Memorandum by the Northern Ireland Office
ROYAL ULSTER CONSTABULARY (CONDUCT) REGULATIONS 2000
1. The Committee considered the above instrument
at its meeting on 21 November and has instructed that the NIO
submit a memorandum on the following points:
(1) If the Regulations are
made under sections 25 and 26 of the 1998 Act, explain why the
preamble refers to consultation in accordance with section 64(4)
which applies only to regulations made under section 64 and not
consultation in accordance with sections 25(8) and 26(6).
2. The reference to Section 64(4) of the Police (Northern
Ireland) Act 2000 in the preamble is inappropriate in these regulations.
We shall remove the reference and replace with the correct reference.
3. As the power of the Ombudsman to approve the selection
of the investigating officer exists in primary legislation the
inclusion of regulation 8(3) is unnecessary. We propose to remove
(3) Explain under what power
regulation 8(2)(d) provides for an officer of the Ombudsman to
be appointed as the investigating officer, and what authorises
such an officer to act in that capacity.
4. The Ombudsman's powers to appoint an investigating
officer to investigate complaints against members of the police
are provided in primary legislation under Section 56(1) of the
Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998.
(4) Explain the reference
in regulation 10(1), the three references in regulation 11(3),
and the reference in regulation 12 as modified by paragraph 2
of schedule 3, to the Ombudsman.
5. Reference to the Ombudsman in Regulations 10(1),
11(3), 11(3)(a), 11(3)(b)(ii) and as modified in regulation 12
by paragraph 2 of Schedule 3 is appropriate where the alleged
misconduct is as the result of a complaint. By virtue of primary
legislation, any complaint about the conduct of a police officer
must be referred to the Ombudsman who will decide how that should
be dealt with.
(5) Explain the references
in regulation 11(2)(a) and 12(1)(b) to section 59(5).
6. As Section 59(6) of the Police (Northern Ireland)
Act 1998 introduces paragraph 5 it was felt appropriate to include
a reference to it in Regulations 11(2)(a) and 12(1)(b). However
we are content it is unnecessary and as such we propose to remove
(6) Explain the meaning of
"a directed case" in regulation 31(1) and "a directed
hearing" in regulation 35(2).
7. Both regulations, 31(1) and 35(2) refer to the
same thing, that is a directed hearing. Therefore for consistency
we propose to use the same phraseology, that is"a
directed hearing" and to define it and amend accordingly.
(7) Regulation 36(2) allows
the chief constable, on a review, to impose a different sanction
or to vary a fine. Does this allow him, in a case where a reduction
in pay has been imposed, to vary the amount of the reduction or
the period for which it is to apply?
8. Regulation 36(2) allows the chief constable, on
a review to confirm the original decision, impose a lesser sanction
or vary a fine. It does not allow the chief constable to vary
a sanction of a reduction in pay nor the length of the to which
it applies. A sanction of a reduction in pay has been removed
from the equivalent England and Wales regulations as it was felt
in doing so brought the sanctions in line with what existed in
the public sector. However after much deliberation during the
consultation period we concluded that the jump in sanctions from
a fine to a reduction in rank was too great and an interim sanction
was appropriate. Therefore we included a reduction in pay to provide
an interim option.
(8) Given that paragraph
4 of Schedule 3 substitutes words for those in regulation 17(1)
from "on which he is notified" to the end, explain why
that paragraph also provides that regulation 17(1)(c) is to be
9. In a "fast track" hearing witnesses
are not called to the hearing, this is provided for by the removal
of paragraph 2 from regulation 17, which is also detailed in paragraph
4 of Schedule 3. It therefore follows that regulation 17(1)(c)
which describes the calling of witnesses to a hearing is nugatory
and should be removed.
(9) In paragraph 21(b), should
"Regulation 33" be in inverted commas?
10. In paragraph 21(b), for clarity the reference
to Regulation 33 should be in inverted commas.