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Met Police Must Clear DBS Backlog

Monday, September 28, 2015

GMB Call On The Metropolitan Police To Speed Up Dealing With Backlog Of People Waiting For DBS Clearance

Allowing this backlog to develop is inexcusable on the part of the Metropolitan Police and is stopping people getting work says GMB.

GMB is calling on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to fill vacancies in the part of the service dealing with enquiries from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to speed up dealing with the huge backlog of people waiting the DBS clearance. See notes to editor for copy of letter to GMB from Metropolitan Police which confirms that the numbers seeking clearance has grown by 10% to 330,000.

The following occupations and roles require DBS clearance: education staff, medical staff, care workers, law enforcement staff, traffic wardens, finance staff, childminders, football stewards, taxi and mini cab drivers, and any other occupation or role involving children and vulnerable adults.

Paul Hayes, GMB London Region Secretary, said “GMB has members unable to start work as cab drivers due to delays in getting DBS clearances.

Ensuring those working with and in contact with children and vulnerable adults are safe to do so is a vital function that must be done, and done properly.  But it must also be done promptly to ensure jobs and roles working with children and vulnerable adults can be filled and individuals can work and earn a living.

Allowing a backlog to develop is inexcusable on the part of the Metropolitan Police and symptomatic of a cuts driven agenda. 

Measure must be put in place both to remove the backlog as quickly as possible and to ensure it doesn’t build up again in future.”


Contact: Justin Bowden 07710 631 351 or Steve Garelick 07565 456 776 or Simon Rush 07863 256 411 or Michelle Bacon 07961 709 682  or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 2898880.

Notes to editors

Copy of letter from Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner:

Craig Mackey QPM

Deputy Commissioner of Police of Metropolis

New Scotland Yard


London SWIH 0BG


Date 1 September 201 5

To: Mr Steve Garelick

Secretary, GMB Professional Drivers

G56 Branch

GMB London Region

Thorne House

152 Brent Street


Dear Mr Garelick

Thank you for your letter regarding the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

I can confirm that the MPS do have some staffing issues which have combined with a 10% increase in work sent from the DBS to create a backlog of disclosure cases which unfortunately has caused delays.

A 'Gold Group ' of senior directors, led at Management Board level, was set up at the beginning of June to recover the staffing position, and hence the Work in Progress

(WIP) caseload, as quickly as possible. You will of course appreciate that these are not basic administrative roles. Staff are making decisions about the disclosure of information that directly impacts children and vulnerable adults and those who seek to work with them. Staff require three months' training and supervision by current, experienced staff to be fully productive even at the basic level. It is not possible to simply recruit large numbers of agency staff to resolve the backlog.

The Group have initiated a series of actions including:

·         Exploring all options for short term support from within other areas of MPS

·         Internal and external (permanent and agency) recruitment campaigns, geographically targeted due to the move of the unit to Sidcup in advance of the closure of New Scotland Yard (NSY).

·         A campaign to recruit an evening team in Sidcup. to both tackle the backlog and

·         increase resilience in the future to manage the increased workload from DBS – up to 20 people

·         Arranging that those who cannot move to Sidcup can be accommodated at NSY until mid-2016 as a satellite team. This team will be supplemented with additional agency staff. We have boosted the rates we pay agency staff to increase numbers

It is worth noting that, even with the current staff shortage, the unit has got very close to the original DBS forecast caseload. Clearly the additional 30.000 (10%) cases has created something of a perfect storm, but we are working closely with DBS on the resources needed to both manage the new volume levels and to clear the WIP cases.

Please be assured that the MPS is taking the position very seriously and working hard to bring the WIP caseload back to acceptable levels.

Yours sincerely

Craig Mackey

Deputy Commissioner


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