Police forces that are failing to meet Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check targets are recruiting and training staff to help tackle the problem.
Recent data, published by government, reveals as of November 2015 the Metropolitan Police and Dorset Police forces had failed to hit a DBS target of completing 85% of checks in 14 days. The Met and Dorset forces were the two worst performing services with regards to this target, with the Met achieving the target in just 21% of cases and Dorset in 25%.
DBS criminal record checks are required for a range of job roles including nurses, teachers, charity workers and taxi drivers.
In a statement the DBS said forces missing the targets have introduced recovery plans involving the recruitment, training and transferring in of additional staff. The DBS added it has been assured by these forces that turnaround times of checks will improve as a result of these measures and will be monitoring the situation closely.
In a statement a Met Police spokesperson said its recovery plan involves the recruitment and training of new staff, while some staff have been transferred to tackle the backlog of checks. The statement added seven members of staff have been seconded from Transport for London to work specifically on applications from black cab drivers.
Dorset Police said in a statement it has also recruited and trained more staff, adding in the last eight to 10 weeks it has managed to reduce its backlog of checks by around 33%.
Neither police force provided any detail on the numbers of people being hired to perform the checks.
The Met came under fire last year for its delay in returning DBS checks, which also resulted in a recruitment drive.
But the problem of criminal record checks not being carried out may be the tip of the iceberg.
Research released this week by global background screening company SterlingBackcheck shows 38% of UK employers don’t check whether their potential staff have the ‘right to work’ in the UK, while only 58% of organisations conduct any background screening checks on new hires.
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