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Police National Computer

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether there is a unique personal identifier to connect individual data records in OaSys, C-NOMIS, Libra and the Police National Computer. (185542)

The information is as follows.

(a) Offender Assessment System (OASys)—OASys uses the ‘PNC Number’ as a unique personal identifier but this system has no physical interface to the PNC.

(b) C-NOMIS—C-NOMIS uses the ‘NOMS Number’ as a unique personal identifier. The NOMS Number is currently passed to, and stored within OASys, from C-NOMIS. The PNC number and arrest summons number (ASN) are manually entered into the C-NOMIS system if and when available.

(c) Libra—Libra has no specific unique personal identifier for a defendant, although each case related to one or more defendants is assigned a unique ‘Libra Case Number’. This case number is not exchanged with any other system. Police forces supply Libra with their own ‘Unique Reference Number’ (URN) and the ASN from their case and custody systems that are case specific. Libra then uses the ASN as a unique reference to the PNC. A defendant will have many URNs or ASNs if they are involved in multiple cases. Libra can also store, via manual entry, the ‘National Insurance Number’ for the defendant if it is supplied by the police or the defendant.

(d) Police National Computer (PNC)—The Police National Computer uses the ‘PNC Number' as a unique personal identifier. The Police National Computer also utilises the ‘Criminal Records Office Number’ if the defendant has previously provided fingerprints which can be positively identified and ‘Arrest Summons Numbers’ (ASNs) which links the defendant to one or more offences.

OASys, C-NOMIS, Libra and Police National Computer (PNC) systems do not share a ‘unique personal identifier’ that is common to all these systems. This has been a continuing challenge for joining-up the Criminal Justice System. The connection of individual data records, where specifically required to date, has largely been accomplished by other indirect identification methods which are further detailed by system.

OCJR is undertaking a review as to how a common unique personal identifier for the CIS might be achieved; the first stage of which is due to be completed by the end of March 2008.