Government cuts affect job opportunities for local people

Concerned about the impact lengthy delays in the DBS application process are having in the West Midlands, Steve McCabe MP, Birmingham Selly Oak, has been pushing the Home Office for answers on delays to DBS checks.

A DBS Certificate enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions. For many jobs it is a legal requirement that employees complete a DBS check, however recent backlogs at the police check stage of the application have meant that many constituents have found themselves waiting months for their DBS certificate to be granted.

After being contacted by several constituents in this position, Steve pressed the Government for answers. The Home Office confirmed that 85% of police checks must be completed within 14 days and 100% must be completed within 60 days. In the case of one of his constituent’s however, they waited over 7 months and lost out on a job as a result. Delays in processing can have huge financial implications on those waiting to start new jobs as well as employers desperate to recruit.

Steve also contacted West Midlands Police about the delays, who confirmed that they are currently not meeting national targets due to a shortage of staff. West Midlands Police have told Steve that they have committed to recruiting and training new staff to deal with the growing backlog of DBS applications.

Steve said:

“In recent months I have seen a marked increase in the number of constituents contacting me about the length of time they are having to wait to receive their DBS certificates due to delays in Police checks.

“To their credit West Midlands Police are working hard to reduce the backlog of DBS applications, but given huge cuts to their budget and staffing levels, are still falling a long way short of their service level agreement which states that 100% of police checks must be completed within 60 days.

“These checks are important but the government must give our police the resources they need to do the job properly.”

To help ease the pressure on the service the DBS have launched a new Update Service which lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up to date online and allows employers to check a certificate online.

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