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. 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 Police Scotland, you can complete a subject access application form which can be downloaded below.

Requests must be accompanied by a £10 fee as well as copies of your identification documents (further details in the form) and should be sent to:

Data Protection Central Processing Unit
Information Management Unit
Police Scotland
Queen Street
AB10 1ZA

If you need any further advice or guidance, please call 101 and ask to speak to the Information Management team in your local area.

Provided we have sufficient information to locate the information sought and the Chief Constable is satisfied as to your identity, the legislation allows us 40 days to reply to your request.

Before making a request, please note that if you need a copy of your criminal record for the purpose of travelling abroad and/ or for visa purposes you should contact the relevant Embassy or Consulate to confirm which certificates are acceptable for the particular visa application. The ACRO Criminal Records Office provides police certificates for the specific purpose of emigrating to Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Cayman Islands, New Zealand, South Africa or the USA.

It is a criminal offence for someone to require you to make a subject access request - for example for your conviction history - in connection with:

  • your recruitment or continued employment;
  • any contract with you for the provision of services, e.g. as a self-employed person; or
  • you being provided with goods, facilities or services, e.g. by an insurance provider.

Disclosure Scotland can advise in relation to employment related disclosures and they can also provide you with a Basic Disclosure (your unspent convictionhistory).

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
K9 5AF

Related Documents

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