Significant delays in Scotland Yard’s backlog in criminal record checks leaves many people unable to work, it was claimed today.

The force today admitted it was increasing staff to tackle the “high number” of outstanding cases.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), today said the force’s handling of checks was of “great concern” and hitting workers and employers across London.

People who have been offered jobs in sensitive roles, such as working with children or vulnerable people, are unable to start work until enhanced DBS checks are completed. The Met average waiting time for an enhanced DBS certificate has increased to 77 days, from 75.

Enhanced checks are passed by the DBS, part of the Home Office, to the relevant police force on employers’ behalf. The DBS said: “The delay in processing DBS checks by the Met is of great concern to us and our customers. The Met has informed us their recovery plan includes recruiting, training and transferring additional staff. We are told turn-around times will reduce as a result and are monitoring this situation closely.”

Scotland Yard said: “DBS checks are not simple administrative work … These decisions directly impact children and vulnerable adults and those who seek to work with them. For this reason, staff require significant specialist training and supervision.

“Existing staff are working incredibly hard and have implemented an additional evening shift. We have recruited both police staff and agency staff to the DBS team and now have a total of 145 production staff against a target of 121. We have plans to place 56 non-frontline police officers within the DBS team on a short-term basis until May 2016.”

Source: London Evening Standard

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