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New guidance to support the Code of Practice for PNC and LEDS

Published on 5 April 2023
The new guidance will help managers and systems users to support their chief officers in complying with the requirements of the Code of Practice
2 mins read

The College of Policing, working with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Home Office have developed a new Code of Practice.

The Police National Computer (PNC) system and its eventual replacement, the Law Enforcement Data Service (LEDS) form critical parts of national infrastructure. They are used every day by police officers, staff and multi-agency partners at all levels to support all types of police work and keep people safe.

Aims of the Code and guidance

The Code has been developed to set out the rules and responsibilities that everyone who uses the PNC and LEDS must follow. This is so that people’s information is held and used in an ethical, fair, and lawful way.

It also provides chief officers with clear expectations and guidance so they can support their staff to adopt a positive culture and consistent practices in using people’s information.

As the transition from PNC to LEDS continues, the code will support policing to futureproof. It will help improve the quality of data within PNC and maintain a high level of quality moving into LEDS.

I welcome the introduction of the Code of Practice for PNC and LEDS and thank all police, Home Office and College colleagues involved in the formation and delivery of the code into legislation.

The Code provides key guidance to all users of LEDS and sets out roles, accountabilities and responsibilities for users with regard to the LEDS capability, which is the new replacement of the PNC, as well the management of data. The manner in which we use data and engage the public is of real importance to maintaining and aspirationally enhancing the trust and confidence of all communities, which is key in our ability to manage threat, harm and risk.

This is even more relevant in view of recent cases where public confidence in policing has been damaged. Effective use of our data will make our communities safer for all.

Deputy Chief Constable Nav Malik – NPCC Lead and Information Asset Owner for LEDS and PNC

The Code is statutory guidance, providing a firm basis for inspection by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS). This means it can be used in a court of law and in disciplinary proceedings.

Supporting policing with guidance

We have developed guidance to help managers and users to understand the Code of Practice, what it means for them, and how they can support their chief officers in complying with the requirements of the Code of Practice. The guidance should be read together with the Code.

The guidance also explains the 10 principles for the professional and ethical use of PNC and LEDS which are set out in the Code. Each principle has a description of the responsibilities for chief officers, managers and systems users, which include responsibilities under data protection legislation.

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