UK Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records (UKCA-ECR)
The UKCA-ECR’s main responsibility is exchanging criminal records information with other countries in the European Union.
This responsibility is designated by the Home Secretary to the chief constable of our host force, Hampshire Constabulary, who delegates it to ACRO.
It involves four main processes:
- Sending notifications to other EU Member States when their nationals are convicted of criminal offences in the UK.
- Receiving notifications when UK nationals are convicted of criminal offences in other countries. These are translated and, where appropriate, updated on national criminal registers in the UK. These notifications also include subsequent updates to the conviction status, such as successful appeals and variations to sentences.
- Sending requests on behalf of authorised UK agencies to other EU Member States for the previous convictions of people subject to criminal proceedings in the UK or for public protection purposes.
- Answering requests sent to the UK from other EU Member States for the previous convictions of persons who are subject to particular enquiries or proceedings in that country.
The work carried out by the UKCA-ECR is both required and permitted under EU legislation.
It is designed to provide EU Member States a full record of the offending history of their citizens and of those foreigners committing crime in their country.
This helps prevent offenders from escaping their criminal past simply by moving to another EU country.
Faster, more secure connections
The UKCA-ECR exchanges criminal records information with the majority of Member States through ECRIS, the EU's secure electronic exchange system.
ECRIS is a much quicker, safer and more cost effective means of sharing this data.
The first criminal record exchanged via ECRIS was between the UK and Austria on April 27th 2012.
The record of the fastest exchange via ECRIS that ACRO holds is three minutes when Germany returned a response confirming no convictions in 2014.
Exchanges with countries outside the EU
International criminal conviction exchange
UK police and law enforcement agencies can follow us on POLKA.
Join the conversation in our International criminal conviction exchange community.
Follow us on Twitter @ACRO_police
To read the EU legislation that supports this work, follow the links below: