|Police (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] - continued||House of Commons|
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Clause 22: Disclosure of information and holding of inquiries
46. This clause inserts a new section 76A into the 2000 Act. Section 76A(1) sets out the grounds on which information ought not to be disclosed for the purposes of -
47. Section 76A(2) sets out the grounds on which an inquiry ought not to be held for the purposes of section 60(3) of the 2000 Act (as amended by clause 10 of the Bill).
48. With two exceptions, the grounds set out in the new section 76A(1) and (2) mirror those currently set out in sections 59(3) and 60(3) of the 2000 Act. The exceptions are:
PART 2: POLICE POWERS
DESIGNATION OF CIVILIANS
49. This clause enables the Chief Constable to designate suitably skilled and trained civilians as one or more of the following categories of officer: investigating officer; detention officer; and escort officer. The clause enables the Chief Constable to confer on such civilians some of the powers and duties otherwise only available to police officers.
50. Subsection (1) enables the Chief Constable to designate any person who is a member of the police support staff as an officer of one or more of the following descriptions: investigating officer; detention officer; and escort officer. Clause 23(2) prevents a designation being made unless the Chief Constable is satisfied that the person is a suitable person for this purpose, is capable of carrying out the functions for the purpose of which he is to be designated, and has been adequately trained. Subsection (5) limits the powers that can be conferred on designated persons to any or all of those specified in the relevant parts of Schedule 1. Subsection (7) clarifies that a designation does not authorise or require conduct other than as a member of the police support staff and that a designation may contain restrictions and conditions.
51. Subsections (8) and (9) provide that where a power allows for the use of reasonable force when it is exercised by a constable, a person exercising such a power under a designation shall have the same entitlement to use reasonable force; for example when carrying out a search. Subsection (10) provides that where a designation includes the power to force entry to premises, this power will be limited to occasions when the designated person is under the direct supervision of a police officer and is accompanied by such an officer: the only exception to this requirement is when the purpose of forcing entry is to save life or limb or to prevent serious damage to property.
Clause 24: Police powers for designated contracted-out staff
52. This clause enables the Chief Constable, where a contract has been entered into with the private sector for the provision of services relating to the detention or escort of persons who have been arrested or are otherwise in custody, to designate any employee of the contractor as either a detention officer or an escort officer. Subsection (3) prevents a designation being made unless the Chief Constable is satisfied that the person is a suitable person for this purpose, is capable of carrying out the functions for the purpose of which he is designated and that he has been adequately trained. The Chief Constable must also satisfy himself that the contractor is a fit and proper person to supervise the carrying out of the functions of the designated officer. Subsections (6) and (7) limit the powers that can be conferred on such contracted-out staff to those specified in the relevant parts of Schedule 1. Subsection (8) clarifies that a designation does not authorise or require conduct other than as an employee of the contractor and that a designation may contain restrictions and conditions.
53. Subsections (9) and (10) provide that where a power allows for the use of reasonable force when it is exercised by a constable, a person exercising such a power under a designation shall have the same entitlement to use reasonable force; for example when carrying out a search. Subsections (11) and (12) set out the duration of the designation as being until such time as is specified in the designation or until the designated person ceases to be an employee of the contractor or until the contract between the Board and the contractor expires or is terminated. Designations may be subject to renewal at any time.
54. This Schedule relates to the provisions in clauses 23 and 24 of the Bill, which deal with the exercise of police powers by designated police support staff and contracted-out staff. It sets out in detail the range of powers that can be conferred on designated civilians.
55. This Part includes a range of powers which may be needed to support the work of civilian investigating officers in specialist areas such as financial and information technology crime. They are mainly linked to entry, search and seizure, and include powers to obtain and exercise search warrants, to seize evidence and to apply to a judge for access to confidential material. Part 1 also covers powers to enter and search premises following arrest. This set of powers is particularly relevant to the work of Scenes of Crime Officers, many of whom are already civilians.
