Why we process your personal information:


ACRO has been designated as the United Kingdom Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Conviction information with both EU and Non-EU countries. This responsibility is designated by the Home Secretary to the Chief Constable of our host force (Hampshire and the Isle of Wight), who has delegated the below functions to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ACRO.

ACRO manages the United Kingdom's Criminal Record Information System (UK-CRIS), which exchanges conviction information with European Union (EU) Member States who operate the European Criminal Record Information System (ECRIS). This process is governed by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement 2020 , which was incorporated into UK law under the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020. The processing of the information received under this process is further governed under Part 3 Law Enforcement Processing of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Outside the EU, we exchange criminal conviction information with non-EU Interpol countries via Interpol Channels and other intelligence systems used by specific countries. This process has been established through an Information Sharing Agreement with the National Crime Agency (NCA), in which ACRO would operate as an information gateway under section 7(1) of the Crime and Court Act 2013.

Further information around the structure of ACRO within UK policing, and our Hampshire host can be found on our About us page: ACRO Criminal Records Office - About Us

What does this mean for you?
 

For UK Nationals:


Union Flag sticking out of a globeNotifications In – EU Member States will notify ACRO, as the UK Central Authority, through UK-CRIS of criminal conviction information when you have come to notice in their country and have been convicted of a criminal offence. For the Non-European countries of Norway, Switzerland, USA, Bermuda and the British Caribbean Overseas Territories, they will exchange with ACRO through shared intelligence systems of criminal conviction information when you have come to notice in their country and have been convicted of a criminal offence. The conviction information will then be reviewed, and if the foreign offence has an equivalent offence in English & Welsh legislation which is deemed “recordable”, then ACRO will add the information from the notification to the Police National Computer (PNC).

International Services manage these records to ensure a smooth handover to the relevant Police Force for  public protection and offender management.

If the offence is of a serious nature, the information will be shared with the ACRO Intelligence department to assess the conviction against public protection criteria’s.

Requests In – If you as a UK national come to notice in a foreign country, an EU Member States’ Central Authority,  Interpol National Crime Bureaus (NCB’s) or other judicial department will request your UK offending history to assist in criminal matters in that country. Checks will be made based on information provided by that country against UK Criminal Registers and any relevant information will be disclosed.

This is also applicable to requests for non-criminal proceedings and in other cases where permission has been granted by the subject of the request. The purpose for which the data is requested will affect the level of disclosure of conviction information stored on the Police National Computer.

Requests Out – If you come to notice to a UK Police Force or other law enforcement agency as a suspect, defendant, witness or victim, that force/agency will submit a criminal conviction request to your country of nationality, or any country where you have previously lived or have connections with, for your criminal conviction history as held on their national criminal database. This request will (subject to appropriate safeguards) be sent to that country and the response is then shared with the requestor. In addition to Police Forces, ACRO also send requests on behalf of Non-Policing agencies where Information Sharing Agreements have been established. A list of the Non-Policing agencies along with their Information Sharing Agreement’s can be found on our publications page: ACRO Criminal Records Office - Publications

Requests will also be sent for various purposes other than criminal proceedings including where permission has been granted by the individual. This may return a limited conviction history based on the receiving countries’ national weeding and retention guidelines. The details contained in a response to a request can only be used for the purposes for which it was requested.

Notifications Out – If as a UK National you also hold nationality of another country and are convicted of a criminal offence in the UK, ACRO will process a criminal conviction notification and transmit this to countries for which you are held as a national. That information will be handled, stored and used in accordance with its national legislation.
 

For Foreign Nationals:


Flags from around the world on flagpolesRequests In – There are occurrences whereby EU Member States as well as Interpol NCB’s or other judicial departments will request criminal conviction information held in the UK for foreign nationals that have come to notice. Where applicable, we will disclose any UK offending history.

Requests Out – If you come to notice to a UK Police Force or other law enforcement agency as a suspect, defendant, witness or victim, that force/agency will submit a criminal conviction request to your country of nationality, or any country where you have previously lived or have connections to, for your criminal conviction history as held on their national criminal database. This request will (subject to appropriate safeguards) be sent to that country and the response is then shared with the requestor. In addition to Police Forces, ACRO also send requests on behalf of Non-Policing agencies where Information Sharing Agreements have been established. A list of the Non-Policing agencies along with their Information Sharing Agreement’s can be found on our publications page: ACRO Criminal Records Office - Publications

Requests will also be sent for various purposes other than criminal proceedings including where permission has been granted by the individual. This may return a limited conviction history based on the receiving countries’ national weeding and retention guidelines. The details contained in a response to a request can only be used for the purposes for which it was requested.

