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Explanatory Memorandum to Police & Criminal Evidence (Amendment)(Northern Ireland)Order 2007

Background and Policy Objectives

3.The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 and its associated Codes of Practice, which largely mirror the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and associated Codes of Practice in England and Wales, are vital parts of the framework of legislation providing the police with the powers they need to tackle and investigate crime.

4.The last major review of Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) in Northern Ireland was carried out in 1995/1996. Since then police powers in England & Wales have been extensively revised, mainly as a result of recommendations flowing from a fundamental review of the PACE Act and the accompanying Codes of Practice carried out jointly by the Home Office/Cabinet Office in 2002/2003, and a further Home Office Consultation Paper entitled “Policing – Modernising Police Powers to meet Community Needs” published in August 2004. Many of the proposals in both consultation papers have now been enacted in England & Wales through the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

5.The Order makes provision for the introduction of new police powers and amendments to existing provisions within the Police & Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 with the primary aim of bringing the PACE legislation and associated statutory Codes of Practice in Northern Ireland more into line with the provisions currently available to police in England & Wales.

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