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Police (Northern Ireland) Bill
May 2000



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Research: Fionnuala McKenna
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Code of Ethics.

 

48. - (1) The Chief Constable shall issue, and may from time to time revise, a code of ethics laying down standards of conduct and practice expected of members of the police force.

 

 

(2) Before issuing or revising a code of ethics under this section the Chief Constable shall consult-

 

 

(a) the Board;

 

 

(b) the Police Association;

 

 

(c) the Secretary of State; and

 

 

(d) any other person or body appearing to the Chief Constable to have an interest in the matter.

 

 

(3) The Chief Constable shall publish any code of ethics issued or revised under this section in such manner as he thinks appropriate.

 

 

 

Guidance as to use of equipment for maintaining or restoring public order.

 

    49. - (1) The Secretary of State may issue, and from time to time revise, guidance on the use by members of the police force of equipment designed for use in maintaining or restoring public order.

 

(2) Before issuing or revising any guidance under this section, the Secretary of State shall consult-

 

 

(a) the Board;

 

 

(b) the Chief Constable; and

 

 

(c) the Police Association.

 

 

(3) The Secretary of State shall publish any guidance issued or revised under this section in such manner as he thinks appropriate.

 

 

 

Regulations as to emblems and flags.

50. -

(1) The Secretary of State may make regulations-

 

(a) prescribing the design of an emblem for the police force; and

 

 

(b) regulating the use of that or any other emblem-

 

 

(i) on equipment or property used for the purposes of the police force; or

 

 

(ii) otherwise in connection with the police force.

 

 

(2) The Secretary of State may make regulations-

 

 

(a) prescribing the design of a flag for the police force; and

 

 

(b) regulating the flying or carrying of that or any other flag-

 

 

(i) on land or buildings used for the purposes of the police force; or

 

 

(ii) otherwise in connection with the police force.

 

 

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

 

 

(a) the Board;

 

 

(b) the Chief Constable; and

 

 

(c) the Police Association.

 

 

 

Identification of members of the police force.

51. -

(1) The Chief Constable shall make arrangements for each member of the police force to be assigned a serial number.

 

 

(2) The Chief Constable shall ensure that, as far as practicable, the number assigned under this section to a member of the police force is so displayed on his uniform as to be clearly visible at all times when he is on duty and in uniform.
 

 

 

 

Co-operation with police force of Republic of Ireland.

52. -

The Board and the Chief Constable shall implement any arrangements made in pursuance of an agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland dealing with co-operation on policing matters between the police force and the Gárda Sióchána.

 

 

 

 

PART VI

 

 

REPORTS AND INQUIRIES

Annual and other reports by Board to Secretary of State.

53. -

(1) The Board shall, not later than 6 months after the end of each financial year, issue a report relating to the policing of Northern Ireland for the year.

 

 

(2) A report issued under subsection (1) for any year shall include an assessment of-

 

 

(a) 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;

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

(i) the effectiveness of arrangements made under Part II in obtaining-

 

 

(i) the views of the public about matters concerning policing; and

 

 

(ii) the co-operation of the public with the police force in preventing crime.

 

 

(3) The Board shall-

 

 

(a) arrange for every report issued under subsection (1) to be published in such manner as appears to it to be appropriate; and

 

 

(b) send a copy of the report to the Secretary of State.

 

 

(4) The Board shall, whenever required by the Secretary of State, submit to the Secretary of State a report on such matters connected with the discharge of the Board's functions, or otherwise with the policing of Northern Ireland, as may be specified in the requirement.

 

 

(5) A report under subsection (4) shall be made-

 

 

(a) in such form as may be specified in the requirement under that subsection; and

 

 

(b) within the period of one month from the date on which that requirement is made or within such longer period as may be agreed between the Board and the Secretary of State.

 

 

(6) The Secretary of State may arrange, or require the Board to arrange, for a report under subsection (4) to be published in such manner as appears to him to be appropriate.

 

 

 

Annual report by Chief Constable to Board.

