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The Patten Report on Policing: Summary of Recommendations

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Research: Fionnuala McKenna
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The Patten Report on Policing
Summary of Recommendations

Human Rights


There should be a comprehensive programme of action to focus policing in Northern Ireland on a human rights-based approach. [para. 4.6]




There should be a new oath, taken individually by all new and existing police officers, expressing an explicit commitment to upholding human rights. The text might be as follows –


"I hereby do solemnly and sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of constable, and that in so doing I will act with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, uphold fundamental human rights and accord equal respect to all individuals and to their traditions and beliefs." [para. 4.7]




A new Code of Ethics should replace the existing, largely procedural code, integrating the European Convention on Human Rights into police practice. Codes of practice on all aspects of policing, including covert law enforcement techniques, should be strictly in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. [para. 4.8]




All police officers, and police civilians, should be trained (and updated as required) in the fundamental principles and standards of human rights and the practical implications for policing. The human rights dimension should be integrated into every module of police training. [para. 4.9]




Awareness of human rights issues and respect for human rights in the performance of duty should be an important element in the appraisal of individuals in the police service. [para. 4.10]




A lawyer with specific expertise in the field of human rights should be appointed to the staff of the police legal services. [para. 4.11]




The performance of the police service as a whole in respect of human rights, as in other respects, should be monitored closely by the Policing Board. [para. 4.12]







An entirely new Policing Board should be created, to replace the present Police Authority. [para. 6.2]




The statutory primary function of the Policing Board should be to hold the Chief Constable and the police service publicly to account. [para. 6.3]




The Policing Board should set objectives and priorities for policing over a 3 to 5 year period, taking account of any longer term objectives or principles set by the Secretary of State or successor. It should then be responsible for adopting a 3 to 5 year strategy, prepared by the Chief Constable through a process of discussion with the Board, which should reflect the objectives and priorities set by the Board. [para. 6.5]




The Board should be responsible for adopting an Annual Policing Plan, developed by the Chief Constable, through a process of discussion with the Board, on the basis of objectives and priorities set by the Board, and within the agreed 3 to 5 year strategy. [para. 6.6]




The Board should be responsible for negotiating the annual policing budget with the Northern Ireland Office, or with the appropriate successor body after devolution of policing. It should then allocate the police service budget to the Chief Constable and monitor police performance against the budget. [para. 6.7]




The Board should monitor police performance against the Annual Policing Plan and the 3 – 5 year strategy. It should watch crime trends and patterns, and police performance in public order situations. It should also follow such things as recruitment patterns and trends, including fair employment and equal opportunities performance, and training needs. It should assess public satisfaction with the police service and, in liaison with the Police Ombudsman, patterns and trends in complaints against the police. [para. 6.8]




The Board should have the responsibility for appointing all chief officers and civilian equivalents and for determining the length of their contracts. All appointments should be subject to approval by the Secretary of State (and successor after devolution) and the Chief Constable should be consulted in relation to the appointment of subordinate chief officers and civilian equivalents. The Board should have the power to call upon the Chief Constable to retire in the interests of efficiency and effectiveness subject to the approval of the Secretary of State (and successor) and to the right to make representations as at present. Similarly, the Board should have the same power in relation to other chief officers and civilian equivalents exercisable subject to the approval of the Secretary of State (and successor) and to the same right to make representations and after consultation with the Chief Constable. The Secretary of State should have power to require the Policing Board to call upon the Chief Constable to retire on the same grounds but this power should be exercisable only after consultation with the Board and subject to the same right to make representations already referred to. Additionally, after devolution the relevant Northern Ireland minister should have power to call for the retirement of the Chief Constable on the same grounds but this should be subject to the agreement of the Policing Board and the approval of the Secretary of State with an equivalent right to make representations. The Board should be the disciplinary authority for chief officers and civilian equivalents. [para. 6.9]




The Policing Board should coordinate its work closely with other agencies whose work touches on public safety, including education, environment, economic development, housing and health authorities, as well as social services, youth services and the probation service, and with appropriate non-governmental organizations. [para. 6.10]




