Background checks hit three million

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Three million criminal record checks were carried out in England and Wales last year, figures reveal.

Councils, companies and scout groups were among more than 2,000 organisations that sought background checks, as the equivalent of one in 20 of the population came under scrutiny.

Almost 60,000 checks were made by the Scout Association, while the extent to which councils used the system varied widely. Essex County Council made almost 22,000 checks while Wakefield Metropolitan Council made 877.