54. -

(1) The Chief Constable shall, not later than 3 months after the end of each financial year, submit to the Board a general report on the policing of Northern Ireland during that year.

 

 

(2) The Chief Constable shall arrange for a report submitted under this section to be published in such manner as appears to him to be appropriate.

 

 

(3) The Chief Constable shall, at the same time as he submits a report to the Board under this section, submit the same report to the Secretary of State.

 

 

(4) The Secretary of State shall lay before both Houses of Parliament every report submitted to him under subsection (3).

 

 

 

General duty of Chief Constable to report to Board.

55. -

(1) The Chief Constable shall, whenever so required by the Board, submit to the Board a report on any such matter connected with the policing of Northern Ireland as may be specified in the requirement.

 

 

(2) A report under this section shall be made-

 

 

(a) in such form as may be specified in the requirement under subsection (1); and

 

 

(b) within the period of one month from the date on which that requirement is made, or within such longer period as may be agreed between the Chief Constable and the Board.

 

 

(3) If it appears to the Chief Constable that a report in compliance with a requirement under subsection (1) would contain information which ought not to be disclosed-

 

 

(a) in the interests of national security;

 

 

(b) because it relates to an individual and is of a sensitive personal nature;

 

 

(c) because it relates to a matter which is being investigated by a statutory authority;

 

 

(d) because it would, or would be likely to, prejudice proceedings which have been commenced in a court of law; or

 

 

(e) because it would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders or the administration of justice,

 

 

he may refer the requirement to submit the report to the Secretary of State, and in any such case the requirement shall be of no effect unless it is confirmed by the Secretary of State.

 

 

(4) The Board may arrange, or require the Chief Constable to arrange, for a report under this section to be published in such manner as appears to the Board to be appropriate. 

 

 

 

Inquiry by Board following report by Chief Constable.

56. -

(1) Where the Board-

 

(a) has considered a report on any matter submitted by the Chief Constable under section 53; and

 

 

(b) considers that an inquiry ought to be held under this section into that matter or any related matter disclosed in the report by reason of the gravity of the matter or exceptional circumstances,

 

 

the Board may, after consultation with the Chief Constable, cause such an inquiry to be held.

 

 

(2) The Board shall immediately-

 

 

(a) inform the Chief Constable and the Secretary of State of any decision to cause an inquiry to be held under this section and of any matter into which inquiry is to be made; and

 

 

(b) send a copy of the relevant report under section 55 to the Secretary of State.

 

 

(3) If it appears to the Chief Constable that such an inquiry should not be held-

 

 

(a) in the interests of national security;

 

 

(b) because any matter into which inquiry is to be made relates to an individual and is of a sensitive personal nature;

 

 

(c) because any such matter is being investigated by a statutory authority;

 

 

(d) because it would, or would be likely to, prejudice proceedings which have been commenced in a court of law; or

 

 

(e) because it would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders or the administration of justice,

 

 

he may refer the decision of the Board to cause an inquiry to be held to the Secretary of State, and in any such case that decision shall be of no effect unless it is confirmed by the Secretary of State.

 

 

(4) If it appears to the Secretary of State on any of the grounds mentioned in subsection (3)(a) to (e) that-

 

 

(a) a proposed inquiry under this section should not be held; or

 

 

(b) an inquiry which has commenced under this section should not continue,

 

 

he may direct that the inquiry shall not be held or, as the case may be, continued; and the Secretary of State may also give such a direction if it appears to him that the holding or continuation of an inquiry under this section would not be in the interests of the efficiency or effectiveness of the police force.

 

 

(5) If-

 

 

(a) the Board requests a person mentioned in subsection (6) to conduct an inquiry under this section; and

 

 

(b) the Secretary of State confirms that request,

 

 

that person shall comply with that request.

 

 

(6) The persons are-

 

 

(a) the Comptroller and Auditor General;

 

 

(b) the Ombudsman;

 

 

(c) an inspector of constabulary for Northern Ireland.

 

 

(7) The Board may, with the approval of the Secretary of State, appoint any other person to conduct an inquiry under this section.

