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Data protection

Data protection request for information

If your UK employer has asked you to provide a copy of your criminal record – or proof that you don’t have one – apply to Disclosure Scotland via www.disclosurescotland.co.uk or 0870 609 6006. Disclosure Scotland offer a basic disclosure online (subject to certain conditions) or by post. This document will contain details of convictions held in central police records which are ‘unspent’ according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 or will state that there are no such convictions and is suitable for the purpose of employment. Responses take about two weeks from receipt of application and payment.

Individuals requiring Police Certificates for the purpose of applications for emigration, visas or residency for a number of countries including, but not limited to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States of America should download an application form via the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) website following links to ACRO. However, it is your responsibility to confirm with the relevant Embassy, High Commission or requesting authority that a Police Certificate will be acceptable.

Website: http://www.acpo.police.uk

Please note that this Certificate is processed entirely by the ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO) and applications should be returned to them.  All submissions and enquiries relating to this process should be directed to ACRO, who can be contacted as follows:
Telephone: 0845 601 3999 (International callers: 0044 1962 871 111) during their office hours of 08:30 - 23:00 GMT, Monday - Friday.
Email: customer.services@acro.pnn.police.uk

Should the country you are planning to visit or work/live not accept the ACPO produced certificate – but you still require proof - please complete a subject access application form (SA1 for information from the Police National Computer). We are required to respond within 40 days. You may also request that an application form is posted to you by calling 01392 452675 or collect one from your nearest police station in Devon and Cornwall.

This will only apply if you live, or have previously lived, within Devon and Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly. If not, please contact the relevant police force for the area you lived in.

For ease of reference the SA1 form is also available in a larger font type which can be accessed here.

Before you make a Subject Access request – please note:
Before you make a Subject Access request it is important to bear in mind that there are exemptions to this right of access. For example, Devon and Cornwall Police may decline to provide such information in certain circumstances:

  • Personal Data: Information requested using the Data Protection Act will only be disclosed if: It meets the definition of personal data (or information), that is information about or concerning the data subject (person whom the information is about). Information that contains a brief mention of a person may not be defined as personal data.
  • The information is part of a relevant filing system. A relevant system is defined as a method of filing information in a way that it can be easily identified either by a persons name or some other identifier ( for example a number). This applies to both electronic computer files and paper files.
  • The release of the information could lead to the identification of another individual to whom Devon and Cornwall Police have a duty of confidence.
    For example: this will often be where the recorded information involves more than one individual, e.g. a crime report identifies both a victim and suspect/offender. The offender will not normally be given personal details of victims and vice versa.
  • Information being processed for the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
    For example: we will not release information about an individual under these provisions if doing so could prejudice Devon and Cornwall Police’s fight against crime.
  • Paper/manual records, these could include investigation files.
    Explanatory note: Whilst the searching of electronic records can normally be completed using automatic search tools, searching for hand written records cannot and Devon and Cornwall Police will often need to be advised where such information is held before they can accept such a request. Even where such paper records can be located if the cost of reviewing and releasing the information would be likely to exceed £450 then it is outside the right of access granted by Parliament.
  • Release of personal information under this legislation is limited to information ‘relating to the applicant.’ It does not give a person access to information relating to other individuals. Information not relating to the applicant will be edited out.

Information released under the Subject Access provisions allows individuals to satisfy themselves that where information is being processed about them, it is accurate, it is not excessive and it is not being kept longer than necessary. It is, therefore, unlikely that this method will be an appropriate way to obtain information about others, nor is it likely to be suitable for individuals considering, or taking, legal action against an individual or organisation. In such circumstances the normal legal channels of disclosure, such as a Court Order, are generally more appropriate.


  • Created: 20/04/2009 11:19:59 |
  • Modified: 07/11/2013 17:46:33

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