Statistics recently came my way on the use of Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks by local authorities. The figures, released under a Freedom of Information request, showed Hartlepool was the 91st highest user of CRB Checks in 2010/11 out of 628 local authorities asked.
On Teesside, the highest user was Stockton who carried out 4,220 CRB. Hartlepool reported carrying out 3,716. However, Hartlepool "Public Protection" lists their CRB checks separately to the council and they carried out 266 checks. Therefore, Hartlepool's total is actually 3,982. This puts them on par with Cumbria County Council.
The only other Teesside Council who split their CRB's is Redcar and Cleveland; they list their "Development Department" separately. Their 183 checks in 2010/11 give Redcar and Cleveland an overall total of 3,168. Still considerably lower than Hartlepool.
The lowest user of CRB Checks on Teesside is Middlesbrough Council. They checked 1,057 people in 2010/11, less than one third of the people checked by Hartlepool. Does this mean Middlesbrough is less concerned with public safety? Alternatively, could it just mean they manage their CRB Process more effectively? It might be interesting to find out how much these CRB Checks are costing Hartlepool Council, not just in the fees payable to the Criminal Records Bureau but also the internal costs of administration within the council? If they cost just £100 each and the Council could reduce their use to the level of Middlesbrough, which is a much larger local authority, then there are potential savings of almost £300,000.
/628 Council CRB Checks 2010 / 11
79 STOCKTON ON TEES BOROUGH COUNCIL 4220
91 HARTLEPOOL BOROUGH COUNCIL 3716
120 REDCAR & CLEVELAND BOROUGH COUNCIL 2985
168 DARLINGTON BOROUGH COUNCIL 1226
175 MIDDLESBROUGH BOROUGH COUNCIL 1057