Notifications Out – If you come to notice to UK Police Forces and are convicted in the UK of a criminal offence, ACRO will process a criminal conviction notification and transmit this to your country of nationality. That information will be handled, stored and used in accordance with its national legislation.

Categories of data we hold:


ACRO will receive criminal conviction data and intelligence from international Police Forces and other agencies, from which we will conduct research on UK police databases. The personal data that we collect, hold and share can include:

  • Full name(s)
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Nationality
  • Gender
  • Parents’ names
  • UK addresses
  • Foreign addresses
  • National identity numbers
  • Passport numbers
  • Other identity number (where applicable)
  • UK Policing database reference numbers
  • Alias names
  • Alias dates of birth
  • Alias places of birth
  • Conviction information (date of conviction, name of the court, date on which the decision became final)
  • Additional conviction information (date of the offence underlying the conviction and name or legal classification of the offence as well as reference to the applicable legal provisions, notably the sentence as well as any supplementary penalties, security measures and subsequent decisions modifying the enforcement of the sentence).
When required, we will also exchange fingerprints (sensitive data) and custody images stored on our national criminal register in order to confirm the identity of the subject. This is a limited process and we will only retain the fingerprints and images for as long as necessary, and will be removed as required.
 
How we get the personal information:

ACRO engages with a wide variety of agencies to carry out its functions, and as a result International Services receive information from the following sources:
 
  • UK Police Forces; including Crown Dependencies and British Oversea Territories
  • UK Law enforcement agencies; such as the National Crime Agency
  • Home Office; including Immigration Enforcement
  • International Law enforcement agencies; such as Interpol and Europol
  • Non-policing agencies; such as the Civil Aviation Authority
  • Overseas government agencies and bodies, and their respective law enforcement agencies
  • Persons making an enquiry or complaint
Who we share with and how we share your data:

ACRO will only share information when it is necessary to meet a lawful task, and we will only share information with organisations who have a lawful basis to assist with or carry out that task.
We may share information received with:
 
  • UK Police Forces; including Crown Dependencies and British Oversea Territories
  • UK Law enforcement agencies; such as the National Crime Agency
  • Home Office; including Immigration Enforcement
  • International Law enforcement agencies; such as Interpol and Europol
  • Non-policing agencies; such as the Civil Aviation Authority
  • Overseas government agencies and bodies and their respective law enforcement agencies
  • Persons making an enquiry or complaint
The information we share with EU Member States via the UK-CRIS/ECRIS exchange, as well as Interpol and other shared intelligence systems are transmitted via secure channels. We will only provide necessary information in order to make a successful subject match within national registers.

We recognise that some countries with which it is necessary to share information with do not always have equivalent laws that protect individuals’ rights and freedoms as extensively as the United Kingdom and Europe. Appropriate risk assessments are undertaken on any country where the level of human rights protection is not equivalent to assess whether the exchange of criminal conviction information can take place. If we do transfer personal information to such countries, we seek to ensure that there are appropriate safeguards in place to make sure the data is adequately protected as required by our own legislation, and we actively risk assess each country and provide only the information necessary to meet the task. Information is further filtered or omitted if legal and cultural differences mean the data subject is at an unacceptable risk of  harm which would not be lawful in the UK (e.g. by discrimination). In exceptional circumstances, a decision to transfer specific information for law enforcement purposes may be made in the absence of appropriate safeguards.
 
How we store your information:

Criminal convictions for UK Nationals that meet the criteria for creation of a record on the Police National Computer (PNC) are retained until the data subject is 100 years of age. 
Criminal convictions for foreign nationals are assessed against the Home Office Serious Offence List (HOSOL). These guidelines allow us to assess the serious and immediate risk a foreign national may pose to UK Police Forces and the UK public. Any qualifying offences will be added to the Police National Computer and retained in accordance with national guidelines.
 
Disputes:



If you believe that ACRO holds inaccurate or incorrect foreign conviction information about you then you can apply to have the information reviewed by the ACRO International Disputes Team. Any requests should be directed to the ACRO International Disputes team:
acro.international.disputes@acro.police.uk