Update on DBS check delays at the Metropolitan (Met) Police

As you are aware, many DBS checks have to be reviewed by local police forces as part of the service we provide. Of the 4.4 million checks we process each year, 5.2% of these are reviewed by the Met Police.

Last October I wrote to you about the processing delays being experienced at the Met and to explain what measures were being put in place by the Met and DBS to ensure that processing times reduced as quickly as possible. Part of the reason for the delays has been an increased number of applications being sent to the Met Disclosure Unit, in addition to difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff in the Met Disclosure Unit which deals with the checks.

To address this, I am pleased to report that the Met has recruited both police and agency staff to the Met Disclosure Unit including police officers who are on restricted/recuperative duties to help reduce the outstanding caseload further.

At time of writing, the Met has 43,435 outstanding cases down from approximately 83,000 in April 2016.

Looking forward, the Met has also put in place a resourcing plan that includes on-going training, recruitment and productivity measures to ensure they build a resilient, sustainable team.

We anticipate that whilst further recovery at the Met is expected over the coming months, some applications currently in progress will continue to experience delay. I ask you to please bear with us whilst the Met continues to address the backlog situation of the ‘over 60 day’ applications.

Whilst it is pleasing to report that progress is being made, I want to give you my personal assurance that I will not be satisfied until the Met has fully recovered and eradicating these delays remains my priority.

Both DBS and the Met Police Disclosure Unit apologise for the delays and we will continue to work together to improve processing times for DBS checks.