Driver with no insurance previously convicted of murder
For police, the key to protecting the public has always been how much we know about the communities we serve.
The ability to access information about an offender’s criminal history in order to help us protect the public is as important now as it has ever been.
However, when someone's records are in a different country and in a different language, they're often not as readily available.
Which is where ACRO comes in.
Our role as a national police unit is to exchange criminal records information with countries across the world.
We receive tens of thousands of requests from UK police forces each year for conviction information held overseas and our priority is to return the information as quickly as possible.
The information can be used for criminal proceedings, to protect the public and, if the previous convictions are serious enough, to deport people who pose a significant risk to our communities.
Protecting communities through effective information sharing
In a recent case study, a man who was stopped for driving with no insurance was deported after it turned out he had previous convictions overseas for sexual offences and murder.
The 37-year-old Romanian national was stopped while driving through Derby in November 2016. He was found to be driving without insurance.
Derbyshire Police submitted a request to ACRO for his previous convictions, which was sent to Romania the same day.
The response was returned by our Romanian colleagues the following day via ECRIS, the European exchange system, which automatically translates the information.
The response revealed convictions for child sexual assault and murder in 1995.
As well as creating his record on the sex offender database, ACRO also requested from Romania further details about the nature of the offences; this revealed that the man had been jailed for more than 16 years for the crimes.
As a result, he was arrested by Derbyshire Police for deportation proceedings and removed from the UK in January 2017.
Detective Sergeant Stuart Kershaw from Derbyshire Constabulary said: “Our aim is to keep communities as safe as possible by gathering and acting on intelligence and previous conviction information.
“We have a robust approach to researching foreign nationals who enter the judicial process and we work in close partnership with immigration colleagues to identify and reduce risk and threat within the county.
“We submit around 2,400 foreign conviction checks per year to our colleagues at ACRO, and in 2017 we referred 132 individual cases to Home Office Immigration Enforcement for further action.
“This case demonstrates the value of conducting these checks for every foreign national who enters the judicial process.”
Derby Telegraph: Police squad gets 44 foreign offenders and troublemakers deported from Derbyshire
12th February 2018