The Policing Board should have 19 members, 10 of whom should be Assembly members drawn from the parties that comprise the new Northern Ireland Executive, selected on the d’Hondt system, who should not at the same time hold ministerial office in the Executive. [para. 6.11]




The nine independent members of the Board should be selected from a range of different fields – including business, trade unions, voluntary organizations, community groups and the legal profession – with the aim of finding a group of individuals representative of the community as a whole, with the expertise both to set policing priorities and to probe and scrutinise different areas of police performance, from management of resources to the safeguarding of human rights. Their appointments should be for four years; but if it were necessary for the purpose of continuity to ensure that not all Board positions fell vacant at the same time as elections to the Assembly, some of these appointments could be for an initial period of two years. [para. 6.12]


The independent members should be appointed by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister, until such time as responsibility for policing is devolved, at which point the appointments should be made by the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister acting together. Until devolution, the Secretary of State should also determine the remuneration and expenses of Board members, in consultation with the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister. [para. 6.13]




A Board member of high quality and standing in the community should be appointed by the Secretary of State to be the first chairman of the Board, with the agreement of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister, for an initial term of four years. [para. 6.14]




Responsibility for policing should be devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive as soon as possible, except for matters of national security. [para. 6.15]




The powers of the Policing Board proposed in this report, in relation to both government (as now represented by the Secretary of State) and the Chief Constable, should in no way be diminished when the government role in the tripartite arrangement passes to the Northern Ireland Executive. [para. 6.15]




The provisions of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 should be simplified so that the respective roles of the Secretary of State (or successor), the Policing Board and the Chief Constable are clear. [para. 6.16]




The provision, in Section 39 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998, that the Secretary of State may issue guidance to the police as to the exercise of their functions, should be repealed. [para. 6.18]




The Chief Constable should be deemed to have operational responsibility for the exercise of his or her functions and the activities of the police officers and civilian staff under his or her direction and control. [para. 6.21]




The Policing Board should have the power to require the Chief Constable to report on any issue pertaining to the performance of his functions or those of the police service. The obligation to report should extend to explaining operational decisions. If there is a disagreement between the Board and the Chief Constable over whether it is appropriate for a report to be provided on a particular matter, it should be for the Chief Constable to refer the question to the Secretary of State for a decision as to whether the Board’s requirement should stand. [para. 6.22]




The Policing Board should have the power, subject only to the same limitation set out in paragraph 6.22, to follow up any report from the Chief Constable by initiating an inquiry into any aspect of the police service or police conduct. Depending on the circumstances, the Board should have the option to request the Police Ombudsman, the Inspectorate of Constabulary or the Audit Office to conduct or contribute to such an inquiry, or to use the Board’s own staff, or even private consultants for such a purpose. [para. 6.23]




Each District Council should establish a District Policing Partnership Board (DPPB), as a committee of the Council, with a majority elected membership, the remaining independent members to be selected by the Council with the agreement of the Policing Board. The chair of the DPPB should be held by an elected member, with rotation between parties from year to year. [para. 6.26]




The District Policing Partnership Board in Belfast should have four sub-groups, covering North, South, East and West Belfast. [para. 6.27]




There should be monthly meetings between the DPPB and the police District Commander, at which the police should present reports and answer questions and the Board should reflect community concerns and priorities to the police. The views expressed by DPPBs should be taken fully into account by the police and by the Policing Board in the formulation of policing plans and strategies at the central level. [para. 6.30]




The DPPB should submit an annual report to the District Council, and publish it. [para. 6.31]




The approved administration costs of the DPPB should attract a 75% grant from the Policing Board, the remaining 25% to be funded by the District Council. [para. 6.32]




District Councils should have the power to contribute an amount initially up to the equivalent of a rate of 3p in the pound towards the improved policing of the district, which could enable the DPPB to purchase additional services from the police or other statutory agencies, or from the private sector. [para. 6.33]




It should be the aim of every police beat manager to have a consultative forum in his or her patrol area. [para. 6.34]




The Policing Board should maintain regular contact with the DPPBs, through periodic meetings of chairpersons, annual conferences, seminars, training courses and by including them in the circulation of information. [para. 6.35]




The Policing Board should meet in public once a month, to receive a report from the Chief Constable. [para. 6.36]




