The Data Protection Act 2018 gives individuals certain rights. It allows you to find out what information is held about you on computer and sometimes paper records. This is known as a ‘Right of Subject Access’.
It also states that those who record and use personal information must be open about how the information is used and they must follow the eight data protection principles of good practice, which are:
- Processed fairly and lawfully
- Processed for limited purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Accurate and up-to-date
- Not kept longer than necessary
- Processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights
- Not transferred to countries outside the EEA without adequate protection
What is ‘Personal Data’?
Personal Data is defined as information relating to a ‘living’ individual who can be identified either from the information itself or indirectly by combining the information with other data available to the data controller. Personal data includes expressions of opinion about the individual and any indication of intentions anyone may have in respect of the individual.
You have a right to be told whether any information is held about you and a right to a copy of that information, unless certain exemptions apply. This will be returned 1 calendar month after receipt of a fully completed form and proof of identity.
You will be provided with that information only if you have provided satisfactory proof of your identity. Information may not have to be provided if someone else can be identified in or from the information. If you think that information might be held about you that may identify or have been provided by another person, you may want to get that person’s written agreement to enable the information to be given to you. In addition to their consent, they will also need to provide two proofs of identity
The legislation allows us to extend the period of compliance by a further two months where requests are complex or numerous. If this is the case, we will inform you within one month of receipt of your request and explain why the extension is necessary
How to access your records – Subject Access
The Subject Access Provisions of the Data Protection Act give an individual the right to have a copy of any personal data held on them.
If you would like to know what information The OPFCC holds about you on the local systems, you must put a request in writing to:
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
Park Farm Industrial Estate,
To help establish your identity your application must be accompanied by COPIES of TWO official documents, which between them clearly show your name, date of birth and current address. For example, driving licence, medical card, birth/adoption certificate, passport and any other official document, which shows your name, date of birth and address. Our SAR request form can be downloaded here
If you require information from the Police National Computer surrounding your Prosecution, Conviction and Caution History, please download and complete this form instead of using the online application. Refunds will no longer be given for completion of the incorrect form online. If you have any questions, please call Northamptonshire Police on 101 and ask for the Information Unit.
Applicants wishing to apply for subject access as a condition of employment, or if you are, or intending to work with children or vulnerable adults should visit the Disclosure and Barring Service website or telephone 03000 200 190
Emigration applications usually require your ‘Prosecution/Conviction History’ record as held on the Police National Computer. Please note it can take up to 40 days to receive a response.
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Bahamas, Chile, Belgium and the United States of America require people emigrating from the UK to have a Police Certificate (as opposed to Subject Access) before they can be awarded a visa. These certificates are provided by the ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO).
For more information please contact ACRO Customer Services:
Telephone: +44 (0)2380 479 920
Or write to ACRO at the following address enclosing a stamped address envelope:
ACRO, PO Box 481, Fareham, Hampshire, PO14 9FS
Evidence of Character
Police Forces within the United Kingdom DO NOT issue documents described as ‘certificates of good conduct’ or ‘Police Clearance Certificates’. Nor do they provide other evidence of good character. It should therefore be noted that to exercise your rights under the Subject Access Provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 would NOT provide you with a certificate of this nature.
The PFCC’s Rights
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner may deny access to information where the Act allows. The Act provides exemptions in relation to information held for:
- The prevention or detection of crime.
- The apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
- The interests of national security.
where disclosing that information to you would be likely to prejudice any of these purposes.
These notes are only a guide. The law is stated within the Data Protection Act 2018. Further information may be obtained here.