Everyone, within reason, has a right to know what personal information is kept about them.
The Data Protection Act 1998 states that you (data subject) are entitled to be told whether or not personal data is held or processed about you and have a right to access this information.
These are known as subject access rights and they don't just apply to the police.
If making a subject access request, you should be aware that:
- you can only find out details held by the police about yourself
- Gloucestershire Constabulary cannot give you information held by other constabularies or organisations. You will need to apply to them separately
Please note that Gloucestershire Constabulary does not issue documents variously described as 'certificates of good conduct' or 'police clearance certificates'.
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 apply to the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO) which carries out these checks on our behalf. Details on what will be included on the disclosure can be found here.
Applicants can apply online or by post directly to ACRO via:
PO Box 623
Hampshire PO14 9HR
(during their office opening hours 8:30-23:00 Monday to Friday)
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, please complete the form below and send it to our disclosure team at the address below.
Application forms can be downloaded from the link provided below:
or they can be requested from:
No 1 Waterwells,
Guidance on how to complete the form is provided on the form.
Please note that once your completed application has been received, it may take up to 40 days to receive a response.
If you wish to apply for both locally- and nationally-held information, you will need to complete both forms and submit to the relevant organisation. However you are only required to make a single payment of the fee (£10) to ACRO https://www.acro.police.uk/subject_access.aspx. Be sure to indicate that you have made an application to both ACRO and Gloucestershire Constabulary on both forms.
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.
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.
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.
If you want to emigrate to, or obtain a visa for, a number of countries including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cayman Islands, New Zealand, South Africa or the United States of America. These are provided by ACRO as a Police Certificate application using the following link https://www.acro.police.uk/police_certificates.aspx
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).
The Data Protection Act places an obligation on the Police when holding personal information to provide a copy of that information (unless an exemption applies) to the individual concerned on request. Please note that there are certain exemptions in the Act which prevent the disclosure of some information and any such information would fall outside the provisions of section 7 of the Act http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/section/7.
There are a number of exemptions in the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to information that has to be disclosed under the subject information provisions. These include those relating to the identification of third-parties or where data are held for:
(a) the prevention or detection of crime,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
and disclosing such data would be likely to prejudice these purposes.
You are only entitled to information the constabulary may hold about you, not that of a third party. Section 7(4) of the Data Protection Act states the following:
(4)Where a data controller cannot comply with the request without disclosing information relating to another individual who can be identified from that information, he is not obliged to comply with the request unless:
(a)the other individual has consented to the disclosure of the information to the person making the request, or
(b)it is reasonable in all the circumstances to comply with the request without the consent of the other individual.