District Policing Partnership Boards should meet in public once a month, and procedures should allow for members of the public to address questions to the Board and, through the chair, to the police. [para. 6.37]




The police service should take steps to improve its transparency. The presumption should be that everything should be available for public scrutiny unless it is in the public interest – not the police interest – to hold it back. [para. 6.38]




The Police Ombudsman should be, and be seen to be, an important institution in the governance of Northern Ireland, and should be staffed and resourced accordingly. The Ombudsman should take initiatives, not merely react to specific complaints received. He/she should exercise the power to initiate inquiries or investigations even if no specific complaint has been received. The Ombudsman should be responsible for compiling data on trends and patterns in complaints against the police, or accumulations of complaints against individual officers, and should work with the police to address issues emerging from this data. He/she should have a dynamic cooperative relationship with both the police and the Policing Board, as well as other bodies involved in community safety issues. He/she should exercise the right to investigate and comment on police policies and practices, where these are perceived to give rise to difficulties, even if the conduct of individual officers may not itself be culpable, and should draw any such observations to the attention of the Chief Constable and the Policing Board. The Ombudsman should have access to all past reports on the RUC. [para. 6.41]




New legislation on covert policing should be fully compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights and should have the same application in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the United Kingdom. [para. 6.43]




There should be a commissioner for covert law enforcement in Northern Ireland. [para. 6.44]




There should be a complaints tribunal, comprising senior members of the legal profession, with full powers to investigate cases referred to it (either directly or through the Police Ombudsman) involving covert law enforcement operations. [para. 6.45]




There should be a substantial strengthening of financial accountability, including: a fully costed Annual Policing Plan; a strong audit department within the Policing Board, staffed by experts in budgeting, financial management and value for money programmes; and more systematic use of the Audit Office to study police resource management, either at the behest of the Policing Board or on its own initiative. [para. 6.46]




The Chief Constable should be designated a sub accounting officer, in addition to the Chief Executive of the Policing Board, so that either or both may be called, together with the Permanent Under Secretary as principal accounting officer, to give evidence to the Public Accounts Committee. [para. 6.47]



Policing with the Community




Policing with the community should be the core function of the police service and the core function of every police station. [para. 7.9]






Every neighbourhood (or rural area) should have a dedicated policing team with lead responsibility for policing its area. [para. 7.10]




Members of the policing team should serve at least three and preferably five years in the same neighbourhood. They should wear their names clearly displayed on their uniforms, and their uniforms should also bear the name of the locality for which they are responsible. [para. 7.11]




All probationary police officers should undertake the operational phases of their probationary training doing team policing in the community. [para. 7.12]




Where practicable, policing teams should patrol on foot. [para. 7.13]




Neighbourhood policing teams should be empowered to determine their own local priorities and set their own objectives, within the overall Annual Policing Plan and in consultation with community representatives. [para. 7.14]




The Northern Ireland police should, both at a service-wide level and at patrol team level, conduct crime pattern and complaint pattern analysis to provide an information-led, problem-solving approach to policing. All police officers should be instructed in problem-solving techniques and encouraged to address the causes of problems as well as the consequences (the priority being to train beat managers and their teams); and they should be regularly appraised as to their performance in doing so. [para. 7.16]




DPPB members and other community leaders should be able to attend police training courses in problem-solving techniques. [para. 7.17]



Policing in a Peaceful Society




Police stations built from now on should have, so far as possible, the appearance of ordinary buildings; they should have low perimeter walls, and be clearly visible from the street; but they should have security features, which may be activated or reinforced as necessary. [para. 8.5]




Existing police stations should – subject to the security situation in their areas and to health and safety considerations – be progressively made less forbidding in appearance, more accessible to public callers and more congenial for those working in them. The public reception areas inside police stations should be made more welcoming, and civilian receptionists could replace police officers. [para. 8.6]




District police commanders should have discretion to decide in consultation with their local community how best to balance their resources between static posts and mobile patrols. [para. 8.7]




Police cars should continue to be substituted as patrol vehicles in place of armoured Landrovers, and the use of armoured Landrovers should be limited to threatening situations. [para. 8.8]




