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Vetting (246A/21)


The following questions refer to requirements (and include terminology) set out and defined in the College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice guidance document on Vetting. This is attached.

  1. Have all officers and staff who joined prior to the adoption of the national vetting policy in 2006 now been retrospectively vetted?
  2. If the answer is no, please state the number who have not been retrospectively vetted.
  3. How many officers and staff have not been re-vetted at clearance level ‘Recruitment vetting (RV)’ [the initial vetting process for police officers, police staff and members of the Special Constabulary, see attached doc for more detail 6.11] after ten years of service in each of the following years:
  4. 2018
  5. 2019
  6. 2020 (if data is incomplete for this year, please include data up to the most recent available point.)


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).

To enable us to proceed with your request I would be grateful if you could confirm whether you wish us to undertake the search outlined above. After receiving your reply, your request will be considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, as defined by the Act, subject to the application of any statutory exemptions. If you chose not to respond then your request will remain unanswered.

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).  We have provided data for numbers of staff with up to date vetting, however this cannot be broken down as requested, as the system cannot report on vetting information against joining date, so a manual check of every staff record would be required (which would take longer than 18 hours – 12,000 records x 2 minutes = 400 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.