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Data Protection Act - Information about people

The Data Protection Act governs how we use, manage and disclose (hand over to others) personal information.

Personal information is information or data that relates to an identifiable living individual. This information may include police records about people or reports about incidents and crimes where the names of people such as offenders, victims and witnesses are mentioned.

The Data Protection Act allows people to ask for a copy of what information we hold about them and to correct any inaccuracies.

Ordinarily, under the Data Protection Act you can only request information that relates to you.

Occasionally, even where the information relates to you, we may choose not to disclose it. This might happen when we are still investigating a case and to disclose the information could affect the investigation or if a matter is subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

If you think your information has not been disclosed properly, you can complain to us or to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Frequently Asked Questions - Data Protection

How to apply for information under the Data Protection Act

Dependent upon the information you wish to access, the process for applying for personal information will vary.

Applications can be made under what is called a ‘Subject Access Request’. This will allow an individual to see what information is held about them.

There are two application options available:

  • Application for access to information if you require a copy of your criminal convictions history held on the Police National Computer (PNC). You will need to complete the ACRO SAR 1 form. This can be obtained from ACPO Criminal Records Office (ACRO).

    All enquiries about requests made to ACRO, progress with requests and timescales for responses should be directed to ACRO on 0845 6013 999.
  • Application for access to information held by Nottinghamshire Police can be applied for using the G520a form (Subject Access Request).

Alternatively, you can request a form be posted to you by emailing

Once we have received your completed application we will provide you with a response at the earliest opportunity but please note the process can take up to 40 days.

Should you wish to request information held on the PNC and on our local police systems you will need to complete both the ACRO SAR 1 and the G520a Subject Access Form.

You are only required to pay one statutory fee of £10, this will need to be sent to ACRO with your ACRO SAR 1 application. You will however be required to send identification documents to both ACRO and Nottinghamshire Police with your applications.

Police certificates for emigration and visa purposes

A number of embassies now ask applicants to obtain police certificates to support applications for emigration or visa entries into some countries. These include Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America. 

Nottinghamshire Police does not provide these certificates.

If you need to obtain such a certificate, you should contact the Association of Chief Police Officers' Criminal Records Office (ACRO) by:

Checks for employment

Some employers, as a condition of your employment, may ask you to use the subject access request process to  obtain a list of your criminal convictions or cautions.

Nottinghamshire Police will not supply this information under the Subject Access Request process.

If you require such a list, it may requested through Disclosure Scotland.

Working with children

Certain kinds of voluntary and paid work might bring you into contact with children or vulnerable people. In these circumstances, you may need what is often called a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

CRB checks are now called Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. These are dealt with by the Disclosure and Barring Service. Should you have any questions about a DBS check, please contact the Disclosure and Barring Service, not Nottinghamshire Police.

Information Commissioner's Office

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the regulator responsible for ensuring organisations such as the police lawfully and properly apply the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts.

The ICO's website can provide more information about the Data Protection Act and your rights to access information.

Apply for access to information about convictions, cautions, and juvenile cautions and reprimands held on the police national computer (PNC) via the ACRO website.

Apply for access to information held on Nottinghamshire Police’s systems (Subject Access Request Form) - G520a

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You can use this form to request a check for information held about you on Nottinghamshire Police local information systems and paper records. This will include records such as incident reports of calls made to the control room, crime reports, statements etc.

The form should be printed and completed following the instructions which are on the form. Please contact the Data Protection Office on 101 for any advice.

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