56. Paragraphs 1 and 2 enable a suitably designated person to apply for and be granted search warrants under section 42 of the Terrorism Act and under Article 10 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 ("the 1989 Order"), to execute warrants and to seize and retain things for which a search has been authorised under Article 10 of the 1989 Order. The power of seizure is extended to computerised information. Both paragraphs provide that the standard safeguards covering the process of applying for a search warrant, the contents of the warrant and the way in which the warrant should be exercised are extended to warrants dealt with by designated persons. Paragraph 2 imposes the same obligations on designated persons in relation to providing records of seizure, providing access to or copies of seized material and retaining seized material as apply to constables. Paragraph 2 gives the same protection from seizure to legally privileged material in relation to seizures by designated persons as applies to seizures by constables.
57. Paragraph 3 enables a suitably designated person to obtain access to confidential material under Article 11 of the 1989 Order by making an application to a county court judge under Schedule 1 to that Order. It extends the power of seizure conferred by paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 to the 1989 Order to a designated person, enabling him to seize and retain any confidential material for which a search has been authorised under Schedule 1. This power of seizure is extended to computerised information. It extends standard protections and obligations under the 1989 Order to material seized by or produced to a designated person under these provisions.
58. Paragraph 4 enables a suitably designated person to use the powers under Article 20 of the 1989 Order to enter and search any premises occupied or controlled by a person who is under arrest for an arrestable offence and to seize and retain items found on such a search. The designated person may conduct such a search before the arrested person is taken to a police station and without obtaining the authority of an inspector if the presence of the arrested person is necessary for the effective investigation of the offence. Standard protections and obligations under the 1989 Order are extended to material seized by a designated person under these provisions. Again, the power of seizure is extended to computerised information.
59. Paragraph 5 enables a suitably designated person, when lawfully on any premises, to exercise the same general powers to seize things as are available to a constable under Article 21 of the 1989 Order. The designated person may also make use of the power to require, in certain circumstances, the production of electronically stored material in a form in which it can be taken away. Once again, standard protections and obligations under the 1989 Order are applied.
60. Paragraph 6 enables a suitably designated person, to supervise access to, and copying of, any material seized by a constable, where a person has the right to access or to have a copy of that material under the standard safeguards in the 1989 Order. A suitably designated person is also given power to photograph, or have photographed, anything which he has the power to seize.
61. Paragraph 7 enables a suitably designated person to arrest a detained person for a further offence if it appears to him that the detained person would be liable to arrest for that further offence if released from his initial arrest. The paragraph also provides that Article 5 of the Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 applies where a person is arrested by a designated person under this provision. The effect of this Article is described in paragraph 63 below.
62. Paragraph 8 enables a custody officer to transfer a detainee to a designated civilian investigating officer. Article 40 of the 1989 Order places on custody officers the duty to ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with the Order and relevant codes of practice. Article 40(2) of the 1989 Order provides that if a detainee is transferred to the custody of another police officer in accordance with the 1989 Order, then that officer takes on responsibility for compliance with the duty, and the custody officer is relieved from it. Paragraph 8(4) provides that when a detainee is transferred to a designated investigating officer, the custody officer's responsibilities are similarly transferred to that designated investigating officer. Paragraph 40(3) - which imposes a duty to report back to a custody officer, when a transferred detainee is returned to him, on compliance with Article 40 and the codes of practice - is also extended to a designated person into whose custody a detainee has been transferred. A designated investigating officer using powers under this paragraph is regarded as having the detainee in his lawful custody, with a duty to prevent his escape and entitlement to use reasonable force to prevent this.
63. Paragraph 9 enables a suitably designated person to question an arrested person under Articles 5 and 6 of the Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 about facts which may be attributable to the person's participation in an offence, for example, the person's presence at a particular place at a relevant time or the presence of potentially incriminating objects, substances or marks. A suitably designated person may also warn the suspect about the capacity of a court to draw inferences from a failure to give a satisfactory account in response to questioning.
64. Paragraph 10 enables a suitably designated person to use extended powers of seizure and retention available to constables under Part 2 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, where those powers supplement powers conferred on designated persons under other paragraphs of Part 1 of the Schedule. In essence this means that where a designated person has been provided with a specific power of seizure and the exercise of the power on premises would be difficult or impossible due to the sheer bulk or complexity of the material to be searched through, that material can be moved elsewhere for sifting, subject to a range of detailed safeguards.
65. This Part covers powers that may be exercised by detention officers at police stations. Many of them are connected with the handling of persons in custody - an area of work in which police support staff are increasingly involved - such as powers to search detained persons, to take fingerprints and certain samples without consent and to take photographs. Providing police support staff, including contracted-out staff, with these and other powers will broaden the scope of the work they can undertake and ensure their work is underpinned by the law.
