Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Second Report


Memorandum from the Northern Ireland Office


1. The Committee requested a memorandum on three points.

    (1)  Explain the purpose and effect of regulation 4(2), and why it is in regulation 4 (appointment of Police Recruitment Agent)

2. Regulation 4(2) is an important provision because it makes clear that trainees will not be recruited to serve as full-time members of the Police service of Northern Ireland (Reserve). The Government has accepted the recommendation of the Report of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland (the Patten Commission) that the Royal Ulster Constabulary Full-Time Reserve should be disbanded. The acceptance of the recommendation was not reflected expressly in the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000, and it is considered desirable to reflect it in the Regulations.

3. The Department accept that it does not entirely fit in Regulation 4 and might have been better placed as free-standing provision.

    (2)  Explain what is meant by "involved in assessing candidates for appointment" in Regulation 9(2). Is it intended that the functions of lay assessors extend to the assessment of the suitability of candidates under Part III?

4. The intention is that the agent should ensure that lay assessors play a part in assessing candidates; the precise nature of their involvement will be for the agent, although it is expected that they will sit on interview panels and play a part in assessing the performance of candidates in role play tests etc.

5. Regulation 11 prohibits the Chief Constable from requiring the agent to carry out assessments of the suitability of candidates under Part III. It follows that the lay assessors, who are appointed by the agent under Regulation 9, can play no part in making assessments under Part III.

    (3)  Regulation 15 restricts the disclosure of information received by the independent panel members or the Independent Assessor. Explain why this Regulation does not apply to information received by other panel members.

6. The other panel members will be police officers or members of the Chief Constable's police support staff. As they are subject to the direction and control of the Chief Constable and bound by internal disciplinary procedures relating to unauthorised disclosure it is not necessary to include them in Regulation 15.

11 May 2001

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