Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eleventh Report


APPENDIX 6

Memorandum prepared by the Northern Ireland Office

POLICE TRAINEE REGULATIONS (NORTHERN IRELAND) 2001 (S.R. 2001/369)

1.The Committee considered the above instrument at its meeting on 12 November and requested the department to submit a memorandum on the following points:

(1) Regulation 10(5) consists of a single sentence of 10 lines. It deals with two issues: the Board's duties to determine an appeal and notify the result to the trainee, and references to the Secretary of State of rejected appeals. Given the length and complexity of the paragraph, explain why these two matters are not dealt with in separate paragraphs to assist the reader.

2.The purpose of the Police Trainee Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 (the "trainee Regulations") is to make provision in respect of trainees in relation to the matters provided for in respect of police officers in the Royal Ulster Constabulary Regulations 1996 (S.R. 1996/473) (the "1996 Regulations"). Where, for reasons of policy, it was intended that there should be no difference in provision for trainees and police officers, the department has sought to make identical provision. Accordingly, regulation 10(5) replicates, in relation to police trainees, provision made in regulation 7(5) of the 1996 Regulations in relation to police officers. In that context the department did not consider that the trainee Regulations provided an appropriate opportunity to address the defects in the drafting of this provision by departing from the wording of regulation 7(5).

3.However, the department accepts that regulation 10(5) (and regulation 7(5)) could be drafted in a more digestible manner. The department is already undertaking a review of the 1996 Regulations, and anticipates revised Regulations being made by March 2002. The department intends to address the defects in the drafting of regulation 7(5) in those revised Regulations. In tandem with that process, the department also undertakes to similarly amend regulation 10(5) of the trainee Regulations to correct the defect identified by the Committee

(2) Explain why the expression 'written notice' is used in regulation 10(5), given that regulation 2 defines 'notice' as notice in writing.

4.This is a drafting error. The department undertakes to correct this error at the earliest opportunity.

(3) Regulation 10(8) states that a reference to a relative included in a police trainee's family "shall include" a reference to his spouse, parent, son, daughter, brother or sister. Why is it not made clear whether, and if so which, other persons are also to be treated as relatives?

5.As was the case in relation to question (1), regulation 10(8) replicates the corresponding provision in regulation 7(7) of the 1996 Regulations and for the same reason as mentioned in respect of question (1) the department did not consider it appropriate to depart from the wording of the provision in the 1996 Regulations.

6.Again the department undertakes to consider the Committee's concern in the context of the review of the 1996 Regulations, and to amend the trainee Regulations to reflect any amendment made to the 1996 Regulations as a result of that review at the earliest opportunity.

(4) Regulation 14(1) defines the expression "expected date of birth" as that expression is used in that regulation. The expression does not appear elsewhere in regulation 14 but does appear in regulation 20(1). Why is the expression defined in regulation 14, where it is not used, instead of in regulation 20, where it is?

7.Regulation 14(1) is based on regulation 33(1) of the 1996 Regulations; and regulation 20(1) is based on regulation 43 of the 1996 Regulations. The error identified by the Committee is contained in the 1996 Regulations and has been repeated in the trainee Regulations.

8.The error in the 1996 Regulations will be addressed in the context of the review mentioned above. The department undertakes to correct the error in the trainee Regulations at the earliest opportunity.

(5) Regulation 14(4) refers to a certificate produced under paragraph (3) of that regulation. Given that paragraph (3) deals with the case where a female police trainee fails to produce a certificate when requested to do so by the Chief Constable, explain why paragraph (4) refers to a certificate produced under that paragraph. Is the intention to refer to a certificate produced in response to a request by the Chief Constable?

9.This is an error. Again the error is also found in regulation 33(4) of the 1996 Regulations on which regulation 14(4) is based. The intention is as the Committee describes it.

10.Again, in relation to the 1996 Regulations, the error will be addressed as part of the review mentioned above. The department undertakes to correct the error in the trainee Regulations at the earliest opportunity.

(6) In regulation 14(7), should the last two words read "maternity period" instead of "maternity leave"?

11.The Committee is correct that the last two words should read "maternity period". Again the error is carried over from regulation 33 of the 1996 Regulations, on which regulation 14(7) is based.

12.The error in the 1996 Regulations will be addressed in the review already referred to. The error in the trainee Regulations will be corrected at the earliest opportunity.

(7) Regulation 25(1) provides that a police trainee who incurs certain medical charges [(b)] may be reimbursed the charges if they are incurred by reason of an injury which in the opinion of the Chief Constable (i) would not have been received had the trainee not been known to be a trainee, or (ii) which is "an injury to which [sub-] paragraph (i) may apply, and should be treated as one to which [sub-] paragraph (ii) does apply". Explain the intended meaning of the quoted words. Is the reference to [sub-] paragraph (ii) intended to be a reference to sub-paragraph (i), and is it the intention to refer to an injury which, in the opinion of the Chief Constable, could and should be treated as one described in sub-paragraph (i)?

13.The Committee is quite right that the reference to sub-paragraph (i) should be a reference to sub-paragraph (ii). The department undertakes to correct this error at the earliest opportunity.

14.The department apologises for the 5 errors identified by the Committee and the defective drafting referred to in question (1) in the trainee Regulations.

16 November 2001



 
previous page contents

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 8 January 2002