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All police staff records to be checked for allegations and intelligence by March

20 Jan 2023

All police officers and staff in England and Wales will be checked against the Police National Database (PND) to identify any intelligence or allegations that need further investigation.  

The National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair has written to chief constables today asking them to take immediate action to enable checks to be completed by 31 March nationwide.   

National Police Chiefs' Council Chair Martin Hewitt said: 

“The confidence of women and girls in the police has been damaged further by the horrific and abhorrent details revealed in the David Carrick case. They deserve better, and they deserve to have absolute trust in any officer they may deal with in their time of need. 

“Words will not rebuild confidence, only action and the public seeing the results of that action. 

“Checks of all officers and staff will ensure we are turning over every stone in our efforts to rid policing of abusers and corrupt individuals.  I know the dedicated, professional majority in policing will support this action. 

“Building on work by the NPCC over recent months, we have asked the Home Office to work with us to develop technology so forces can carry out regular automated checks giving our professional standards teams another fast-time feed of intelligence, helping them to quickly spot and act on concerns.” 

Details held on PND 

The Police National Database contains intelligence and information including reports of: 

  • domestic abuse 
  • child abuse or neglect  
  • crimes  
  • police custody details 

It also holds intelligence on anyone with links to: 

  • organised crime groups 
  • county lines 
  • modern slavery 
  • exploitation 

Next steps for forces: 

1. Prepare HR data on officers and staff so that it can be processed through PND 

The time needed to complete this phase will vary from force to force but the ambition is that all forces will have this completed by the end of February. 

2. Force data will need to be processed in stages 

Not all force data can go through the PND at the same time due to capacity in the system. This will be sequenced over a number of weeks and completed by 31 March. 

3. Manual trawl through PND returns to remove false positives 

The checks will identify where there are data discrepancies not related to issues of concern, such as discrepancies in addresses recorded. Early research indicates that one person could potentially carry out 10-30 searches per day.  

4. Identify staff where checks indicate potential concerns and investigate 

By September police forces should have identified all cases for further investigation and will be starting those investigations.  The time taken to reach this stage will depend on scale and number of staff completing checks.  Investigations will be prioritised based on the threat and risk identified 

5. Develop a new automated platform to carry out continuous PND checks 

Notes to editors 

We recognise how important it is that the public understands the results of this work and we will determine how best to share those results. 

NPCC Chair Martin Hewitt, NPCC Lead for Prevention, Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, and NPCC Lead for PND Amanda Blakeman have today written to chief constables 

CC Kennedy has been leading a programme looking at the automation of PND checks on officers on a continuous basis. The work has been ongoing in recent months. Technical changes are needed to PND to make this viable and talks are ongoing with the Home Office as contract manager for the database. 

All police forces in England and Wales including British Transport Police and Civil Nuclear Constabulary will conduct these checks on this timeline.  Discussions are taking place with Police Scotland and Police Service of Northern Ireland.