Select Committee on Home Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from R J Large


  Clause 24(3) of the Bill extends the provisions for Handling of Complaints against members of the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) and the British Transport Police (BTP).

  Clause 24 was introduced as an accountability measure following the extension of their jurisdiction in the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001. (See reply by the Secretary of State for the Home Office, Hansard Volume 375, Column 37)

  However, the powers and jurisdiction of these non-Home Department Police Forces extends throughout the United Kingdom but the provisions in the Bill extend to England and Wales only.

  As the Police (Scotland) Act 1967 and Regulations made thereby for handling of complaints against members of Scottish police forces—The Police (Conduct) (Scotland) Regulations 1996—do not apply to either MDP or BTP, there are some 1,000 police officers serving in Scotland for which no measures of accountability (insofar as they relate to handling of Complaints) are extended. This applies equally to Northern Ireland and it's respective legislation.

  The Secretary of State said, about MDP (at Column 37), "It is right and proper that in the police reform legislation that we will introduce next year, we ensure that the normal powers for police complaints will be available; if there is any action under the measures by people acting in a certain way, there is no doubt that individuals will have normal protection."

  Will the Committee ensure that individuals in Scotland and Northern Ireland have the protection promised by the Secretary of State by including appropriate measures in the Bill?

R J Large

February 2002

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