66. Paragraph 11 enables a suitably designated detention officer to require persons who have been convicted of a recordable offence, have not been in police detention for the offence and have not had their fingerprints taken in connection with the offence or since the conviction, to attend a police station to have their fingerprints taken. Recordable offences are set out in regulations made under Article 29 (4) of the 1989 Order.
67. Paragraph 12 enables a designated detention officer to carry out non-intimate searches of persons detained at police stations or elsewhere and to seize items found during such searches. Restrictions on the scope of searching and seizure and on the circumstances in which searches can be carried out are applied to designated persons in the same way as to constables.
68. Paragraph 13 enables a designated detention officer to carry out searches and examinations in order to determine the identity of persons detained at police stations. A designated detention officer may photograph any identifying marks found during such processes.
69. Paragraph 14 enables a designated detention officer to take fingerprints without consent in the same circumstances that a constable may under the 1989 Order and paragraph 15 gives him limited powers to take fingerprints from a person detained under terrorism provisions. A designated detention officer can also discharge the duty under the 1989 Order to inform the person concerned that his fingerprints may be the subject of a speculative search against existing records.
70. Paragraph 16 enables a designated detention officer to discharge the duty to inform a person from whom an intimate sample has been taken that the sample may be the subject of a speculative search against existing records.
71. Paragraph 17 enables a designated detention officer to take non-intimate samples without consent and to inform the person from whom the sample is to be taken of any necessary authorisation by a senior officer and of the grounds for that authorisation. The designated person may also inform the person concerned that a non-intimate sample may be the subject of a speculative search against existing records. Paragraph 18 enables the designated officer to take a non-intimate sample from a person detained under terrorism provisions.
72. Paragraph 19 enables a designated detention officer to require certain defined categories of persons who have been charged with or convicted of recordable offences to attend a police station to have a sample taken.
73. Paragraph 20 enables a designated detention officer to photograph detained persons in the same way that constables may under the 1989 Order and paragraph 21 enables the designated detention officer to photograph a person detained under terrorism provisions.
74. This Part covers escort powers. It includes powers enabling designated police support staff, including contracted-out staff, to transport arrested persons to police stations. It also allows designated officers to escort detained persons from one police station to another or between police stations and other locations specified by the custody officer.
75. Paragraph 22 enables a suitably designated person to carry out the duty of taking a person arrested by a constable to a police station as soon as practicable. That must be a designated station (i.e. a main station equipped for holding detainees) unless the person is working in an area not covered by such a station and it appears that it will not be necessary to hold the arrestee for more than six hours. The designated person may delay removal to a police station if the arrestee is required elsewhere for immediate investigative purposes. A designated person using powers under this paragraph is regarded as having the arrestee in lawful custody. He has a duty to prevent escape and is entitled to use reasonable force to prevent this. He also has the power to carry out non-intimate searches and to seize anything found as a result of such a search.
76. Paragraph 23 enables a suitably designated person, with the authority of the custody officer, to escort detainees between police stations or between police stations and other specified locations. Once again, a designated person using powers under this paragraph is regarded as having the detainee in lawful custody. He has a duty to prevent escape and is entitled to use reasonable force to prevent this. He is also entitled to carry out non-intimate searches. Where the custody officer transfers a detainee to a designated person under these provisions, the designated person becomes responsible for ensuring that the detainee is treated in accordance with the 1989 Order and codes of practice.
Part 4: Interpretation
77. Paragraph 24 defines the meaning of certain terms used in Schedule 1.
Clause 25: Police powers: amendments
78. Clause 25 gives effect to Schedule 2, which makes amendments consequential on clauses 23 and 24.
Schedule 2: Police powers: amendments
79. This Schedule makes the amendments to other legislation made necessary by clauses 23 and 24.
Clause 26: Designations: supplementary
80. This clause makes supplementary provisions relating to designations. Subsection (2) requires a designated person to produce his designation on request although subsection (3) makes it clear that failure to do so does not render performance or exercise of the designated powers invalid. Subsection (4) provides the Chief Constable with powers to modify or withdraw a designation at any time. Under subsection (5) if the Chief Constable withdraws the designation of a contracted-out individual he must notify the relevant contractor.
