(2) what steps her Department is taking to improve the performance of the Criminal Records Bureau in the Humberside police authority area; and if she will make a statement;
(3) how many outstanding Criminal Records Bureau checks there were in the Humberside police authority area on 10 December 2007; and if she will make a statement;
(4) how many Criminal Records Bureau checks were conducted in the Humberside police authority area in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.
Since the inception of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) in 2002 Humberside police have carried out 272,465 checks as part of the Enhanced Disclosure process. On 10 December they had 7,119 checks outstanding and the following table shows the annual breakdown of checks completed.
Calendar year Completed checks 2002 20,978 2003 37,253 2004 47,648 2005 55,238 2006 56,105 2007 55,243
As you can see there has been a marked increase in the number of applications sent to the force which almost doubled during the first year.
During November 2007 Humberside police completed their part of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Enhanced Disclosure process in an average of 29.1 days.
However average figures do not give an accurate indication of performance, since any force's performance can be affected by a number of factors; the volume of cases sent to a force to process in any given month, the number of staff available to process the checks and the IT resources on hand to forces. With these variables, performance can fluctuate within individual forces from one month to the next.
The CRB has been supporting those forces that have encountered problems in meeting their targets by a range of measures including the provision of additional resources, monitoring performance, providing demand forecasting data and assistance in introducing new IT initiatives. Within Humberside police the following steps have been taken in conjunction with the CRB to improve performance:
Increased resources have been made available to the force to support them in recruiting extra staff and obtaining new accommodation.
Specialist training has been provided at the Disclosure Unit.
An improvement plan has been implemented which shows a reduction in the workload between January and March 2007 to improve turnaround times following the escalation of cases within the force to the assistant chief constable.
Discussions are currently underway regarding taking part in the Police Volume Management Project—this would enable the CRB to complete checks on behalf of Humberside via remote access to Humberside's local intelligence systems.
Humberside police are implementing a new IT system on 31 January 2008 which will improve their current functionality while searching their local intelligence systems.