Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Sixteenth Report


Memorandum by the Home Office


  1. The Committee has requested a memorandum in respect of the above instrument on the following point:

    Regulation 10(3)(a) requires the countersigning officer to explain to the member concerned (where this is the case) "that his performance is unsatisfactory and the conditions specified in regulation 8(2) are satisfied"; and regulation 10(4) requires him to take other steps where performance has been unsatisfactory during "the period specified in regulation 8(2)" (where that period is applicable). Explain the quoted words.

  2. It is regretted that the words quoted in the above passage, together with, in each case, the words "or, as the case may be," which precede them, are otiose and should have been omitted. The explanation for this defective drafting is that, in a former draft of the regulations, there was a paragraph (2) in regulation 8 which read as follows:

    "Where the reporting officer is of the opinion that the performance of a member of a police force is unsatisfactory and that the member concerned has, within the previous two years, received a notice under regulation 11(1), he may, provided that no warning was given to the member concerned under regulation 10(4), refer the case to the countersigning officer."

Following statutory consultation under section 63(3) of the Police Act 1996, that paragraph was omitted and what was then regulation 8(3) was re-numbered 8(2). Consequential changes were made in regulation 3(1) (in the definition of "second interview") and in regulation 8 itself, but regrettably the need for other consequential amendments elsewhere in the Regulations was not appreciated.

  3. It is submitted that the words quoted in paragraph 1 above do not affect the meaning of regulation 10(3) and (4) because, in the absence of any conditions or period specified in regulation 8(2) of the Regulations as made, it is clear that there is no case in which the second of the alternative situations envisaged in each of those paragraphs can occur. This being the case, the unnecessary words fall to be disregarded.

  4. Nevertheless, an amendment to omit the words in question will be made as soon as a suitable opportunity occurs.

7 April 1999

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