Delivering Operational Benefits to Law Enforcement
  • Subject Access 

    Subject Access Home Page Banner 2015


    Subject Access is the process by which you can find out what information is held about you on the Police National Computer (PNC). 

    Anyone can apply for Subject Access to use the information for their own purposes, but you shouldn't be required to provide the information as the basis for a condition of employment or a contract for goods or services, nor can you apply for Subject Access on behalf of someone else.


    In March 2015 a law came into effect that makes it a criminal offence to force someone to use Subject Access in this way. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) recognises that the practice, known as 'enforced subject access' is not the legitimate means of doing so. Anyone who provides information from a Subject Access disclosure, rather than the formal criminal record check system, 'runs the risk of sharing more information than they need to.'

    If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for Subject Access, please contact our Customer Services team. We can provide you with guidance about the new legislation, which comes under the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998, and we will bring to the ICO's attention any organisation which may be breaking it.



    The DPA also states that those who record and use personal information, such as the police service, 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
    • Secure
    • Not transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area without adequate protection


    There are exemptions to this right of access. For example, if releasing information would prejudice a police operation or would identify other people, some information may be omitted from the disclosure.



    Access to information held about you on the PNC:


    ACRO provides Subject Access disclosures from the Police National Computer (PNC) on behalf of most police forces in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Jersey, the Isle of Man and the British Transport Police.

    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 click on one of the links below if you would like information from the PNC. Please note that ACRO will reply to you directly with the results of your application. This can take up to 40 calendar days from receipt of your request.


    If you live abroad, please send your request direct to ACRO by clicking one of the links below.




    Access to information held about you on local police force databases:


    If you require local information from your force as well as information from the PNC, please click on the link below which relates to your local police force for details about how to apply. If you live abroad, please complete the ACRO SAR1 form by clicking Apply by Post above, and post direct to ACRO. If your local force is not included in the list below it is because it has made separate arrangements and you will need to contact them for details on how to apply for this information.



     Avon and Somerset Police


     Hampshire Constabulary


     Police Service of Northern Ireland

     Bedfordshire Police


     Hertfordshire Constabulary


     South Yorkshire Police

     British Transport Police 


     Humberside Police


     Staffordshire Police 

     Cambridgeshire Constabulary


     Isle of Man Constabulary


     States of Jersey 

     Cheshire Constabulary


     Kent Police   


     South Wales Police 

     City of London Police


     Lancashire Constabulary


     Suffolk Constabulary

     Cleveland Police


     Leicestershire Constabulary


     Surrey Police  

     Cumbria Constabulary


     Lincolnshire Police  


     Sussex Police  

     Derbyshire Constabulary


     Merseyside Police


     Thames Valley Police

     Dorset Police


     Metropolitan Police


     Warwickshire Police

     Durham Constabulary


     Norfolk Constabulary


     West Mercia

     Dyfed-Powys Police


     North Wales Police  


     West Midlands Police  

     Essex Police


     North Yorkshire Police


     West Yorkshire Police 

     Gloucestershire Constabulary


     Northamptonshire Police


     Wiltshire Police

     Greater Manchester Police


     Northumbria Police



     Gwent Police


     Nottinghamshire Police




    More information on Subject Access can be found on our frequently asked questions page. If you cannot find the information you are looking for, please contact ACRO Customer Services.



    Please note:


    ACRO does not provide Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly CRB checks) for people who are applying to work with children or vulnerable adults in the UK. Please visit the DBS website for further information on Disclosure and Barring Service checks.


    ACRO is also unable to provide PNC disclosures for UK employment purposes. For these services visit the Disclosure Scotland website. You do not need to live in Scotland to use this service. 




    For information on recognising fraud, please click here.


  • FOI
  • Statistics
  • Publication Scheme
  • FAQs