Police National Computer (PNC) record deletion recent case studies

Written 16th November 2023 by Nathalie Potter

Olliers’ DBS team share some of their recent cases involving applications to delete information from Police National Computer (PNC) records.

Client A – Application to delete the record of arrest in relation to alleged offences of causing racially/religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress

Client A and their family had moved abroad for work purposes during the Covid pandemic and Client A was a regular flyer at the time of the alleged offence. Due to medical issues, they had an accident whilst at the airport causing significant bleeding to the head prior to their flight. As a result, their vision became impaired and they required medical attention. Client A rang their spouse (who was abroad) to report the accident and request assistance owing to their limited sight and, during their private conversation, words were exchanged in which Client A made a declaration along the lines of hating the country in which they all now resided.  Female passengers who were sat nearby seemingly took offence to the language and reported Client A to airport security. Client A was arrested in relation to racial/religiously aggravated harassment. Client A was charged and opted for a trial at the Crown Court, however, the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case a week before the first hearing. We were able to draft representations demonstrating that the witnesses to the allegations all gave conflicting statements and it could not be determined exactly what Client A said. We argued that Client A was on a personal call and had no intention to cause distress, but was distressed themselves as a result of their head injury. Anything that was said was misinterpreted and taken out of context and, following the initial reporting of the allegation, the female witnesses failed to cooperate with police officers.

Client B – Application to delete record of arrest in relation to allegations of controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH)

Client B was in a relatively new relationship with their partner (X), having met on an adult website. After a period of time X admitted to having continued their escorting services whilst in the relationship, which Client B was not supportive of and wished to end the relationship. X had promised to cease all escorting and the relationship continue on that basis, however, Client B found out that X had again returned to escorting and wished to end their relationship. X reported Client B for controlling and coercive behaviour and ABH. Having been provided with screenshots of communication between the couple, we were able to demonstrate how it was, in fact, X who had become emotionally manipulative towards Client B; continually threatening to overdose or cause themselves harm if Client B ended the relationship. We were able to demonstrate how toxic the relationship had become as a result of X’s behaviour; throwing items at Client B, constantly lying about their whereabouts and threats to self-harm and, further, we obtained a supportive statement from X in which they admit to lying to police about the allegations and that the photographs they had provided to police to ‘evidence’ the ABH were in fact of a friend.

Client C – Application to delete the record of arrest in relation to an allegation of conveying a prohibited article into prison 

Client C was visiting a family member in prison when they were arrested in relation to conveying a prohibited item into prison. Client C had previously submitted their own application which was rejected and appealed the decision which, again, was rejected. As the matter was historic we were able to lodge a fresh application which included a statement from the family member in which they admit they were in possession of the prohibited item prior to the visit.

Client D – Appeal against the decision to retain information of arrest relating to an allegation of Battery/Domestic Violence

Client D had previously made their own application for record deletion, which was unsuccessful. The police stated that they did not believe the allegation to be malicious and wished to retain the information in case of repetition of the offence, or similar offences against a person. After speaking to the client it became apparent that the alleged victim in the case had never made a complaint, never wished to pursue a prosecution and it was in fact a third party who had first contacted the police after mishearing an altercation over the telephone. Whilst the third party was an NHS professional and, thus, their account was deemed to be more credible, we were able to successfully appeal to have the details of the arrest removed on the basis that, whilst the allegation was not malicious in nature, it was false. The alleged victim confirmed in a statement to ourselves that no offence had taken place, they were not living in fear of domestic violence and fully supported the application. They confirmed that the third party had misconstrued the account to the police and as a result the police confirmed they would now delete the record of arrest from the Police National Computer. Further, they confirmed that all biometrics (fingerprints and DNA etc.) and custody image had been destroyed.

Client E – Application to delete locally held record of arrest in relation to an allegation of Misconduct in Public Office

Client E was formally a prison guard and was arrested when an allegation from a third party was made stating they were in a relationship with a prisoner on remand. Following a conversation with our client they revealed that they had previously complained to their employer about the constant lack of support from other colleagues and management, security issues and corruption within the prison itself and, thus, was potentially causing problems. This gave our caseworker an avenue to explore the possibility of a malicious accusation. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the person who initially made the allegation was a disgruntled colleague who had been affected by Client E’s complaints and, following the making of the allegation, had promptly resigned. There was no evidence to suggest any relationship existed and we were able to explain that our client was actually at risk of grooming due to the lack of support and assistance within the prison. The police accepted our representations and deleted Client E’s record of arrest held on the local police computer.

Client F – Application to delete the record of arrest in relation to an allegation of Possession of an Indecent Image

Client F was arrested in relation to possession of indecent images after the police received intelligence which lead them to believe Client F had attempted to upload one indecent image on to a social media platform a year prior to the arrest. Owing to the fact Client F had children, Social Services also became involved. They were unable to reside at home with their family for a considerable period of time whilst on bail, pending the examination of all their electronic devices. After a thorough search no evidence was found on any devices and Client F received a decision of No Further Action. We applied to the police to delete the record of arrest as Client F had no previous dealings with the police and was a professional whose future employment and travel opportunities would be significantly affected by the potential disclosure of this false arrest on their DBS certificate.

Olliers Solicitors – Specialist record deletion Police National Computer (PNC) Lawyers

At Olliers, we have a specialist team dealing with applications to delete information from Police National Computer (PNC) records. Our lawyers have extensive experience of drafting and submitting representations in support of such applications. The team at Olliers are here to listen, empathise, understand and assist with your record deletion case.

The team will present your case in the best possible way using our expertise and experience to advise on the best evidence to support our representations.

Please contact Nathalie Potter, Head of Olliers’ DBS department  on 0161 834 1515 or by email to nathaliepotter@olliers.com to discuss how Olliers can assist you in making an application for deletion of information from Police National Computer (PNC) records.

Nathalie Potter

Head of Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Department


Head Office


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