Sheffield MP, Louise Haigh, joined Radio 5 Live's Adrian Goldberg as they investigated the Disclosure and Barring Service – the new body set up to vet whether applicants are appropriate to work in sensitive roles such as voluntary work or to foster children.
Despite targets set by government to complete applications within 40 days, many applicants are being forced to wait months as the service and police forces struggle to cooperate and get the new system up and running. Nationally, the figures for completing barring checks are getting worse with the performance on the number of barring cases completed within 3 months going backwards during this year from 67% in April to 65% in November.
One constituent contacted Louise deeply frustrated having waited 5 months for their application to be processed and who was unable to star
They often cannot work during that time, leaving them with difficulties covering basic costs. In this instance the delay was caused by the Metropolitan Police who were appointed by the DBS to deal with this particular case, but reports from around the country indicate that long backlogs in cases are causing serious difficulties.
Louise has written to the Minister asking that she ensure police forces and the DBS are fully resourced so as to prevent any further long delays.
You can listen to the full programme here .