As soon as possible (that is, as soon as the incidence of deployment ceases to be regular) armoured Landrovers should be moved to depots, to be kept in reserve for use in public order policing for as long as this contingency may be required. [para. 8.9]




The word "Police" should be painted onto the sides of all Landrovers. [para. 8.10]




The role of the army should continue to be reduced, as quickly as the security situation will allow, so that the police can patrol all parts of Northern Ireland without military support. [para. 8.11]




For as long as the prospect remains of substantial public order policing demands on the scale seen at Drumcree in recent years, the army should retain the capacity to provide support for the police in meeting those demands. [para. 8.12]




Provided the threat of terrorism in Northern Ireland diminishes to the point where no additional special powers are necessary to combat it, legislation against terrorism should be the same in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the United Kingdom. [para. 8.14]




In the meantime, with immediate effect, records should be kept of all stops and searches and other such actions taken under emergency powers. [para. 8.14]




The three holding centres at Castlereagh, Gough barracks and Strand Road should be closed forthwith and all suspects should in future be detained in custody suites based in police stations. [para. 8.15]




Video recording should be introduced into the PACE custody suites. [para. 8.16]




Responsibility for inspecting all custody and interrogation suites should rest with the Policing Board, and Lay Visitors should be empowered not only to inspect the conditions of detention (as at present), but also to observe interviews on camera subject to the consent of the detainee (as is the case for cell visits). [para. 8.16]




The question of moving towards the desired objective of a routinely unarmed police service should be periodically reviewed in the light of developments in the security environment. [para. 8.19]



Public Order Policing




The Northern Ireland police should have the capacity within its own establishment to deal with public order emergencies without help from other police services and without more than the present level of support from the army. [para. 9.6]




It should be a condition for the approval of a parade that the organizers should provide their own marshals, and the organizers and the police should work together to plan the policing of such events. This should involve as appropriate the representatives of the neighbourhoods involved in the parade route. [para. 9.9]




Marshal training should be further developed, with an appropriate qualification on successful completion of the training. All parades should be marshalled and, as soon as practicable, it should be a requirement that all potentially contentious parades requiring a decision or determination by the Parades Commission should be marshalled by qualified personnel. [para. 9.10]




An immediate and substantial investment should be made in a research programme to find an acceptable, effective and less potentially lethal alternative to the Plastic Baton Round (PBR). [para. 9.15]




The police should be equipped with a broader range of public order equipment than the RUC currently possess, so that a commander has a number of options at his/her disposal which might reduce reliance on, or defer resort to, the PBR. [para. 9.16]




The use of PBRs should be subject to the same procedures for deployment, use and reporting as apply in the rest of the United Kingdom. Their use should be confined to the smallest necessary number of specially trained officers, who should be trained to think of the weapon in the same way as they would think of a firearm, that is as a weapon which is potentially lethal. Use of PBRs should in the first instance require the authorisation of a district commander. This should be justified in a report to the Policing Board, which should be copied to the Police Ombudsman. Wherever possible, video camera recordings should be made of incidents in which the use of PBRs is authorised. [para. 9.17]




Officers’ identification numbers should be clearly visible on their protective clothing, just as they should be on regular uniforms. [para. 9.18]




The Policing Board and, as appropriate, the Police Ombudsman should actively monitor police performance in public order situations, and if necessary seek reports from the Chief Constable and follow up those reports if they wish. [para. 9.19]




Guidance governing the deployment and use of PBRs should be soundly based in law, clearly expressed and readily available as public documents. [para. 9.20]



Management and Personnel




The Northern Ireland police leadership team should include specialists in change management. These may be either civilians or police officers, preferably both. The leadership team should produce a programme for change, to be presented to the Policing Board and reviewed periodically by the Board. The efficiency and effectiveness of each chief officer should be judged on the basis of, among other things, their capacity to introduce and adapt to change. [para. 10.3]




District commanders should have fully devolved authority over the deployment of personnel (officer and civilian) within their command, devolved budgets (including salary budgets), authority to purchase a range of goods and services, and to finance local policing initiatives. They should reach service level agreements with all headquarter support departments. [para. 10.7]




It should be a high priority of management to ensure that the appraisal system is fully effective. This system should be used as part of the promotion and selection process. An officer’s capacity for change should be assessed and should also be taken into account in the promotion and selection process. [para. 10.10]




