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Police (Northern Ireland) Bill
May 2000



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Research: Fionnuala McKenna
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Police (Northern Ireland) Bill

 

 
 
A

B I L L

TO

Make provision about policing in Northern Ireland; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

 

 

PART I

 

 

THE NORTHERN IRELAND POLICING BOARD

The Northern Ireland Policing Board.

1. -

(1) There shall be a body corporate to be known as the Northern Ireland Policing Board (in this Act referred to as "the Board").

 

 

(2) Schedule 1 shall have effect in relation to the Board.

 

 

(3) The Police Authority for Northern Ireland is hereby dissolved.

 

 

(4) Schedule 2 (which contains provisions for the transfer of the functions, assets, liabilities and staff of the Police Authority for Northern Ireland to the Board and other supplementary provisions) shall have effect.

 

 

 

General functions of the Board.

2. -

(1) The Board shall secure the maintenance of the police force in Northern Ireland. 

 

 

(2) The Board shall secure that-  

 

 

(a) the police force;

 

 

(b) the police support staff; and

 

 

(c) traffic wardens appointed by the Board under section 64, are efficient and effective.

 

 

(3) In carrying out its functions under subsections (1) and (2) the Board shall-  

 

 

(a) in accordance with the following provisions of this Act hold the Chief Constable to account for the exercise of his functions and those of the police force, the police support staff and traffic wardens;

 

 

(b) monitor the performance of the police force in-

 

 

(i) carrying out the general duty under section 30(1);

 

 

(ii) complying with the Human Rights Act 1998;

 

 

(iii) carrying out the policing plan;

 

 

(c) keep itself informed as to-

 

 

(i) the workings of Part VII of the 1998 Act (police complaints and disciplinary proceedings) and trends and patterns in complaints under that Part;

 

 

(ii) the manner in which complaints from members of the public against traffic wardens are dealt with by the Chief Constable under section 64;

 

 

(iii) trends and patterns in crimes committed in Northern Ireland;

 

 

(iv) trends and patterns in recruitment to the police force and the police support staff;

 

 

(v) the extent to which the membership of the police force and the police support staff is representative of the community in Northern Ireland;

 

 

(d) assess-

 

 

(i) the effectiveness of measures taken to secure that the membership of the police force and the police support staff is representative of that community;

 

 

(ii) the level of public satisfaction with the performance of the police force;

 

 

(iii) the effectiveness of arrangements made under Part II in obtaining the views of the public about matters concerning policing and the co-operation of the public with the police force in preventing crime;

 

 

(e) make arrangements for obtaining the co-operation of the public with the police force in the prevention of crime. 

 

 

(4) In carrying out its functions, the Board shall have regard to-

 

 

(a) the policing plan;

 

 

(b) any code of practice issued by the Secretary of State under section 25; and

 

 

(c) the need-

 

 

(i) to co-ordinate its activities with those of other statutory authorities; and

 

 

(ii) to co-operate with such authorities.

 

 

 

Police support staff.

3. -

(1) The Board may, subject to the following provisions of this section, employ persons to assist the police force.

 

 

(2) Senior employees shall be appointed by the Board-

 

 

(a) with the approval of the Secretary of State and after consultation with the Chief Constable; and

 

 

(b) on such terms and conditions as the Board may, with the approval of the Secretary of State, determine.

 

 

(3) Other employees shall be appointed by the Board with the approval of the Secretary of State as to numbers and terms and conditions. 

 

 

(4) The Board may make arrangements for administrative, secretarial or other assistance to be provided for the police force by persons employed in the civil service. 

 

 

(5) The following functions of the Board shall be exercised, on behalf of and in the name of the Board, by the Chief Constable, namely-

 

 

(a) the power to direct and control senior employees of the Board and all other powers and duties of the Board as employer of such employees, other than the power to appoint and dismiss;

 

 

(b) the power to appoint and dismiss other employees, the power to direct and control such employees and all other powers and duties of the Board as employer of such employees;

 

 

(c) the power to direct and control persons providing assistance to the police force in pursuance of arrangements under subsection (4).

 

 

(6) Persons who-  

 

 

(a) are employed by the Board under this section; or

 

 

(b) are engaged in pursuance of arrangements under subsection (4) in providing assistance to the police force, are referred to in this Act as the "police support staff".

 

 

(7) In this section and section 4 "senior employee" means an employee of such class or description as may be specified for the purposes of this section by the Board with the approval of the Secretary of State.

 

 

 

Power to transfer certain staff to employment of Board.

4. -

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for the transfer to the employment of the Board of any person to whom this section applies. 

 

 

(2) Subject to subsection (3), this section applies to any person who immediately before such date as may be prescribed in regulations under subsection (1) ("the prescribed date") is-  

 

 

(a) employed in the civil service; and

 

 

(b) engaged, in pursuance of arrangements under section 3(4), in providing assistance to the police force.

 

 

(3) This section does not apply to a person if-

 

 

(a) his employment in the civil service terminates on the day immediately before the prescribed date; or

 

 

(b) he is withdrawn from work with the Board with effect from the prescribed date.

 

 

(4) Subsections (5)(b) and (6) of section 3 shall apply in relation to persons transferred to the employment of the Board under this section as they apply in relation to persons employed by the Board under that section who are not senior employees.

 

 

(5) Before making any regulations under this section the Secretary of State shall consult-

 

 

(a) the Board;

 

 

(b) the Chief Constable; and

 

 

(c) such organisations as appear to the Secretary of State to represent the interests of persons affected by the regulations.

 

 

 

Provision and maintenance of buildings and equipment.

5. -

(1) The Board may provide and maintain buildings and equipment for police purposes.

 

 

(2) The Board may enter into arrangements with any other person for the maintenance, on such terms as the Board may determine, of equipment used by that person; and maintenance of equipment carried out in pursuance of any such arrangements shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as maintenance of equipment for police purposes.

 

 

(3) The powers of the Board under this section shall be exercised, on behalf of and in the name of the Board, by the Chief Constable.

 

 

(4) Nothing in this section confers power to acquire or hold land.

 

 

(5) The power conferred by this section to provide equipment is subject to any regulations under section 40 of the 1998 Act.

 

 

(6) The power conferred by this section to provide buildings or equipment includes power to enter into a contract with another person for the provision or making available of buildings or equipment together with any services relating to such buildings or equipment.

 

 

 

Acquisition and disposal of land by Board.

6. -

(1) The Board may acquire, hold and dispose of land for police purposes

 

 

(2) The power of the Board to acquire land includes power to acquire it compulsorily in accordance with subsections (3) and (4).

 

 

(3) Where the Board proposes to acquire any land compulsorily it may apply to the Secretary of State for an order ("a vesting order") vesting that land in the Board and the Secretary of State may make such an order. 

 

 

(4) Schedule 6 to the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 shall apply for the purposes of the acquisition of land by means of a vesting order made under this section in the same manner as it applies to the acquisition of land by means of a vesting order made under that Act subject to the following modifications-  

 

 

(a) for any reference to the council there shall be substituted a reference to the Board;

 

 

(b) for any reference to the Ministry concerned there shall be substituted a reference to the Secretary of State;

 

 

(c) for any reference to that Act there shall be substituted a reference to this Act;

 

 

(d) in paragraph 6(2) for the words from "the fund" to the end there shall be substituted the words "funds put at the disposal of the Chief Constable under section 9(5) of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 (in this Schedule referred to as "the compensation fund"), and shall be discharged by payments out of the compensation fund"; and

 

 

(e) in paragraph 12(2) for "the clerk of the council" there shall be substituted "such person as may be designated for the purposes of this Schedule by the Policing Board".

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