Clause 27: Complaints and misconduct
81. Clause 27 gives the Secretary of State the power to make regulations providing for the Ombudsman to deal with complaints and allegations of misconduct against designated civilians, including contracted-out staff, relating to the exercise of their policing functions.
Clause 28: Liability for unlawful conduct
82. This clause makes provision for the purposes of determining liability for unlawful conduct. Conduct in reliance on a designation is required to be taken as conduct in the course of employment by the designated person's employer, whether the employer is the Board or someone else.
Clause 29: Notifiable memberships
83. Clause 29 applies section 51 of the 2000 Act, regarding notifiable memberships, to designated police support staff, including contracted-out staff. Under this clause designated support staff and contracted-out staff are required to inform the Chief Constable of membership of an organisation which might reasonably be regarded as affecting their ability to discharge their duties effectively and impartially.
Clause 30: Code of ethics
84. Clause 30 gives the Secretary of State the power by order to extend a Code of ethics issued under section 52 of the 2000 Act to apply to designated police support staff, including contracted-out staff. The Code has provisions relating to integrity, behaviour and the care of people in detention. These are matters that are relevant to the duties that will be undertaken by designated civilians.
Clause 31: Assaults on, and obstruction of, designated police support staff
85. Clause 31 amends section 66 of the 1998 Act which makes it an offence to assault, resist, obstruct or impede a constable in the execution of his duty, or a person assisting a constable in the execution of his duty. The effect is that it becomes an offence to do the same to a designated person, or a person assisting a designated person.
Clause 32: Impersonation etc. of designated police support staff
86. Clause 32 amends section 67 of the 1998 Act (which makes it an offence to impersonate a police officer with intent to deceive) so that it will be an offence to impersonate a designated person with intent to deceive, or to do something designed to suggest falsely that a person is a designated person, or to suggest that a person's powers as a designated person are greater than they actually are.
Clause 33: Designated persons: interpretation
87. Clause 33 deals with the interpretation of expressions used in clauses 23 to 32, relating to designated persons. In addition this clause also gives a definition of "conduct" which is taken from section 47(1) of the Police Reform Act 2002.
SEARCHES AND SAMPLES
Clause 34: Intimate searches
88. This clause amends Article 56 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989. It confers the power to use reasonable force on doctors and nurses carrying out an intimate search, including a drug offence search.
Clause 35: Intimate samples
89. Subsection (2) amends Article 62 of the 1989 Order (intimate samples). Its effect is that a an intimate sample other than a sample of urine or a dental impression (which may only be taken by a registered dentist) may be taken from a person by a registered health care professional as well as by a medical practitioner. Subsection (3) gives the definition of a registered health care professional as a registered nurse or a registered member of a health care profession designated by order made by the Secretary of State. Subsection (6) provides that this clause may be commenced by order.
CODES OF PRACTICE
Clause 36: Codes of practice
90. Clause 36 amends Article 66 of the 1989 Order on codes of practice. Its effect is that the Secretary of State may provide for a code of practice to have effect with the modifications which he sets out in an order. The modifications must be confined to one or more of the following:
91. Clause 37 provides for the procedure for orders and regulations to be made under the Bill.
PART 3: GENERAL
Clause 38: Repeals
92. Clause 38 gives effect to the repeals, which are set out in Schedule 3.
Clause 39: Extent
93. Clause 39 provides that the Bill extends only to Northern Ireland.
Clause 40: Short title
94. Clause 40 provides for the Bill's short title.
FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL
95. The only provision which may have an impact on public expenditure is the provision (clause 15) allowing councils to indemnify a member of a DPP in respect of liability incurred by him in connection with the business of the DPP and to insure against risks of a member of the DPP meeting with a personal accident while engaged on the business of the DPP. This will incur a small cost for councils and for the Board, which will be responsible for reimbursing three quarters of this cost, but is in line with the existing arrangements for councils to indemnify and insure in respect of councillors.
EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER
96. Increasing the scope for civilianisation of what are currently police duties may result in the employment of more support staff by the police. This will, however, be cheaper than the use of police officers for these functions, will release police officers for front line duties, and is in line with measures brought in for England and Wales by the Police Reform Act 2002.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2003||Prepared: 31 January 2003|