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Foundations for Policing: Proposals for Policing Structures in Northern Ireland - Section 7

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7.1The Government's proposals on policing structures have come about after a great deal of debate and discussion. Legislation would be informed by the forthcoming discussions on policing in all party political negotiations, to take place on an open agenda, and would be shaped to reflect any agreements which emerge.
7.2There is, however, much more to be done before the changes can be introduced. There are also a number of practical steps, such as producing guidance on financial management and the arrangements for civilian support staff, which will require thorough planning and careful implementation.
7.3The Government's aim is to enhance the provision of a policing service in Northern Ireland which meets and responds to the needs of all the people. The police service itself is already undergoing a great deal of change and, in particular through the Fundamental Review of Policing, this process will continue. The Government believes that these proposals to reform the tripartite policing structure will provide a sound framework within which those changes can take place more effectively.
7.4These proposals will develop and strengthen the partnership between the Secretary of State, PAN] and the Chief Constable. Responsibilities will be more clearly defined. The Police Authority's role, especially in providing a voice for the community and in holding the Chief Constable to account, will be enhanced. The operational independence of the Chief Constable will be strengthened but this will be balanced against clear and strong accountability mechanisms. The Chief Constable will become fully responsible and accountable for the management of police resources. The Secretary of State's role in establishing police strategy and funding for the service will be clarified.
7.5The Government believes that the result will be to create stronger and more effective statutory accountability mechanisms, strengthen the statutory protection for the impartiality, integrity and freedom from partisan influence of the police, and provide an improved, quality policing service for all the people of Northern Ireland. The opportunity will be created for greater participation by the community, and for those responsible for policing to work together to tackle the challenges of the future in the interests of the whole community

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