District commanders should be required regularly to account to their senior officers for the patterns of crime and police activity in their district and to explain how they propose to address their districts’ problems. [para. 10.11]




An automated trend identification system for complaints should be introduced. [para. 10.12]




The use of trend information should be followed up by management, and as appropriate by the department responsible for discipline, and guidance should be drawn up to help managers use this information effectively. [para. 10.13]




Police managers should use random checks as a way to monitor the behaviour of their officers in dealings with the public and their integrity. [para. 10.14]




Police management should use all the tools at its disposal, including when necessary the administrative dismissal process, to ensure that high professional and ethical standards are consistently met. [para. 10.15]




There should be a tenure policy, so that officers do not have inordinately long postings in any specialist area of the police. [para. 10.16]




Officers injured on duty should be treated as a separate category for sickness recording purposes. [para. 10.17]




A new policy should be formulated for the management of long-term sickness absence, incorporating appropriate arrangements for medical retirement, career counselling and welfare support. A system of rewards, as well as sanctions, should be introduced as part of the sickness management policy. [para. 10.19]




There should be a more detailed review of sickness absence, to establish underlying causes and to make recommendations to address them. [para. 10.19]




A substantial fund should be set up to help injured police officers, injured retired officers and their families, as well as police widows. [para. 10.20]




The Widows Association should be given an office in police premises, free of charge, and a regular source of finance adequate to run their organization. [para. 10.21]




The Assistant Chief Constables currently responsible for support services should be replaced by two civilian Assistant Chief Officers, one responsible for personnel issues and one for finance and administration. [para. 10.22]




There should be a rigorous programme of civilianisation of jobs which do not require police powers, training or experience, exceptions being made only when it can be demonstrated that there is a good reason for a police officer to occupy the position. [para. 10.23]




The Policing Board and the police service should initiate a review of police support services with a view to contracting out those services where this will enhance the efficient management of resources. Consideration should be given to allowing "management buy-outs" of support services by police officers or civilian employees interested in continuing to provide those services as a private sector company, and in such cases management buy-out contractors should be offered a secure contract for at least three years to enable them to establish themselves before having to tender for renewal. [para. 10.25]




The police should commission a comprehensive audit of the whole police estate, to include outside experts, and develop a strategy for achieving an effective and efficient estate to meet the objectives for policing as outlined in this report. [para. 10.28]



Information Technology




There should be an urgent, independent, and in-depth strategic review of the use of information technology (IT) in policing. It should benchmark the Northern Ireland police against police services in the rest of the world and devise a properly resourced strategy that places them at the forefront of law enforcement technology within 3 to 5 years. It should be validated by independent assessment. The strategy should deliver fully integrated technology systems that are readily accessible to all staff, and should take advantage of the best analytical and communications systems currently available. Users of the technology should play a key part in devising the strategy, and in assessing its implementation. [para. 11.13]



Structure of the Police Service




There should be one district command for each District Council area. [para. 12.4]




In general, each district command should be headed by a Superintendent and resourced sufficiently to be self-contained for day-to-day policing purposes and capable of marshalling strength to cope with most unexpected demands. However, in the districts with small populations the commander should be a Chief Inspector, and the districts should draw on assistance from larger neighbouring district commands for functions in which it is not feasible for a small command to be self-sufficient. [para. 12.5]




The divisional layer of management and the regional headquarters should be removed, and there should be a direct reporting line from each district commander to the appropriate Assistant Chief Constable at central police headquarters. District commanders in smaller council areas, whatever their rank, should have such a direct reporting line, reflecting the accountability arrangements we have recommended. There should be much greater delegation of decision-making authority to district commanders than is the case now with sub-divisional commanders, including control over a devolved budget and all police resources in their district. [para. 12.6]




There should be a slimmer structure at police headquarters – one that reflects the shift of focus towards community policing and the delegation of responsibility to district commanders, and permits a more rigorous and strategic approach to management. There should be no more than one Deputy Chief Constable. The number of Assistant Chief Officers should be reduced to six from the present twelve. The position of "Deputy Assistant Chief Constable" should be deleted forthwith. The rank of Chief Superintendent should be phased out. [para. 12.9]




