Appendix 2: Operation Rapid Terms of Reference |
Op Rapid is the operational name for the review of
persons circulated as 'wanted' by the PSNI in connection with
terrorist related offences up to the 10 April 1998.
Head of Branch C2 will have the responsibility to
undertake this review with the purpose of identifying those individuals
for whom a legal basis remains to seek their arrest based upon:
evidence, the integrity of which would withstand a legal challenge
within a judicial process in Northern Ireland; or
suspicion of committing serious crime in Northern Ireland, such
suspicion being based upon a standard which meets current Human
Rights standards; or
unlawfully at large having escaped from custody or failed to return
to prison from parole or having failed to surrender to a court
as a condition of the granting of bail.
The Terms of Reference for Operation Rapid were as
1. Responsibility for the completion of the review
will rest with the Head of Branch C2, who will have the support
of other Crime Operation Departments in undertaking supporting
work in respect of reviewing intelligence and forensic exhibits.
2. A small team of investigators of 1 D/C/Inspector,
2 D/Sergeants and 3 civilian assistant investigators will be formed
to work on the review.
3. The review will be conducted under terms of confidential
reporting in order to prevent a misinterpretation of the purpose
of this review.
4. Assistant Chief Constable, Crime Operations will
supply a list of those individuals identified to the PSNI as having
requested information as to their status with the PSNI as a 'wanted
5. Each offence will be reviewed on an individual
basis; although where a number of separate offences have been
identified relating to one individual these will be grouped together
to enable a collective assessment of intelligence, forensic and
other evidence to be made.
6. The Head of Branch C2 will make a recommendation
in respect of each individual in one of the following terms:-
a) Wanted for arrest for
on the following grounds:-
i) Intelligence exists which is of such a required
grade, which has been assessed as to support a reasonable suspicion
to be formed that 'X' committed the offence for which he/she has
ii) Evidence exists which supports reasonable
suspicion that 'X' committed the offence for which he/she has
been circulated. This evidence has been reviewed and has been
assessed as retaining its integrity and would withstand a legal
challenge within a judicial process in Northern Ireland.
iii) Forensic evidence directly links 'X' to
the offence for which he/she has been circulated. Such forensic
evidence has been reviewed and it has been assessed that its integrity
in terms of scene recovery, continuity of handling, scientific
examination and subsequent storage is such that it would withstand
a legal challenge within a judicial process in Northern Ireland.
iv) An international warrant has been issued
by another jurisdiction for 'X' and is in possession of the PSNI
on behalf of the United Kingdom legal authority. Clarification
has been made with the issuing jurisdiction and the warrant for
arrest remains valid and enforceable.
v) Wanted for arrest as 'X' has escaped from
lawful custody, failed to return to prison for a period of parole
or failed to surrender to a court as a condition of the granting
b) No longer wanted for arrested for
on the following ground:-
i) Original intelligence in respect of the offence
has been reviewed and deemed to be of a grade that would not support
a reasonable suspicion being formed that 'X' committed the offence
for which he/she has been circulated.
ii) Original intelligence in respect of the offence
cannot be released to the review team due to National Security
considerations and therefore cannot be released to an SIO. It
has been assessed in these circumstances that a reasonable suspicion
based upon disclosed information to support an arrest cannot be
made at this case.
iii) The personal details of 'X' cannot conclusively
be connected with the personal details of the person currently
identified as being wanted. In such circumstances a reasonable
suspicion to arrest 'X' cannot be formed at this point.
iv) There are reasonable grounds to arrest 'X'
for the offence(s) of
however, it has been assessed
in consultation with the PPS that the conduct of the PSNI in addressing
the detention and apprehension of 'X' is such that to act at this
stage would be in contravention of Art 6 of the ECHR in respect
of abuse of process.
v) The offence of[
] allegedly committed
by 'X' is statute barred or in the view of the PPS the case is
of such a minor nature that there is no reasonable prospect of
a prosecution being sustained after a prolonged period of time.
7. The Head of Branch C2 will ensure that a proper
detailed record auditing the review and decision making process
in respect of each individual is made and retained.
8. The Head of Branch C2 will expeditiously undertake
this review and will submit responses to individual cases as soon
as an accurate assessment can be made.