5 April 2018
St Helena Government (SHG) is pleased to announce that following a long period of discussion, an information sharing agreement has been established with police in the UK.
The agreement is between SHG and ACRO Criminal Records Office, a police unit that exchanges conviction information between the UK and other countries.
This means that St Helena Police will now be able to much better screen those coming into St Helena and will have access to more information about anyone who commits a crime on the Island from overseas.
Other British Overseas Territories have had this agreement in place for some years now and find it useful in protecting their borders.
Chief Inspector Steve Riley said:
“The agreement with ACRO has been over a year in the making. With St Helena’s increased inter-connectivity with the rest of the world it is really important that we have access to as many sources of information as possible in order to protect the Island and its community. By linking our systems into ACRO we are effectively connecting with the UK and EU law enforcement. This is a massive step forward for St Helena.”
With a regular scheduled air service, it is vital that St Helena Police have important information about who is coming into the Island and are able to protect the Island accordingly.
The benefits of this agreement for St Helena are:
- Where Police have identified an individual who they suspect may be a threat to the public on the Island, and they are either a UK citizen or the holder of a passport from the EU, ACRO will provide Police with information and intelligence around that person. At the moment St Helena has no ability to fully check individuals who are crossing the Island’s border
- Should Police arrest and charge a UK citizen or EU national whilst on St Helena then ACRO will provide St Helena Police with a picture of their offending history. Currently St Helena Police cannot access this information and thus Island courts are making decisions around sentencing in isolation
- St Helena Police will be able to access details of St Helenians who have been convicted of a criminal offence whilst in the UK or EU. Currently, Police have no idea of a person’s history when they return to St Helena and are unable to manage the risks from that to the community
In return, if anyone on St Helena is convicted of a crime, St Helena Police will supply that information to ACRO. Information can only be used for law enforcement purposes, the prevention and detection of crime, and for the protection of the public.
ACRO Senior Manager, Chloe Bowler, said:
“The timely exchange of information is key to keeping communities safe. As more and more people are travelling around the world, it’s never been more important for our law enforcement partners to be able to easily access the full conviction histories of people who cross international borders to offend. The agreement between ACRO and St Helena Government reaffirms our joint commitment to protecting the public and bringing offenders to justice. It’s one of a number of similar agreements ACRO manages with countries and territories across the globe.”
ACRO Criminal Records Office is a national police unit that works on behalf of police forces in the UK. It provides a range of criminal records information services to both law enforcement teams as well as members of the public.
#StHelena #StHelenaPolice #ACRO #ProtectingThePublic
5 April 2018