Using the Library

Join the National Police Library to make the most of our services, access journals online and borrow material.

Borrower registration

Library membership is free to all serving UK police officers and police staff. Complete and return the borrower registration form.

Non-police researchers may also become temporary members whilst working on research projects in partnership with the College of Policing (such as Police Knowledge Fund). From February 2017, other non-police personnel may contact us to purchase a day pass to visit the library in-person in Ryton. The visit provides access to resources on-site; must be by prior appointment and is at the Library's discretion. Non-police personnel cannot currently obtain full library membership due to licencing and copyright restrictions.

Membership of the Library is on the condition that you agree to abide by the rules, and we reserve the right to suspend or cancel membership if they are not adhered to. You must notify us of any change in your address or other contact details.

Using our services


The date label inside will show the due-back date. The loan period for books is 4 weeks. In some circumstances (e.g. heavy demand, special loans), books may be issued for a shorter period. Material may be renewed for further periods provided there is no waiting list.

Items may be renewed a maximum of five times, after which they must be returned to the Library. We reserve the right to recall loaned items ahead of the due date. Please respond promptly to requests for the return of material reserved by another borrower. Renewals are not permitted in these circumstances.

Any books, pamphlets, DVDs or other material forming part of the Library's collection remains the property of the National Police Library and must be returned to the Library within the stipulated loan period, or renewed in good time.   


You can request a renewal of your material by phone or email. Renewal will not be possible if there is a waiting list. You will be notified if we need an item back from you for somebody else.  If you renew your books, you can write the new due-back date on the date label yourself.


If you wish to return books in person, just remember to let us know you will be visiting, and bring photo ID with you.

Books that cannot be returned in person should be sent through the post in a padded envelope, using a delivery service which is trackable and insured, as you are personally responsible for all material issued to you until it is received safely back in the Library. We do not recommend using internal mail systems as items have been lost in transit in the past.

Overdue books

We do not charge fines but you will be sent a series of overdue notices initially asking if you wish to renew, then requesting the return of the item within seven days. If you do not respond, we will invoice you for the cost of replacement. We charge a minimum standard replacement fee of £50 per item and your borrowing rights will be suspended until the matter is resolved.

In cases where any invoice for costs has been settled and the book is subsequently found, it will not be possible to arrange reimbursement, as replacement costs will have already been incurred.

We always offer the option to reserve an item, if the item you have requested is already out on loan. You can also tell us you would like to do this when you make a request online. It is helpful if you can provide a cut-off date after which you don't require something, and also let us know if you no longer wish to reserve an item.

Damaged or lost books
You must take care of Library materials and not deface them in any way; this includes highlighting, writing in them, damaging their binding or removing any part of them. If you lose a book or it becomes damaged, let us know and we will invoice you for the cost of replacement. 

Following registration, you will be provided with an OpenAthens username and password which will unlock access to eJournals, eDatabases and eBooks subscribed to by the National Police Library.  By registering with the National Police Library you accept the following:
your OpenAthens account is for your use only and will not be shared with anyone else.
your OpenAthens account is only to be used in the period you remain eligible (e.g. employed in the UK police service).
eResources have their own licence terms and conditions and these should be observed, specifically:
data should be used solely for academic or research purposes;
data must not be used for financial or commercial gain;
copyright of the data must be observed.
If you do not comply with these conditions you may be liable to disciplinary procedures and legal action.

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