• Subject Access - Frequently Asked Questions

    These notes apply to individuals wishing to obtain a Subject Access disclosure for personal use  


    Click here to download a printable version of these frequently asked questions.

  • What are my rights to information? 

    Subject to certain exemptions you have a right to be told whether any information is held about you and a right to a copy of that information. You DO NOT have the right to any information that identifies someone else, or the right to information that is not your personal data.


  • 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.


  • Will any information be withheld? 

    The Chief Officer of Police 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.


  • What will show up on the disclosure? 

    Your personal details such as your name and date of birth, impending prosecutions, cautions, final warnings, reprimands, convictions, penalty notices and information relating to the issue of firearms certificates may appear on your disclosure. Arrest events that do not result in conviction will also appear. In other words, if you were arrested and the police took no further action (which may be shown as NFA on the disclosure document), or you were found not guilty at court the details surrounding this may appear on your disclosure.


  • Will the disclosure show spent convictions? 

    Yes it will. This is because the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 is not applied to a Subject Access disclosure and therefore all convictions whether spent or unspent under the Act will appear on the disclosure.


  • How do I access my records? 

    If you would like to know what information is held about you on the Police National Computer (PNC) you will need to complete a Subject Access request. You can apply online or by post. Please go to the Subject Access web page for more information about how to apply.


    Proof of identification and payment of £10 must accompany your request.


  • How much does a Subject Access request cost? 

    Each Subject Access request costs £10 sterling. If you apply by post please make your cheque, postal order or banker’s draft payable to ‘PCC for Hampshire’. We can also accept payment by bank transfer – if you want to use this facility please follow this link: Pay by bank transfer.


    If you apply online you can use the online payment facility – full details are on the Subject Access online application page.


  • I live abroad – how do I access my records? 

    If you would like to know what information is held about you on the PNC you will need to complete a Subject Access request. Please go to the Subject Access web page for more information about how to apply. You can apply and pay online or you can download an application form and send it to ACRO with proof of identification and payment.


  • I want local and national (PNC) information – do I have to make two applications and pay twice?


    If you request both local and national information at the same time, you only have to make one payment. Please go to the Subject Access web page and click on the link to your local police force. The force website will provide details about how to apply.


    Please note the £10 fee covers the disclosure of information from the PNC and  local systems and databases of one force if both are applied for at the same time. If you require local information from more than one force, you will need to make a separate request to each force and pay a £10 fee to the force for each application. More information about how to apply for local information is available on each force website.


  • How long will it take until I receive my disclosure? 

    Once your completed application has been received it can take up to 40 days to receive a response.


  • Can my application be processed more quickly than 40 days? 

    All Subject Access requests are processed in strict date order from the date of receipt. Applications can only be processed more quickly in very exceptional circumstances.


  • Can I use Subject Access for emigration purposes? 

    If you need a visa to travel to Australia, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa or the United States of America you will need to apply for a Police Certificate. Please see the Police Certificate section of the ACRO website.


    If you require a disclosure for immigration to a country other than those listed above you should contact the relevant Embassy or High Commission for advice to establish whether an ACRO Police Certificate is acceptable.


  • What if I need to get my Subject Access disclosure legalised or apostilled for visa purposes? 

    ACRO does not provide a legalisation or authentication service. You will need to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Legalisation Office.


    Please note: the FCO will only apostille original documents, not photocopies or .pdf documents.




  • Can I use my Subject Access disclosure as evidence of character? 

    Police Forces within the United Kingdom DO NOT issue documents described as ‘certificates of good conduct', ‘certificates of good character’ or ‘Police Clearance Certificates'. Please note that if you exercise your rights under the Subject Access Provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 you will NOT be provided with a certificate of this nature.


  • Can I use Subject Access for employment purposes?

    ACRO does not provide PNC disclosures for employment vetting purposes. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and you require a disclosure for employment purposes, please go to the Disclosure Scotland website or telephone 0870 609 6006.


    If you live in Northern Ireland please contact AccessNI on 0300 200 7888 or via their website www.nidirect.gov.uk 


    If you intend to work as a paid employee, or as a volunteer for an organisation, in the UK and your work will be bringing you in to contact with children or vulnerable adults please visit the DBS website or telephone 0870 9090811.


  • What identification do I need to provide? 

    When you submit your application you will need to include copies, not originals, of at least two different documents which confirm your identity, current address and signature. These could be:



    • A passport or driving licence which shows your date of birth and signature
    • A utility bill, bank, mortgage or credit card statement which is dated within the last six months and which shows your current address


    If you are unsure what documents will be acceptable, please contact ACRO Customer Services.

  • What happens once my application has been received? 

    ACRO will process your request and send a response to the address shown on your application form.


    We may need to contact you to request additional information or clarification. Your application will not be processed without the requested information and, if you do not reply by the date shown on the ACRO letter, your application will be cancelled.


    No refunds are issued in respect of cancelled applications.


  • I have not received my disclosure document – what should I do? 

    If you have not received a response you should contact ACRO Customer Services. Please note that it can take up to 40 days to process your application and if we have requested additional information it may take longer.


    All disclosure documents to UK addresses are sent by 2nd class post or 1st class airmail to overseas addresses. Please allow 10 working days for delivery for UK addresses and 14 days for overseas addresses. If you have still not received your disclosure after this time please contact ACRO Customer Services.


  • Can I pay extra for alternative postal services e.g. next day delivery etc.? 

    No, we can only send disclosures by 2nd class post or 1st class airmail to overseas addresses.


  • Can I pay for my disclosure to be sent by courier? 

    No, we can only send disclosures by 2nd class post or 1st class airmail to overseas addresses.


  • Can I request information about someone else? 

    No. A Subject Access disclosure can only provide you, the data subject, with information about you.


  • Can someone request a Subject Access disclosure on my behalf? 

    Yes if you provide written and signed authorisation. This is known as a ‘third party authority’. You will still need to complete and sign the application form.


  • Can my disclosure be sent to an alternative postal address?

    Yes – you will need to specify the postal address on your application form.


  • The information on my Subject Access disclosure is incorrect – who should I contact? 

    ACRO cannot amend any of the PNC information on a Subject Access disclosure as it does not own the data. If you believe the information held on the PNC is inaccurate or incorrect you will need to contact the data protection office for the force which owns the data. This will be clearly shown on the disclosure and the contact details will be on the force’s website.


  • More Information

    The information contained in this website is only a guide and further information about the Data Protection Act 1998 can be obtained from the Information Commissioner’s Office website.