POLICE (NORTHERN IRELAND) BILL
Memorandum by the Northern Ireland Office
This memorandum describes the powers to make
subordinate legislation which will be conferred by the Police
(Northern Ireland) Bill 1998. The Bill will give effect in Northern
Ireland to government proposals for the reform of Police Structures.
The Bill also consolidates Northern Ireland Policing legislation
and provides for a Police Ombudsman to replace the Independent
Commission for Police complaints.
2. This provides a regulation making power
to enable the Secretary of State to transfer civil servants presently
seconded to the Police Authority to assist the authority in the
discharge of its functions to the formal employment of the authority.
This is a new power and the Secretary of State is required to
consult with the Police Authority, the Chief Constable and staff
representation before any such regulation would be made.
3. This provides for the Secretary of State
to make regulations for the governance and conditions of service
of members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. It replicates Section
25 of the Police Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 and is re-enacted
4. This provides for the Secretary of State
to make regulations for the governance and condition of service
of members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary Reserve. It replicates
Section 26 of the Police Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 and is re-enacted
5. This provides from the Secretary of State
to make regulations to continue to maintain the fund established
to provide for rewards or benefits to members of the Royal Ulster
Constabulary. This replicates section 28 of the Police Act (Northern
Ireland) 1970 and is re-enacted unamended.
6. This provides for the making of Regulations
by the Secretary of State for the governance of the Police Association.
The powers relate to the prescribing of the constitution and proceedings
of the association and its various sections and regulations may
further authorise those sections to make rules concerning their
constitutions and proceedings as may be specified in the regulations.
The Secretary of State must consult the Police Association before
making any regulations. This replicates Section 17 of the Police
Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 and is re-enacted largely unamended.
7. This provides for the making of regulations
by the Secretary of State to require the Police to use specified
facilities, equipment or services if it is considered that that
is in the interests of the efficiency or effectiveness of the
Police. Before making regulations the Secretary of State is required
to consult the Police Authority, the Chief Constable and the Police
Association and in the case of information technology the Police
Information Technology organisation. This is a new provision for
Northern Ireland, but it is based on Section 57 of the Police
8. This provides for the Secretary of State
to make regulations regarding the operation of the Police Ombudsman
under Part VIII of the Bill. In particular the Secretary of State
may prescribe the procedures to be applied by the Ombudsman, the
handling of complaints, formal and informal resolution of complaints
and the payment of compensation. Before making any regulation
the Secretary of State must consult the Ombudsman, the Police
Authority and the Police Association. This is a new provision
and relates to the establishment of the wholly new office of the
9. This provides for orders and regulations
under the Bill and the procedures therefor. It provides that any
power for the Secretary of State to make orders or Regulations
shall be exercisable by Statutory Rule for the purposes of the
Statutory Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979. It further provides
that a Statutory Rule other than one containing an order under
Section 75 shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a Resolution
by the Houses of Parliament in like matter as a Statutory instrument
and Section 5 of the Statutory Instruments Act 1946 shall apply
10. This provides for a commencement order
which will be an appointed day order and the different days for
different purposes may be appointed.
11. Schedule 1 provides a power for the
Secretary of State to by order amend the number of persons who
shall constitute the Police Authority. This is a new power and
reflects the change in the representative nature of the Authority.