Police National Legal Database

The PNLD (Police National Legal Database) is an information resource which delivers criminal justice legislation together with additional explanation and guidance to assist users. PNLD is owned by and under the control of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire. We receive no funding from central government and rely upon subscription income alone.

Initially created to support the police service of England and Wales, PNLD is both a comprehensive criminal law training resource and a lifeline to ensure that anyone with a duty to investigate or prosecute offences can properly apply the law.  Relied upon by all 43 Home Office police forces, PNLD has built on its reputation and wealth of expertise.  From its original concept – twenty years ago – as an easily updatable training resource, PNLD has grown to develop a comprehensive national ‘online’ criminal legal database.

Following the launch of our website in 2004, we were delighted to be able to offer PNLD, on subscription, to all criminal justice professionals. The legal database is here to support the operational and training activities of law enforcement customers including HMRC, SOCA, UKBA and other regulatory authorities including the Trading Standards Service. It is relied upon by the Crown Prosecution Service in assisting with charging decisions and many accredited training delivery centres make use of the database to support their requirements. 

Whether our subscribers need to quickly reference a decision, research the law in greater depth or simply for reassurance, PNLD provides the answers — we deliver exceptional value for money in the current climate of financial austerity, creating efficiency gains and cost benefits for our customers.
During the last ten years, there has been substantial broadening of PNLD’s product base with the creation of additional websites designed to provide members of the public with information about the police and general policing matters. In addition to helping people to find the answers they need, at a time convenient to them, the website also saves the Police Service a great deal of time and money.

Ask the Police, www.askthe.police.uk, provides consistent answers to around 750 of the public’s most frequently asked policing questions – available both on a free to access, public facing website.  Ask the Police can be viewed on any device with internet access and free apps have also been developed for both i-phone and Android users. There is also a separate version within the Criminal Justice Extranet to assist Police officers and staff working in a customer contact role.

The website has proved so successful that a Scottish version, www.askthe.scottish.police.uk was launched in 2010 to reflect their unique legislation and procedures.

The election of the first Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in 2012 led PNLD to develop an Ask the Commissioner website, to answer the general public’s most frequently asked questions about this new role and as a means to make communication between PCCs and the public more effective.
However, not all PNLD’s products rely on computer technology.

Published annually since 2007, Blackstone’s Police Operational Handbook is drawn from PNLD’s legal database and is edited by one of PNLD’s team of legal advisers. Despite its compact size, the Handbook contains a wealth of information specially selected to meet the needs of the operational police officer, police community support officer, special constable or other practitioner who has to interpret and apply the criminal law within the community. The Handbook is presented in a ‘bullet-point’, easy to understand format to enable a quick yet informed decision to be made in a host of everyday policing situations.

The success of the Handbook has lead to the creation of other Handbooks; Blackstone’s Counter-Terrorism Handbook is now in its third edition and a new addition, Blackstone’s Handbook of Ports and Border Security was published in 2013. PNLD’s legal advisers co-authored both titles.

In recent years, PNLD has run an Annual Conference to deliver what delegates have described as “an exceptional day of legal training” to support Police Inspectors and Sergeants who provide the day-to-day training for their officers. Delegates return year after year, knowing how much they will benefit. PNLD’s status as a ‘not for profit’ organisation means we are able to deliver a highly focused day featuring speakers who are nationally acclaimed experts in their sector.

PNLD can be contacted by email - [email protected]