The Data Protection Act 1998 covers the whole of the United Kingdom and works in two ways. Firstly, it gives you certain rights as an individual.  And secondly, organisations that record and use personal data must be open about how the information is used and must follow the eight principles of the legislation..

Data Protection Principles

The Data Protection Act requires all organisations in the UK that process personal data to comply with eight enforceable principles regarding privacy and disclosure.  The Act states that data must be:

  • 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 European Economic Area without adequate protection

Requesting Information from Police Scotland

To request information from us, you can complete a subject access application form. A copy of the form can be downloaded below.

Once you have completed the form, you need to return it to us at the address below, along with the fee of £10 and copies of your identification documents.

Data Protection Central Processing Unit
Information Management Unit
Police Scotland
Queen Street
AB10 1ZA
If you need any further advice or guidance, please do not hesitate to contact the Data Protection central processing unit by calling 01224 387371  or by emailing

Once we have received your completed application, fee and appropriate identification, we will deal with it as soon as possible, but we have a maximum of 40 days to process your request.

If you need to make a request for your criminal record, or need confirmation that you have no criminal record for the purposes of travelling abroad, please note the following.:

  • Applicants who are making the request for visa purposes should contact the relevant Embassy or Consulate to confirm which certificates are acceptable for the particular visa application before submitting a subject access application.
  • If you require your criminal history information to travel to America, Belgium, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, please go to

Disclosure Scotland can provide basic disclosure checks, which will provide you with a list of all of your unspent convictions.

For further information you can contact Disclosure Scotland at:

Disclosure Scotland
P.O. Box 250
G51 1YU
Helpline: 0870 609 6006

From 10th March 2015, it is a criminal offence for you to be required to make a subject access request to any police force for details of any or all of your convictions/cautions or confirmation that you do not have convictions or cautions in connection with:

  • your recruitment as an employee
  • your continued employment as an employee or
  • any contract with you for the provision of services by you, for example as a self employed person.  

It is also an offence for you to be required to make such a subject access request as a condition of being provided with goods, facilities or services, e.g. by an insurance provider or a housing provider.

Further guidance on this can be obtained on the Information Commissioner’s website.

The correct route for obtaining details in such circumstances is through Disclosure Scotland who can advise what can be supplied and in what circumstances. 

Enforcement of the Data Protection Act 1998

The Act is enforced by the Information Commissioner.  If you are unhappy in any way with how we have dealt with your request, you can contact the Commissioner at:

The Office of the Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Tel: (01625) 545700

Related Documents

PDF files on this page require a PDF reader, such as the free Adobe Acrobat Reader (download).