inspections

The Police National Computer (PNC) is a national database of information available to all police forces throughout the United Kingdom. Information held on the PNC allows police forces to carry out checks, for example, on a person’s criminal record or vehicle registration. In addition, certain other organisations, referred to as non-police organisations, have access to information held on the PNC.

Non-police use of the Police National Computer

HMIC had previously audited police forces on their use of the PNC. In 2011, the Government’s Independent Advisor on Criminality Information Management recommended that HMIC’s audit role is extended to cover all PNC users.

HMIC carried out a limited inspection of the use of PNC by Royal Mail, and used this to inform its first inspection of the use of the PNC, in the following organisations:

  • Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass);
  • Environment Agency;
  • Financial Conduct Authority;
  • Gangmasters Licensing Authority;
  • NATS (an air traffic control provider);
  • Natural Resources Wales;
  • Post Office;
  • Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; and
  • Thurrock Council.

Terms of reference

HMIC’s inspections of non-police organisations which have access to the PNC aim to answer three questions:

  1. Is the level of access specified in the Supply Agreement appropriate for the needs of the non-police organisation?
  2. Does the non-police organisation comply with the Security Operating Procedures? In particular, are the arrangements for training, physical security, and internal audit compliant with the Security Operating Procedures?
  3. Is the non-police organisation making efficient and effective use of the PNC?

Get the reports

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – A pilot inspection of the Royal Mail Group Security

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – An inspection of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – An inspection of the Environment Agency

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – An inspection of the Financial Conduct Authority

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – An inspection of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – An inspection of the NATS Holdings Limited

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – An inspection of Natural Resources Wales

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – An inspection of the Post Office Limited

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – An inspection of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Use of the Police National Computer by non-police organisations – An inspection of Thurrock Council

Police National Computer Compliance Audits

HMIC carried out Police National Computer compliance audits of police forces between 2003 and 2011.

Police National Computer Audit information, and the reports for each force, can now be found on the National Archives website (external link).