International criminal conviction exchange 
Services to members of the public
Police National Computer services 
Intelligence and sex offender records management 
International and national development  
National police units 

International criminal conviction exchange  


ACRO is the national police unit responsible for exchanging criminal conviction information between the UK and other countries.


We have the delegated responsibility for managing the United Kingdom's Criminal Record Information System (UK-CRIS) with EU Member States.


We also exchange conviction information with a number of countries outside the EU via Interpol channels.


There are four main conviction exchange processes:


  • Requests received from within the UK for criminal conviction information held overseas ('requests out')
  • Requests received from overseas for criminal conviction information held in the UK ('requests in')
  • Notification messages sent overseas about foreign nationals convicted in the UK ('notifications out')
  • Notification messages received about UK nationals convicted overseas ('notifications in')


The 'requests out' service is provided to all UK police forces and other law enforcement agencies including immigration services.


The information we obtain from overseas through this service can be used for criminal proceedings and public protection purposes. Some of it can also be used to deport serious offenders from the UK, update the Police National Computer with serious offences and ensure criminals are sentenced at court based on their full conviction history.


Information we receive about UK nationals through 'notifications in' is added to the Police National Computer where a recordable, equivalent UK offence exists.


Information sent overseas through the 'requests in' and 'notifications out' processes support the work of our international law enforcement and public protection partners.


International criminal conviction exchange guidance for UK police and law enforcement agencies


International criminal conviction exchange guidance for members of the public




Services to members of the public  


Police Certificates are for people wanting to move or work abroad. They are often required by foreign embassies, consulates and high commissions for making decisions on visa applications and requests to enter their country.


International Child Protection Certificates (ICPCs) are for people looking to work abroad with children. They confirm whether or not the individual has a relevant criminal history in the UK and help employers make decisions about who to recruit. They aim to prevent child sex offenders from gaining access to vulnerable young people overseas. ACRO provides this service in partnership with the NCA-CEOP Command.


Subject Access is available to anyone looking to access information held about themselves on national police databases. ACRO co-ordinates this service on behalf of all UK police forces.


We similarly co-ordinate requests for record deletion on behalf of all forces. This service allows members of the public to ask for information held about them on national police systems to be removed where legitimate grounds exist.


ACRO’s Customer Services team handles calls from members of the public seeking support in their applications for Police Certificates, ICPCs and Subject Access disclosure requests.

ACRO is supporting the policing response to the Covid-19 pandemic by administering fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued under coronavirus legislation, on behalf of police forces in England and Wales. If you have received an FPN and have a query, please see our frequently asked questions before contacting us as they may be able to resolve your query. 



Police National Computer services  


ACRO provides access to information held on the Police National Computer (PNC) to support the criminal justice work of some non-police prosecuting agencies.


These services include:  

  • conducting names enquiry checks to support investigations and prosecutions
  • creating PNC records to support prosecutions and adding the details of offences on conviction
  • converting historical records onto the PNC
  • updating PNC records with current information



Intelligence and sex offender records management  


ACRO’s Intelligence Unit analyses and assesses significant volumes of data to generate useful information and intelligence from our operational processes. The unit disseminates reports to police forces and law enforcement and public protection agencies and also produces analytical reports to assist their work at a more strategic level.


The unit has a team of ViSOR staff who manage the records of UK nationals convicted of sexual offences abroad as well as those of foreign nationals in the UK who are found to have previous convictions for sexual offences overseas. In both instances, the team manage the records to ensure a smooth handover to the relevant police force for actual public protection and offender management. Much of this work is generated from the information we receive via the international criminal conviction exchange processes outlined above.  



International and national development  


ACRO was established in 2006 and so, as a fairly new organisation, part of our mission is develop, expand and promote our services and the value they add to community safety.


Our international development focuses on advancing information sharing protocols with priority countries outside the EU with the aim of improving response rates and times to requests for overseas conviction data.


We also work with UK police forces to improve the process of submitting requests for overseas conviction information.


Nationally, we are focused on marketing and expanding the use of our services and the operational benefits they provide to law enforcement and public protection work in the UK.


We also seek to develop new criminal records information services to partner agencies that support our purpose of safer communities in the UK and across the world.





At any one time, ACRO can be running several bespoke projects that support our development work or which have their own operational focus. These can include developing new products, services or systems as well as co-ordinating operations to enhance the use of criminal records and biometric information.



National units


ACRO provides support to the other national police units that are also hosted by Hampshire Constabulary:






Please see our annual reports and quarterly profiles for information on the volume of services we provide.