 

 

(8) An inquiry under this section shall be held in public or in private as the person conducting it may decide.

 

 

(9) An inquiry under this section may not deal with acts or omissions which occurred, or are alleged to have occurred, before the coming into force of this section.

 

 

(10) Paragraphs 2 to 5 of Schedule 8 to the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 (inquiries and investigations) shall apply to an inquiry under this section with the substitution for references to the Ministry of references to the person conducting the inquiry.

 

 

(11) The Board shall pay-

 

 

(a) any expenses incurred by the person conducting an inquiry under this section; and

 

 

(b) any expenses incurred by any parties appearing at such an inquiry.

 

 

(12) The Board shall send a copy of the report of any inquiry under this section to-
 

 

 

(a) the Chief Constable; and

 

 

(b) the Secretary of State.

 

 

(13) Where the report of the person conducting an inquiry under this section is not published, a summary of his findings and conclusions shall be made known by the Secretary of State so far as appears to him consistent with the public interest.

 

 

 

Reports by Chief Constable to Secretary of State.

57. -

(1) The Chief Constable shall, whenever so required by the Secretary of State, submit to the Secretary of State a report on such matters connected with the policing of Northern Ireland as may be specified in the requirement.

 

 

(2) A report under subsection (1) shall be made-

 

 

(a) in such form as may be specified in the requirement under that subsection; and

 

 

(b) within the period of one month from the date on which that requirement is made, or within such longer period as may be agreed between the Chief Constable and the Secretary of State.

 

 

(3) The Secretary of State may arrange, or require the Chief Constable to arrange, for a report under subsection (1) to be published in such manner as appears to the Secretary of State to be appropriate.

 

 

 

PART VII

 

 

THE POLICE OMBUDSMAN

Reports by Ombudsman to Chief Constable and Board. 

58. -

After section 61 of the 1998 Act there shall be inserted-

 

"Reports to Chief Constable and Board.

    61A. - (1) The Ombudsman may make to the Chief Constable and the Board a report on any matters concerning the practices and policies of the police force which-
(a) come to the Ombudsman's attention under this Part; and
(b) should, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, be drawn to the attention of the Chief Constable and the Board.

(2) A report under this section shall not-
(a) identify any individual; or
(b) disclose any information from which the identity of any individual may be established.".

 

 

 

Supply of information by Ombudsman to Board. 

59. -

After section 61A of the 1998 Act there shall be inserted-

 

"Supply of information by Ombudsman to Board.

    61AA. - (1) The Ombudsman shall compile, and supply the Board with, such statistical information as is required to enable the Board to carry out its functions under section 2(3)(c)(i) of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000.

(2) The Ombudsman shall consult the Board as to-
(a) the information to be supplied under subsection (1); and
(b) the form in which such information is to be supplied.

(3) The Ombudsman shall supply the Board with any other general information which the Ombudsman considers should be brought to the attention of the Board in connection with its functions under section 2(3)(c)(i) of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000.".

 

 

 

Time limit for complaints and references to Ombudsman.

60.

In section 64 of the 1998 Act (regulations) after subsection (2) there shall be inserted-
 

 

 

    "(2A) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, subject to such exceptions as may be prescribed-
(a) this Part shall not apply to a complaint about the conduct of a member of the police force which took place more than the prescribed period before the date on which the complaint is made or referred to the Ombudsman under section 52(1);
(b) the Ombudsman shall not investigate any matter referred to him under section 55(1), (2) or (4) if the actions, behaviour or conduct to which the matter relates took place more than the prescribed period before the date on which the reference is made;
(c) the Ombudsman shall not at any time commence a formal investigation under section 55(6) of any matter if the actions or behaviour to which the matter relates took place more than the prescribed period before that time.".

 

 

 

Access by Ombudsman to information and documents.

61. -

The Chief Constable and the Board shall supply the Ombudsman with such information and documents as the Ombudsman may reasonably require for the purposes of, or in connection with, the exercise of any of his functions.

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