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Volume 469: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what additional resources have been deployed by the Police Service of Northern Ireland to expedite the progress of applications submitted to the Child Vulnerable Adult Access Vetting Unit. (170454)

The PSNI is committed to providing a high quality vetting service ensuring the protection of those most vulnerable in society.

The PSNI has deployed additional resources to address the current heavy workload. Since summer 2007 seven extra staff have been employed by the unit and staff have worked overtime to manage the increasing workload. Working practices are under review to ensure that available resources are used to best effect.

A new criminal history disclosure body, Access N.I., will replace the Criminal Records Office service from early 2008. This new service will bring Northern Ireland under the same legislation as the rest of the United Kingdom and will create a platform for the development of new national systems.