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Huge discrepancy in time forces take to carry out DBS checks

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One force took an average of 109 days to turnaround checks compared to 1.8 days elsewhere.

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The amount of time police forces take to carry out DBS checks varies hugely across the country, latest figures have revealed.

Data from January to October 2016 shows the Metropolitan Police took an average of 109 days to process a DBS check from start to finish compared to just 1.8 days in Norfolk, according to company uCheck which gathered the figures.

The issue has prompted concerns with some employers including Mayday Healthcare PLC – a nursing agency which provides medical and healthcare jobs in London – which says four members have been awaiting their certificates for six months while one applicant withdrew his application completely due to the long turnaround time.

The Government says 100 per cent of checks must be completed in 60 days, but data for the Met shows that between Jan and September 2016, this was only achieved in July and September. In February, only 31 per cent of checks were completed by the force in 60 days.

The Met said part of the reason for the delays has been a “significant increase” in the number of applications being sent to the MPS disclosure unit and difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff in the unit which deals with the checks.

“To resolve this, we have recruited both police and agency staff to the MPS Disclosure Unit including non front-line police officers (on restricted/recuperative duties). Staff have also been seconded from Transport for London to work specifically on the applications from Black Cab Drivers,” it said in response to an FOI request in November 2016.

“Looking forward, we have put in place a robust resourcing plan that includes on-going training, recruitment and productivity measures to ensure we build a resilient, sustainable team.

“MPS staff are currently working incredibly hard and we are committed to reducing the number of outstanding cases as quickly as possible.”

Dorset has the second longest turnaround time after the Met at 58.3 days, followed by North Yorkshire Police (28.3), South Yorkshire Police (24.5) and Thames Valley Police (22.6).

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