If you have lived or worked in the UK, and are looking to work or live abroad in certain countries then you will require a “Police Certificate”.

Police Certificates are issued by ACRO Criminal Records Office. You can apply online for a police certificate here: Police Certificates Online Application

The countries that require a Police Certificate include, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cayman Islands, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.

For the USA, you will also require a Police Certificate not only if you intend to work or live in the US, but if you have ever been arrested (or cautioned or convicted) – the USA does not permit travel on an ESTA where someone has a criminal record, including arrest records. For further details please see here: Can United States of America Immigration Officials see my Criminal Record?

What will Show on a Police Certificate?

A Police Certificate will include details about all convictions, reprimands, warnings and cautions recorded by the police. A Police Certificate however will not disclose any “stepped down” records.

A record will be stepped down according to the type of offence, and number of years that have elapsed. For example, a caution for common assault will be stepped down after 5 years. For full details about the step down model, please visit here: ACRO Step Down Model

After a criminal record is stepped down, it will nevertheless still be indirectly revealed on a Police Certificate; after the step down period a Certificate will state “No Live Trace”. If someone has never had a criminal record, or had their record expunged, their Police Certificate will simpy state “No Trace”.

If a “No Live Trace” record is revealed, then a foreign nation, notably the USA, will request full details about that person’s previous record.

Deletion of Police Records

If you have a police caution that is causing “No Live Trace” to appear on your  Police Certificate – then please get in touch.

If your caution is expunged (deleted) from the PNC then your police certificate will return to “No Trace”.

We have extensive experience in applying for the deletion of police cautions, including warnings and reprimands under the old youth warning/reprimand system.

Unfortunately we do not offer legal aid, but can usually offer fixed fees.