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Police (Recruitment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2001

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Part IIIVetting

Vetting Panel

12.—(1) The Chief Constable shall establish a panel of persons whose function shall be to decide, on his behalf and subject to his direction and control, on the suitability of any candidate for appointment as a police trainee or a police reserve trainee.

(2) The panel established under paragraph (1) shall include a person nominated by the Policing Board (“the independent panel member”).

(3) Schedule 2 shall have effect in relation to the person nominated to the panel under paragraph (2).

(4) The matters which the panel established under paragraph (1) may take into account in deciding on the suitability of a candidate may include the fact that the candidate has been convicted of any offence, has breached a court order or has received a caution as defined by section 126 of the Police Act 1997(1).

(5) If the panel is of the opinion that a candidate is not suitable for appointment he shall be notified to that effect and that he may seek, in writing, to have that decision reviewed by the Independent Assessor appointed under regulation 13.

(6) A request for a review of a decision under paragraph (5) shall be sent to the Independent Assessor as soon as reasonably practical.

Independent Assessor

13.—(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint a person (“the Independent Assessor”) to review decisions of the panel established under regulation 12 in response to requests under regulation 12(5).

(2) Before making an appointment under paragraph (1) the Secretary of State shall consult the Policing Board.

(3) The Independent Assessor shall have access to all material which is before the panel in regard to any candidate who has requested a review.

(4) The Independent Assessor may request such additional information from the Chief Constable as is necessary to carry out his functions.

(5) The Independent Assessor shall make a report to the Chief Constable stating whether he agrees or disagrees with the decision of the panel, and may make such recommendations as he considers appropriate.

(6) Before making a report under paragraph (5) the Independent Assessor may require the panel to reconsider its decision about the suitability of a candidate and to resubmit its decision for review by the Independent Assessor.

(7) On receipt of a report of the Independent Assessor the Chief Constable may take such action as he considers necessary, including consulting the Independent Assessor, and shall advise him of the action he intends to take.

(8) The Chief Constable shall make arrangements for the candidate to be informed whether he is suitable for appointment following the review of the Independent Assessor, and shall advise the candidate whether the Independent Assessor agrees or disagrees with the Chief Constable’s decision.

(9) References to the Chief Constable in this regulation include a reference to a senior officer within the meaning of section 77 of the Act or a senior employee of the police support staff within the meaning of section 4(7) of the Act nominated by the Chief Constable for the purposes of this regulation.

(10) Schedule 3 shall have effect in relation to the Independent Assessor.

Reports

14.—(1) The Independent Assessor shall, not later than 3 months after the end of each financial year, make to the Secretary of State a report on the discharge of his functions under these regulations during that year.

(2) The Independent Assessor shall send a copy of the report made under paragraph (1) to the Policing Board.

(3) A report under paragraph (1) shall not identify individual candidates.

Disclosure of information

15.  No information received under Part III of these regulations by the independent panel member or the Independent Assessor shall be disclosed to any person except:—

(a)to the Chief Constable;

(b)to a police officer or a member of the police support staff carrying out on behalf of the Chief Constable his functions under these regulations;

(c)by the independent panel member, to the Independent Assessor for the purpose of his functions under Part III of these regulations;

(d)by the Independent Assessor to the independent panel member for the purpose of his functions under Part III of these regulations;

(e)by the Independent Assessor for the purposes of regulation 14.

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