Coronavirus: ACRO's commitment to safer communities. Service status updates.

Updated: 15th July 2020

During the coronavirus pandemic, ACRO Criminal Records Office remains committed to its purpose of safer communities in the UK and across the world. 

We are endeavouring to maintain business as usual as much as possible, providing key criminal records information services that are vital to members of the public, as well as to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies globally. 

As a key part of the policing family in the UK, we are also offering support to forces and agencies throughout the country. 

We are regularly reviewing demand and resources, prioritising the safety of our staff alongside that of the communities we serve. 

Services to the public 

ACRO is processing applications within our normal timescales, however postal services are taking much longer to deliver due to the pandemic.

Due to these delays, we will not consider a document to be “Lost in post”, until:

UK Europe Rest of the World
Day 15 after despatch Day 20 after despatch Day 40 after despatch

Police Certificates 

ACRO is very much open for business during the coronavirus pandemic and continuing to support anyone who needs a Police Certificate during these unprecedented times. 

If you wish to travel in the future, and a Police Certificate will form part of your visa application, please do make your application now

By applying early, we can ensure that your request will be prioritised once travel restrictions are lifted, so that once you can travel, your document can be issued to you within a matter of days. 

If you need to put your application on hold while the travel restrictions are in place, please indicate this on the 'additional information page' of the application form. We can freeze your application for up to four months. 

As soon as you know you can travel again, please let us know and your application will be processed as a priority, otherwise we will process your application at the four-month point automatically.

We may experience a slight delay in a small percentage of applications. We will contact you individually if we think your application is likely to exceed service level agreements. 

International Child Protection Certificates 

We are currently maintaining business-as-usual service levels. 

Subject access requests 

We are currently maintaining business as usual service levels.  

Record deletion requests 

Please note that we are currently taking up to seven days to process applications and respond to the volume of requests that we are receiving.  There may also be a delay in our receipt of a decision from force.  Once ACRO has received a decision, we will process this in accordance with our usual turnarounds and notify you as soon as possible.

Customer Services 

We are currently maintaining business-as-usual service levels.

Right of access to personal information held by ACRO 

We will continue to prioritise requests for personal information in line with national guidance. We will contact you individually if we think your application may take longer.

Concerns (complaints) 

We aim to maintain our guidance timescales of five working days to confirm receipt and 30 days to respond in full, however there may be instances where this is not possible. Concerns that require an escalation to senior manager level may not currently meet those timescales. We will contact you individually if we think your application may take longer.


Services to non-police agencies 

PNC names enquiry checks 

We are currently maintaining business-as-usual service levels.

PNC ASN creations 

We are currently maintaining business-as-usual service levels.

Court orders 

Court Orders submitted to the Court Order mailbox will be dealt with as a priority due to the judicial time frames set by the Court. These will be processed under the current terms, relying on third countries to process the request and provide the appropriate response. Many countries are experiencing difficulties due to the coronavirus and may prioritise different functions within their organisation. Response times may therefore be delayed. We will contact you if we think it will take longer to process your submission and so you can update the relevant court. 

If you have a specific enquiry about our services during the coronavirus pandemic, please contact us

Further information for law enforcement agencies is available on our Knowledge Hub community: ACRO International Conviction Check