Special Branch and Crime Branch should be brought together under the command of a single Assistant Chief Constable. [para. 12.12]




There should be a substantial reduction in the number of officers engaged in security work in the new, amalgamated command. [para. 12.13]




Security officers should be required to keep their district commanders well briefed on security activities in their districts, and district commanders should be fully consulted before security operations are undertaken in their district. [para. 12.14]




The support units of Special Branch should be amalgamated into the wider police service. [para. 12.15]




Officers should not spend such long periods in security work as has been common in the past. [para 12.16]




The future police service should not include a Full Time Reserve. [para. 12.17]




There should be an enlarged Part Time Reserve of up to 2,500 officers, the additional recruits to come from those areas in which there are currently very few reservists or none at all. [para. 12.18]



Size of the Police Service




Provided the peace process does not collapse and the security situation does not deteriorate significantly from the situation pertaining at present, the approximate size of the police service over the next ten years should be 7,500 full time officers. [para. 13.9]




The early retirement or severance package offered to regular officers and full time reservists aged 50 or above should include a generous lump sum payment according to length of service, pension enhancement of up to five years, early payment of pension commutation entitlement and payment in lieu of pension until pensionable age is reached. Full time reservists should be treated as far as possible in the same way as regular officers. [para. 13.12]




Regular officers with more than five years’ service and all full time reservists, leaving the police service before the age of 50, should receive a substantial lump sum payment. [para. 13.13]




The Training and Employment Agency should develop measures for police officers (and civilians) seeking other employment, in consultation with police management and the staff associations. The Police Retraining and Rehabilitation Trust should have a role in this programme, and should have enhanced staffing and funding to enable it to deal with a substantially larger workload. [para. 13.17]




Police recruiting agencies in Great Britain should take full account of the policing experience of former RUC reservists in considering applications for employment in police services in Great Britain. [para. 13.19]




The British government should offer former reservists the opportunity to participate in British policing contingents in United Nations peacekeeping operations. [para. 13.19]


Composition and Recruitment of the Police Service




The Northern Ireland Civil Service management should facilitate transfers of civilian members of the police service to other Northern Ireland departments and should cooperate with the Policing Board and the Chief Constable in achieving a balanced and representative civilian workforce. [para. 14.16]




Every effort should be made to ensure that the composition of the staff of the Policing Board, the NIO Police Division (or any successor body), and the office of the Police Ombudsman should be broadly reflective of the population of Northern Ireland as a whole, particularly in terms of political/religious tradition and gender. [para. 14.17]




All community leaders, including political party leaders and local councillors, bishops and priests, schoolteachers and sports authorities, should take steps to remove all discouragements to members of their communities applying to join the police, and make it a priority to encourage them to apply. [para. 15.2]




The Gaelic Athletic Association should repeal its rule 21, which prohibits members of the police in Northern Ireland from being members of the Association. [para. 15.2]




Liaison should be established between all schools and universities and the police service in Northern Ireland immediately, and work experience attachments and familiarisation days should be organized with active support and encouragement from community leaders and teachers. [para. 15.4]




Provided there is active support and encouragement from local political and community leaders, pilot police cadet schemes should be set up. [para. 15.6]




The police should contract out the recruitment of both police officers and civilians into the police service. There should be lay involvement, including community representatives, on recruitment panels. [para. 15.7]




The recruitment agency should advertise imaginatively and persistently, particularly in places likely to reach groups who are under-represented in the police. [para. 15.8]




The agency should advertise beyond Northern Ireland, in the rest of the United Kingdom and in the Republic of Ireland. [para. 15.8]




All candidates for the police service should continue to be required to reach a specified standard of merit in the selection procedure. Candidates reaching this standard should then enter a pool from which the required number of recruits can be drawn. [para. 15.9]




An equal number of Protestants and Catholics should be drawn from the pool of qualified candidates. [para. 15.10]




Priority should be given to creating opportunities for part time working and job-sharing, both for police officers and police service civilians, and career breaks should be introduced. [para. 15.11]




Child care facilities should be introduced where practicable, or child care vouchers and flexible shift arrangements offered. [para. 15.11]




