Right of access to personal data is covered in Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998.
As part of the act an individual (known as a data subject) has the right to access any personal data held about them. It also provides the right to have inaccurate date rectified or destroyed.
There are some legal exemptions which exist to prevent disclosing this information in certain circumstances, examples of exceptions include:
- The prevention and detection of crime
- The apprehension and prosecution of offenders
- The interests of national security.
How to access your personal data held on the Police National Computer
If you want to know what information is held about you on the Police National Computer (PNC) you will need to apply to the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO).
Information about how to apply for this information is available on the ACRO Subject Access web page. This service is not carried out by Cheshire Constabulary.
How to access your own personal data on Cheshire Constabulary systems
If you want to know what information Cheshire Constabulary holds about you on their local system you must complete a Local Subject Access form.
We need to be satisfied that you are who you say you are. You must include at least two forms of identification. Between them, they should show your name, address, signature and date of birth (e.g. Driving Licence, Passport, Medical Card, Birth/Adoption Certificate, Bank Statement or Utility Bill).
It is advised that you send photocopies of original documents – Cheshire Police cannot be held accountable for original documents lost in the post. Photocopies must be certified by a Police Officer, Justice of the Peace, Solicitor, or person of similar standing.
A fee of £10 must be included with your application. You are encouraged to pay by cheque or postal order, as we cannot be held responsible for cash sent through the post. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to ‘The Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire’. Postal orders must be UK postal orders.
Applications should be sent to:
The Data Protection Officer,
Cheshire Constabulary Headquarters,
Please note that once we have received your completed application, the process to provide you with information can take up to 40 days. 40 days is the statutory time period defined within the Data Protection Act 1998.
How to apply for both types of information
If you wish to complete both ACRO subject access form (SAR1) and Cheshire Constabulary subject access form (SA1) you are only required to pay one statutory fee of £10 – this should be sent to ACRO with your SAR1 application. When submitting the Cheshire Constabulary SA1 form, please tick the appropriate box stating that you have applied to ACRO for Police National Computer information.
If you are considering making an application to use in civil proceedings please carefully note the following:
The Data Protection Act provides a right in law for individuals to be advised whether, and what, information an organisation is processing about them. In replying to applicants, Cheshire Constabulary will pay due regard to the exemptions from this general right of access and may decline to provide such information where one or more of the following circumstances apply:
- The release of the information could lead to the identification of another individual to whom Cheshire Constabulary have a duty of confidence.
Explanatory note: This will often be where the recorded information involves more than one individual, e.g. a crime report that 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.
Explanatory note: We will not release intelligence about an individual under these provisions if doing so could undermine Cheshire Constabulary's fight against crime.
- Paper/manual records being processed, 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 Cheshire Constabulary 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 afforded by the Data Protection Act 1998.
It should also be noted that 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 released under this legislation 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.
When requesting information it will assist us to assist you if you can tell us what the information you are seeking relates to, together with the date, time and location of any particular occurrence.