Dorset Police 'turns round' delays over check targets

Disclosure and Barring Service form Image copyright Disclosure and Barring Service
Image caption The force said it had reduced the backlog of applications by almost 90%

A police force criticised for taking too long to process criminal record checks said it has made "improvements".

Government figures revealed Dorset Police had the worst figures in the UK for carrying out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks on time.

In nine out of 12 months in 2015 the force failed to complete the target of 100% of checks in 60 days.

It caused delays for residents applying for certain jobs, particularly work with children or vulnerable adults.

'Unacceptable backlog'

The force said it was now achieving above the targets and had reduced the backlog of applications by almost 90%.

Dorset's police and crime commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: "I was shocked to find out about the delays, we had a really unacceptable backlog.

"The volume is huge as we have 600 applications a week - we didn't have enough staff, we let it slip but we have turned it round."

Figures showed the force only processed a quarter within the 60-day target in May, making it the worst out of 50 forces across a 10-month range.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are required for anyone working or volunteering with children and vulnerable adults.

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