The recruitment process should be reduced to no more than six months. [para. 15.12]




Young people should not be automatically disqualified from entry into the police service for relatively minor criminal offences, particularly if they have since had a number of years without further transgressions. The criteria on this aspect of eligibility should be the same as those in the rest of the United Kingdom. There should be a procedure for appeal to the Police Ombudsman against disqualification of candidates. [para. 15.13]




All officers – those now in service as well as all future recruits – should be obliged to register their interests and associations. The register should be held both by the police service and by the Police Ombudsman. [para. 15.16]




The recruitment agency should seek to identify Northern Ireland Catholic officers in other police services, including the Garda Siochana, contact them and encourage them – particularly those in more senior ranks – to apply for positions in the Northern Ireland police. [para. 15.17]




Lateral entry of experienced officers from other police services, and secondments or recruitments from non-police organizations should be actively encouraged. [para. 15.18]




Training, Education and Development




A training, education and development strategy should be put in place, both for recruit training and for in-service training, which is linked to the aims of this report and to the objectives and priorities set out in the policing plans. These plans should incorporate training and development requirements. [para. 16.4]




A total training and development budget should be established, covering all aspects of training, and this should be safeguarded against transfers to other sub-heads. [para. 16.5]




The Northern Ireland police should have a new purpose-built police college and the funding for it should be found in the next public spending round. [para. 16.6]




There should be service level agreements between police districts/departments and the police Training Branch setting out what the Branch is expected to deliver to the district or department concerned. [para. 16.8]




There should be a high degree of civilian input into the recruit training programme. The director of the training centre (and the new college when this is opened) should have both academic qualifications and management expertise. Civilian instructors should be employed, or brought in as necessary to conduct as many elements of the training programme as possible. Some modules of recruit training should be contracted out to universities and delivered on university premises, ideally together with non-police students. [para. 16.10]




Civilian recruits to the police service should also attend the police college, and do some of their training together with police officer recruits. [para. 16.11]




Recruits who do not already have degrees should be encouraged to acquire appropriate academic qualifications during the first two years of their career. Encouragement should be given to those officers who wish to go on to study for further relevant qualifications. [para. 16.12]




Attestation as a police officer should take place only upon successful completion of the recruit training course. A sufficiently rigorous standard should be required for success in that course; and completion of the course should be marked by a graduation ceremony. [para. 16.13]




The hours spent on drill should be considerably reduced. [para. 16.14]




Problem-solving and partnership approaches should be central to the recruit training course, and scenario exercises should be further developed as training tools. [para. 16.16]




Community awareness training for police recruits should be developed to include representatives of all the main political and religious traditions in Northern Ireland. Community awareness should not be seen as a stand-alone element of recruit training; it should be integrated into all aspects of training. [para. 16.17]




The Northern Ireland police should introduce a comprehensive tutor officer scheme. Tutor officers should be carefully selected, according to their commitment and adaptability to the new style of policing, and trained. [para. 16.18]




Every member of the police service should have, as soon as possible, a course on the impact on policing of the new constitutional arrangements for Northern Ireland, the new policing arrangements set out in this report, and the reforms of the criminal justice system. [para. 16.20]




As a matter of priority, all members of the police service should be instructed in the implications for policing of the Human Rights Act 1998, and the wider context of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [para. 16.21]




All police managers should have management training, as appropriate, and every manager should at some stage of his/her career do a management course in a non-police environment, such as a business school or university. Use should be made of management workshops, so that managers can discuss and develop with each other how best to reshape the police organization. [para. 16.22]




Every officer and civilian in the service should undergo adequate training in information technology. [para. 16.23]




Opportunities should be taken for joint training with civilian analysts, and members of other police services. [para. 16.23]




The Northern Ireland police should draw on the success of neighbourhood policing in such places as the Markets area of Belfast in developing a neighbourhood policing training programme for all members of the police service. Standard training for neighbourhood officers should include modules on such community problems as domestic violence, child abuse, rape, drugs and youth issues and this training should be updated as necessary. [para. 16.24]




The training curricula for the police service should be publicly available, and easily accessible, eg. on the Internet. [para. 16.25]




