Police Reform Act 2002

Publication Date:January 01, 2002


Police Reform Act 2002

2002 Chapter 30

An Act to make new provision about the supervision, administration, functions and conduct of police forces, police officers and other persons serving with, or carrying out functions in relation to, the police; to amend police powers and to provide for the exercise of police powers by persons who are not police officers; to amend the law relating to anti-social behaviour orders; to amend the law relating to sex offender orders; and for connected purposes.

[24th July 2002]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows—

1 Powers of the Secretary of State

Part 1

Powers of the Secretary of State

S-1 National Policing Plan

After section 36 of the 1996 Act there shall be inserted—

S-36A

36A

(1) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, before the beginning of each financial year, to prepare a National Policing Plan for that year

(2) The Secretary of State shall lay the National Policing Plan for a financial year before Parliament

(3) Subject to subsection (4), any such plan must be laid before Parliament not later than 30th November in the preceding financial year

(4) If there are exceptional circumstances, any such plan may be laid before Parliament after the date mentioned in subsection (3); but it must be so laid before the beginning of the financial year to which it relates

(5) If a plan is laid before Parliament after the date mentioned in subsection (3), the plan must contain a statement of the exceptional circumstances that gave rise to its being so laid.

(6) The National Policing Plan for a financial year—

(a) must set out whatever the Secretary of State considers to be the strategic policing priorities generally for the police forces maintained for police areas in England and Wales for the period of three years beginning with that year;

(b) must describe what, in relation to that period, the Secretary of State is intending or proposing so far as each of the following is concerned—

(i) the setting of objectives under section 37 and the giving of general directions in relation to any objective so set;

(ii) the specification, under section 4 of the Local Government Act 1999 (c. 27) (performance indicators), of performance indicators (within the meaning of that section) for police authorities;

(iii) the making of regulations under the powers conferred by this Act, by Part 4 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (c. 16) (police training) and by Part 2 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (c. 30) (complaints etc.);

(iv) the issuing of guidance under any provision of this Act or of Part 2 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (c. 00); and

(v) the issuing and revision of codes of practice under this Act and under Chapter 1 of Part 4 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (powers exercisable by civilians);

(c) may contain such other information, plans and advice as the Secretary of State considers relevant to the priorities set out in the plan.

(7) Before laying the National Policing Plan for a financial year before Parliament, the Secretary of State shall consult with—

(a) persons whom he considers to represent the interests of police authorities;

(b) persons whom he considers to represent the interests of chief officers of police; and

(c) such other persons as he thinks fit.

(8) In this section—

'financial year' means the period of twelve months ending with 31st March; and

'general direction' means a direction under section 38 establishing performance targets for all police authorities to which section 37 applies.’

S-2 Codes of practice for chief officers

After section 39 of the 1996 Act (codes of practice for police authorities) there shall be inserted—

S-39A

39A

(1) If the Secretary of State considers it necessary to do so for the purpose of promoting the efficiency and effectiveness generally of the police forces maintained for police areas in England and Wales, he may issue codes of practice relating to the discharge of their functions by the chief officers of police of those forces.

(2) The Secretary of State may from time to time revise the whole or any part of a code of practice issued under this section.

(3) Where the Secretary of State proposes to issue or revise a code of practice under this section, he shall first require the Central Police Training and Development Authority to prepare a draft of the code or of the revisions; and the draft prepared by that Authority must contain all such matters as the Secretary of State may specify in the requirement.

(4) Before preparing a draft code of practice under this section or any draft revisions of such a code, the Central Police Training and Development Authority shall consult with—

(a) persons whom it considers to represent the interests of police authorities;

(b) persons whom it considers to represent the interests of chief officers of police; and

(c) such other persons as it thinks fit.

(5) The Secretary of State shall lay any code of practice issued by him under this section, and any revision of any such code, before Parliament.

(6) The Secretary of State shall not be required by subsection (5) to lay before Parliament, or may exclude from what he does so lay, anything the publication of which, in his opinion—

(a) would be against the interests of national security;

(b) could prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders; or

(c) could jeopardise the safety of any person.

(7) In discharging any function to which a code of practice under this section relates, a chief officer of police shall have regard to the code.’

S-3 Powers to require inspection and report

3 Powers to require inspection and report

(1) In section 54 of the 1996 Act (appointment and functions of inspectors of constabulary), after subsection (2A) there shall be inserted—

(2B) The Secretary of State may at any time require the inspectors of constabulary to carry out an inspection under this section of—

(a) a police force maintained for any police area;

(b) the National Criminal Intelligence Service; or

(c) the National Crime Squad;

and a requirement under this subsection may include a requirement for the inspection to be confined to a particular part of the force, Service or Squad in question, to particular matters or to particular activities of that force, Service or Squad.

(2C) Where the inspectors carry out an inspection under subsection (2B), they shall send a report on that inspection to the Secretary of State.’;

and in section 55(1) of that Act (publication of reports) for ‘or (2A)’ there shall be substituted ‘, (2A) or (2C)’.

(2) In section 41 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 (c. 32) (appointment and functions of inspectors), after subsection (3) there shall be inserted—

(3A) The Secretary of State may at any time require the inspectors to carry out an inspection under this section of—

(a) the Police Service of Northern Ireland; or

(b) the National Criminal Intelligence Service;

and a requirement under this subsection may include a requirement for the inspection to be confined to a particular part of the Service in question, to particular matters or to particular activities of that Service.

(3B) Where the inspectors carry out an inspection under subsection (3A), they shall send a report on that inspection to the Secretary of State.’;

and in section 42(1) of that Act (publication of reports) for ‘or (3)’ there shall be substituted ‘, (3) or (3B)’.

S-4 Directions to police authorities

4 Directions to police authorities

For section 40 of the 1996 Act (power to give directions in response to report on an inspection of a police force carried out for the purposes of that section) there shall be substituted—

S-40 Power to give directions to a police authority

40 Power to give directions to a police authority

(1) Where a report made to the Secretary of State on an inspection under section 54 states, in relation to any police force maintained under section 2, or in relation to the metropolitan police force—

(a) that, in the opinion of the person making the report, the whole or any part of the force inspected is, whether generally or in particular respects, not efficient or not effective, or

(b) that, in that person's opinion, the whole or a part of the force will cease to be efficient or effective, whether generally or in particular respects, unless remedial measures are taken

the Secretary of State may direct the police authority responsible for maintaining that force to take such remedial measures as may be specified in the direction.

(2) Those remedial measures must not relate to any matter other than—

(a) a matter by reference to which the report contains a statement of opinion falling within subsection (1)(a) or (b); or

(b) a matter that the Secretary of State considers relevant to any matter falling within paragraph (a).

(3) If the Secretary of State exercises his power to give a direction under this section in relation to a police force—

(a) he shall prepare a report on his exercise of that power in relation to that force; and

(b) he shall lay that report before Parliament.

(4) A report under subsection (3)—

(a) shall be prepared at such time as the Secretary of State considers appropriate; and

(b) may relate to more than one exercise of the power mentioned in that subsection.

(5) The Secretary of State shall not give a direction under this section in relation to any police force unless—

(a) the police authority maintaining that force and the chief officer of that force have each been given such information about the Secretary of State's grounds for proposing to give that direction as he considers appropriate for enabling them to make representations or proposals under the following paragraphs of this subsection;

(b)...

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