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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Access to your personal information

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act gives individuals the right to request access from organisations to information held about them (subject to any relevant exemption) and details of how it is processed.


Although every effort will be made to ensure a response to your Subject Access request (SAR) is provided within legal deadlines, due to current circumstances, delays may be unavoidable.

Until further notice we will not be able to deal with any requests made by post due to the data protection team now working remotely. Please fill the online form below

We apologise for the inconvenience and will endeavour to process your request as quickly as possible.

I want to…

apply for access to information held on the Police National Computer (PNC)

The National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO) processes applications to access information held about you on the PNC. This includes information on:

  • Arrests
  • Criminal convictions
  • Cautions
  • Juvenile reprimands
  • Final warnings
  • Non convictions
  • No further actions outcomes

To apply for information held about you on the PNC, visit the ACRO website.

apply for access to information held on Avon and Somerset Police systems

You can make a request to find out whether the Constabulary holds any personal information about you (subject access request) and if so, obtain a copy of that information:

Although every effort will be made to ensure a response to your Subject Access request (SAR) is provided within statutory deadlines, due to current circumstances, delays may be unavoidable.

You cannot request certificates of criminal records.

The types of information you can request includes:

  • Police incident logs
  • Police crime reports
  • Photographs
  • Statements


The GDPR/Data Protection Act requires that you are given a response to any request for your personal information within one month from receipt of a valid request.

We will always try to respond to requests as soon as possible, however, where a request is of a complex and/or of a high volume nature, the response can be extended by a further two months. You will be advised if this is the case.

There is no charge for providing you with your personal data.

For further information or to enquire about an existing request:


If you have a complaint in relation to your request for your personal information this should be raised directly with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

request information for employment purposes

If you require a disclosure for employment purposes, NPCC Criminal Records Office (ACRO) offers a basic level check.

This check will not show convictions classed as spent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

For more information concerning spent convictions and acquiring a basic level check, go to the visit the ACRO website.

Checks carried out via subject access will list all of a person’s offences regardless of whether or not they are spent.


Applications should be completed within 60 days. However, there are a number of factors which can affect timings including demand and staffing.

Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing a backlog within Avon and Somerset and therefore applicants can expect a delay.

For applications which have not exceed the 60 days Service Level agreement, the DBS have an escalation process, which can be used for financial hardship or risk of losing employment.

If an applicant’s circumstances meet this criteria, contact DBS directly on 03000 200 190 to make an escalation request.

apply for or renew a Personal Licence

If you require a disclosure for a Personal Licence application, be aware that a subject access disclosure is not covered by the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

This means the disclosure may contain information about convictions which, in other circumstances would be classed as spent and which a third party is not entitled to receive.

To apply for a basic level check, which does not include spent convictions go to the visit the ACRO website.

request information for the purpose of employment involving access to children, vulnerable adults or the elderly

To request information for the purpose of employment or self-employment with children, the elderly or the vulnerable, go to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

If you require a criminal record check to work with children overseas, you should obtain an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC).

request the deletion of my records from national police systems

All applications for the removal of records from national police systems, such as the Police National Computer, are managed  by ACRO Criminal Records Office (ACRO)

If you believe you are eligible to have your records held on national police systems deleted, visit the ACRO website for guidance.

find out about the disregarding of historical convictions

The law now states that historical convictions for consensual gay sex with  people over­ 16 years old will not show up on criminal records checks.

The Home Secretary may disregard certain convictions upon written application by the individual.

In order for an eligible conviction to be disregarded it must appear that:

  • All parties involved in the conduct constituting the offence consented to it and were aged 16 years old or over at the time the offence was committed
  • Any such conduct now would not be an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003

You can find further information and apply for a disregard and pardon of convictions for decriminalised sexual offences from the Home Office on GOV.UK.

find out how long my information is held by the police

All our retention periods for your personal information are inline with the National Police Chief Council’s (NPCC) Record Retention and Disposal Schedule.

view our privacy policy

For further details on how the Constabulary processes personal data view our Privacy Notice.

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