Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 states that a "data subject" (the person about whom the personal data refers) is entitled, upon written request, to be informed (subject to certain exemptions) whether or not personal data is held or processed about them and to have a right of access to any such data.
These rights are known as 'subject access' rights and they don't just apply to the police.
However, there are limitations to these access rights:
- You can only find out details held by the police about yourself.
- The Gloucestershire Constabulary cannot give you information that is held by other Constabularies or organisations. You will need to apply to others separately.
Please note that Gloucestershire Constabulary does not issue documents variously described as 'Certificates of good conduct' or 'police clearance certificates'.
How do I apply for Subject Access (how do I get information about myself)?
If you would like to know what information (if any) is held on the Police National Computer (PNC) about you, (i.e. a copy of your prosecution/conviction history) you should complete Form ACRO SAR1. The Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO) carries out these checks on our behalf. When you complete this form you need to send it directly to ACRO. ACRO will reply directly to you at the postal address you provide on the form.
Please note that Gloucestershire Constabulary will no longer accept applications of this nature.
All submissions and enquiries relating to this process should be directed to ACRO, who can be contacted using the following information:
Telephone: 0845 6013999 (during their office opening hours of 8:30-16:30, Monday to Friday)
Address: ACRO, PO Box 481, Fareham, PO14 9FS
Information held on Gloucestershire Constabulary systems (crime reports, incidents logs etc)
Should you wish to know what information (if any) Gloucestershire Constabulary holds about you, such as records of incidents you have been involved in, or reported to the Constabulary, you should complete a Form GC SAR and submit it to Gloucestershire Constabulary Information Disclosure at the address below.
If you wish to apply for both categories of information, you will need to complete both forms (and submit as above); however you are only required to make a single payment of the fee (£10) to ACRO. Be sure to indicate that you have made application to both ACRO and Gloucestershire Constabulary on the Form GC SAR.
Application forms can be downloaded from the link provided below or they can be requested from:
Address: Information Disclosure, Gloucestershire Constabulary, County Police HQ, No 1 Waterwells, Waterwells Drive, Quedgeley, Glos GL2 2AN
Telephone: 01452 754304 Email: DPO@gloucestershire.police.uk
To download the ACRO forms please visit their website - http://www.acro.police.uk/subject_access.aspx
Guidance on how to complete the forms is provided on the forms.
Please note that once your completed application has been received it may take up to 40 days to receive a response (Section 7(10) of the Data Protection Act 1998).
How will this information be used?
The information you provide is requested so that Gloucestershire Constabulary may process your subject access application under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998. If you have a local police record, the information you give in this form may be added to that record.
To allow your application to be processed, your personal information may be provided to employees of Gloucestershire Constabulary & necessary third parties. In the case of applications relating to PNC (Police National Computer) records your information will be provided to ACRO (Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office).
For the purposes of the Data Protection Act, 1998, the Chief Constable is the data controller for the Gloucestershire Constabulary, and his/her data protection representative is the Data Protection Officer, who may be contacted for more information.
Using Subject Access to get Information About Yourself for Others
Some organisations often request evidence of your caution/conviction history (including the lack of it), describing these requests as 'police checks', 'police references', 'police certificates', 'clearance certificates', vetting checks' or 'certificates of good conduct/character'. Foreign embassies, for example, require such evidence from people applying to migrate to their country.
The Data Protection Act 1998 protects such sensitive information and subject to certain exemptions, prevents the police giving information it holds about you to these people, organisations or agencies. However, you can get it yourself using subject access and then pass it on to them if you wish.
Please be aware that where you want to use your subject access rights to get information to give to other agencies, in spite of their terminology, this does not actually constitute a 'check by the police' for those agencies. Our obligation is to provide you with the information you are entitled to.
Click here to see the FAQs relating to jobs that require 'police vetting' and the involvement of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), previously known as Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).