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Vetting (1509A/22)


Between years July 2015 – July 2022 I would like the following information, broken down by year.

1) How much per year did your police force spend on vetting

– Of this, how much went on vetting new recruits

2) How many officers each year were vetted by your force.

– Of these, how many were new recruits

3) On July 31st of each of the years mentioned how many of your officers had out of date vetting for their job roles.


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.


Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).  In order for us to answer question 3 for the years 2016-2018 we would need to work out how many employees held the relevant vetting for these years, we would then need to obtain the staff list of all employees from HR and then manually review each individual staff record to establish the required vetting level.  We would then also need to check what vetting they had and then work out the figures.

We had over 10,000 employees in these years, so to go through every record individually, establish required level of vetting and search if it was in place would take approximately 2 minutes x 10,000 = 20,000 minutes (over 300 hours).

The cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.