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Retention of criminal history

Personal data that can be relevant for an individual’s criminal history is retained on various different databases. Each of these databases has different rules governing the retention of that data and controlling when and to whom it can be disclosed.

These databases include:

  • The Police National Computer
  • The Police National Database
  • Violent and Sex Offenders Register (ViSOR)
  • The Disclosure & Barring Service 'Barred List'
  • The DVLA Database

The retention of criminal history on these various systems, as well as the retention of biometric data following an arrest, is subject to various controls to ensure a proportionate balance is struck between the competing needs to retain relevant information for the purposes of policing, security, the detection of crime and protection of the vulnerable against the individuals rights of privacy under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

Where the information held on these systems is not deemed to be necessary, proportionate, adequate, accurate or up to date, or where it is excessive then representations can be made to have this data removed from that particular system. It is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal solicitor familiar with the relevant retention guidelines to assist in this process.