DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

DBS Checks is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Social Media

Our Products

get in touch with us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What is the Police National Computer? PNC Checks

Aug 3, 2023 | DBS

In our modern world, where security is a constant concern, organisations across various sectors need to find ways to ensure a safe and secure environment for their employees, customers, and the general public. One crucial aspect of maintaining security is conducting thorough background checks on individuals, especially those who will be working in positions of trust or responsibility. 

In the realm of background checks, the Police National Computer (PNC) plays a pivotal role. In this article, DBS Checks Online delves into the significance of PNC checks and explores their connection to UK police forces in order to understand why PNC checks are vital for many roles in the UK.

PNC Meaning

The term “PNC” stands for the Police National Computer, a centralised database maintained by UK law enforcement agencies. The PNC is a vast archive of information related to criminal records, investigations, and other law enforcement matters. It serves as a comprehensive resource for law enforcement officers and authorised personnel to access essential information quickly and efficiently.

In order to gain information from the PNC, non-police organisations generally need to apply for a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check, as it has restricted access.

The Police And PNC

The police are tasked with upholding law and order, protecting citizens, and preventing criminal activities. To fulfil these responsibilities effectively, the police rely on a robust and comprehensive system of information sharing and coordination. This is where the Police National Computer (PNC) comes into play.

The PNC is essentially a digital repository that holds a wealth of information, including:

  • Criminal Records: Details of individuals’ criminal convictions, cautions, and other relevant information are stored in the PNC. This information helps police authorities assess the criminal history of individuals.
  • Missing Persons: The PNC includes information about missing individuals, aiding law enforcement in locating and reuniting them with their loved ones.
  • Stolen Vehicles and Property: The PNC contains data about stolen vehicles, goods, and property, enabling law enforcement to track and recover these items.

Warrants and Alerts: Law enforcement officers can use the PNC to check for active warrants and alerts related to individuals or criminal activities.


DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

The PNC Check Process

A PNC check involves querying the Police National Computer to gather information about an individual’s criminal record and other relevant details. This process is often standard practice for employers, government agencies, and organisations dealing with sensitive matters or vulnerable groups.

The process of conducting a PNC check typically involves:

  • Authorisation: Only authorised individuals and organisations can gain entry to the PNC information access panel. This ensures that sensitive information is accessed only by those with a legitimate need.
  • Information Input: To initiate a PNC check, certain personal details of the individual, such as name, date of birth, and address, are submitted. These details help narrow down the search and retrieve accurate results.
  • Review of Results: Once the PNC query is executed, the results provide a comprehensive overview of the individual’s criminal history, if any. This information assists in making informed decisions about employment, security clearances, and more.

In order for individuals or organisations to receive information from the PNC, a DBS check must be processed. 

Why PNC Checks Matter

PNC checks are very important for a number of reasons, the most important of which is public safety.  Conducting PNC checks helps organisations ensure that the individuals they are hiring or engaging with do not pose a risk to public safety and are trustworthy.

Certain industries and roles also require a PNC in order to comply with strict regulations. Suppose a job applicant will work with children or vulnerable adults. In that case, it is crucial that the organisation applies for an Enhanced DBS check for that individual so that the local police force can verify whether or not the applicant has a problematic record.

By accessing criminal records, territorial police forces can also prevent individuals with a history of criminal activities from slipping through the cracks.

Concluding PNC Police Service

The Police National Computer serves as a powerful tool that enables law enforcement efficient and effective use of the data, enabling them to maintain public safety, prevent crimes, and uphold justice. Through PNC checks, organisations can make informed decisions about hiring and engagement, contributing to a safer and more secure environment for all. 

As technology evolves and security remains a top priority, the PNC stands as a testament to the effective use of information for the betterment of society.





A Guide To DBS Checks For Security Guards

Security guards play an important role in ensuring the safety of individuals and physical assets. Considering the high levels of trust and responsibility their roles embody, it’s essential that employers ensure their integrity.  One tool that can be used to do this is...

read more
A Guide To DBS Checks For The Self-Employed

A Guide To DBS Checks For The Self-Employed

If you’ve ever applied for a job, you have most likely undergone a DBS check. Once completed, you are issued with a certificate that contains information about your criminal history. This information is often used by employers to assess whether you’re a suitable...

read more
The Importance of DBS Checks for Taxi Drivers

The Importance of DBS Checks for Taxi Drivers

As parking becomes harder to find and traffic longer to sit through, fewer people choose to buy cars, and the public transportation industry continues to evolve. Taxi and private hire services play a vital role in providing convenient and reliable transportation...

read more