Select Committee on Armed Forces Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from the Chair, ACPO General Policing Committee

  ACPO is very grateful for the opportunity to give evidence to the Select Committee. I fear that I personally am unable to attend on either 30 January or 6 February but I have arranged for Paul Scott-Lee, the Chief Constable of Suffolk, to give oral evidence if the Select Committee so wish on the morning of 6 February.

  In July 2000 the Home Office consulted ACPO about the various proposals for extension of jurisdiction and amendments to powers. Having consulted all Forces in England and Wales, I have written back to the Home Office generally supporting those proposals. (Annex A).

  I had a subsequent meeting, chaired by Jim Daniel, at the Home Office where the Ministry of Defence were represented by their Deputy Chief Constable. I was further consulted with the precise details of proposed legislation and have expressed ourselves generally content with that. We have pointed out one area where we think the legislation could be improved. (Annex B).

  The other point I would wish to make is that I have an agreement with the Ministry of Defence Police that we will sit down as soon as this legislation is passed to draw up a new concordat. It will cover all these changes in their powers which we see as general clarification and a probable improvement in the legal position of their officers. It will also include a revision of the position regarding armed officers because the Police Use of Firearms Manual of Guidance has been re-written to take account of the Human Rights Act. Finally, there is one area of the proposed legislation which involves the extension of their powers, I refer to the right for MDP to investigate a crime where a member of the Armed Services is a victim. This has caused one of my colleagues a little concern but I am reassured by MDP that it only is intended to relate to a crime associated with that person's role as a member of the Armed Services. That being the case, ACPO will be content to cover those circumstances in the new concordat or protocol.

  The remaining matters under consideration seem to us to be eminently sensible. I hope this is helpful.

26 January 2001

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