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Criminal Records Bureau

Volume 471: debated on Wednesday 30 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken was by the Criminal Records Bureau to process a records check in 2007, broken down by police force area. (170025)

Data concerning the average time taken by the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) to complete a Disclosure by police force area are not collated by the bureau.

The CRB operates to a set of published service standards (PSS) which include to issue 90 per cent. of Standard Disclosures within 10 days and 90 per cent. of Enhanced Disclosures within 28 days. The CRB has exceeded the PSS for Standard Disclosures for several years and has exceeded the PSS for Enhanced Disclosures since April 2007.

Forces 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.

A revised service level agreement came into effect in April 2006 between the CRB and the 43 police forces of England and Wales. This new agreement, which was agreed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) places an additional focus on delivery and the responsibilities of chief officers and ACPO to ensure that the obligations within the service level agreement are met. Monthly performance figures for each of the police forces for their part of the disclosure service are now published on the CRB website at: