Criminal Records: EU Action
Stephen McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the European Criminal Records Information System to ensure that British citizens are treated in the same way as other residents of EU member states; and what safeguards have been put in place in this respect.
Lynne Featherstone (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Equalities Office; Hornsey and Wood Green, Liberal Democrat)
The Home Office has delegated responsibility for the practical implementation and day to day operation of Council Decisions 2009/315/JHA on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record between member states and 2009/316/JHA on the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) in application of Article 11 of Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA to the United Kingdom Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records (UKCA-ECR) which is run by the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO). Information shared under this mechanism can only be used by the receiving member state in relation to the purpose or proceedings for which it was requested (except where it is necessary to share information to prevent an immediate and serious threat to public security).
Where a British citizen is the subject of criminal proceedings in another EU member state, the UKCA-ECR must send that member state a copy of the individual's previous criminal record where it is requested to do so. Member states are required, under Council Framework Decision 2008/675/JHA on taking account of convictions in the member states of the European Union in the course of new criminal proceedings, to take into account convictions in other member states during criminal proceedings in the same way as they would convictions handed down by their own jurisdiction. This also means that EU offenders in the UK will be able to have their previous convictions taken into account by the UK courts in the same way as previous convictions of British citizens is used and so will equalise treatment before our courts.