Some training sessions should be open to members of the public to attend, upon application, priority being given to members of the Policing Board or District Policing Partnership Boards, Lay Visitors, or other bodies, statutory or non-governmental, involved in working with the police. [para. 16.26]




The new police college should offer a pilot citizens course, to assess demand in Northern Ireland. [para. 16.26]




Culture, Ethos and Symbols




While the Royal Ulster Constabulary should not be disbanded, it should henceforth be named the Northern Ireland Police Service. [para. 17.6]




The Northern Ireland Police Service should adopt a new badge and symbols which are entirely free from any association with either the British or Irish states. [para. 17.6]




The Union flag should no longer be flown from police buildings. [para. 17.6]




On those occasions on which it is appropriate to fly a flag on police buildings, the flag flown should be that of the Northern Ireland Police Service and it, too, should be free from associations with the British or Irish states. [para. 17.6]




The colour of the current police uniform should be retained, but a new, more practical style of uniform should be provided to police officers. [para. 17.7]




Police memorials in police buildings should remain as they are and where they are. [para. 17.8]




The maintenance of a neutral working environment should become an assessed management responsibility at all levels of management. [para. 17.9]




Cooperation with other Police Services




The Northern Ireland police and the Garda Siochana should have written protocols covering key aspects of cooperation. [para. 18.7]




The present pattern of meetings between the police services in Northern Ireland and the Republic should be enhanced by an annual conference, designed to drive forward cooperation in areas of common concern. [para. 18.8]




There should be a programme of long-term personnel exchanges, such as fixed-term secondments, between the Northern Ireland police and the Garda, in specialist fields where cooperation between the two services is most needed, such as drugs, and in areas such as training. [para. 18.10]




Consideration should be given to posting liaison officers from each service to the central headquarters and/or border area headquarters of the other. [para. 18.10]




There should be structured cooperation between the two police services in training. [para. 18.11]




There should be joint disaster planning between the Northern Ireland police and the Garda Siochana and the plans should be tested by regular joint exercises. [para. 18.12]




Consideration should be given to establishing a provision for an immediate exchange of officers and pooling of investigative teams after major incidents with a substantial cross-border dimension, akin to the arrangements which exist between Kent and the police services of France and Belgium. [para. 18.13]




Every effort should be made to ensure that fast, effective and reliable communications are established between the Garda and the Northern Ireland police both through improved radio links and through compatible IT systems. [para. 18.14]




Joint database development should be pursued as a matter of priority in all the main areas of cross-border criminality, such as drugs, smuggling, vehicle theft and terrorism. [para. 18.15]




A determined effort should be made to develop exchanges, and long-term secondments, between the Northern Ireland police and police services in Great Britain. [para. 18.16]




There should be training exchanges and some joint training between the Northern Ireland police and police services in Great Britain. [para. 18.17]




Consideration should be given to structured links between the four principal police training establishments in the British Isles, namely Bramshill (England), Templemore (Republic of Ireland), Tulliallan (Scotland) and Garnerville or the proposed new police college in Northern Ireland. [para. 18.17]




International training exchanges should be further developed, focussing in particular on matters where the police in Northern Ireland need overseas police cooperation and on best practice developments in policing worldwide. There should be cooperation with other police services in the field of research. [para. 18.18]




The police should develop opportunities to provide more training for overseas police services in their areas of excellence. [para. 18.19]




The Northern Ireland police should be ready to participate in future United Nations peace-keeping operations. [para. 18.20]




An eminent person, from a country other than the United Kingdom or Ireland, should be appointed as soon as possible as an oversight commissioner with responsibility for supervising the implementation of our recommendations. [para. 19.4]




The government, the police service, and the Policing Board (and DPPBs) should provide the oversight commissioner with objectives (with timetables) covering their own responsibilities, and should report on the progress achieved at the periodic review meetings, and account for any failures to achieve objectives. [para. 19.5]




The commissioner should in turn report publicly after each review meeting on the progress achieved, together with his or her observations on the extent to which any failures or delays are the responsibility of the policing institutions themselves or due to matters beyond their control. [para. 19.5]




The oversight commissioner should be appointed for a term of five years. [para. 19.6]

CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within Ulster University.

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