Search Legislation

Police Act 1996

Changes to legislation:

There are outstanding changes not yet made by the legislation.gov.uk editorial team to Police Act 1996. Those changes will be listed when you open the content using the Table of Contents below. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the affected provisions when you open the content using the Table of Contents below.

  1. Introductory Text

  2. Part I Organisation of Police Forces

    1. Police areas

      1. 1. Police areas.

    2. Forces outside London

      1. 2. Maintenance of police forces.

      2. 3. Establishment of police authorities.

      3. 4. Membership of police authorities etc.

      4. 5. Reductions in size of police authorities.

    3. The metropolitan police force

      1. 5A. Maintenance of the metropolitan police force.

      2. 5B. Establishment of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

      3. 5C. Membership etc of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

    4. The metropolitan police and forces outside London

      1. 6. General functions of police authorities.

      2. 6A. Three-year strategy plans

      3. 7. Local policing objectives.

      4. 8. Local policing plans.

      5. 9. Annual reports by police authorities.

      6. 9A. General functions of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

      7. 9B. Appointment of Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

      8. 9C. Functions of Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

      9. 9D. Appointment of Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

      10. 9E. Removal of Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner.

      11. 9F. Assistant Commissioners of Police of the Metropolis.

      12. 9FA. Appointment and removal of Deputy Assistant Commissioners

      13. 9G. Commanders.

      14. 9H. Other members of the metropolitan police force.

      15. 10. General functions of chief constables.

      16. 11. Appointment and removal of chief constables.

      17. 11A. Appointment and removal of deputy chief constables

      18. 12. Assistant chief constables.

      19. 12A. Power of deputy to exercise functions of chief constable

      20. 13. Other members of police forces.

      21. 14. Police fund.

      22. 15. Civilian employees.

      23. 16. Appointment of clerk.

      24. 17. Appointment of persons not employed by police authorities.

      25. 18. Supply of goods and services.

      26. 19. Approval of decisions about precepts.

      27. 20. Questions on police matters at council meetings.

      28. 20A. Questions on metropolitan police matters at London Assembly meetings.

      29. 21. Application of certain provisions to police authorities.

    5. General provisions

      1. 22. Reports by chief constables to police authorities.

      2. 23. Collaboration agreements.

      3. 24. Aid of one police force by another.

      4. 25. Provision of special services.

      5. 26. Provision of advice and assistance to international organisations etc.

      6. 27. Special constables.

      7. 28. Police cadets.

      8. 29. Attestation of constables.

      9. 30. Jurisdiction of constables.

      10. 31. Rewards for diligence.

    6. Alteration of police areas

      1. 32. Power to alter police areas by order.

      2. 33. Objections to alterations proposed by Secretary of State.

      3. 34. Orders altering police areas: supplementary provisions.

    7. Supplemental

      1. 35. The Scilly Isles.

  3. Part II Central Supervision, Direction and Facilities

    1. F unctions of Secretary of State

      1. 36. General duty of Secretary of State.

      2. 36A. National Policing Plan

      3. 37. Setting of objectives for police authorities.

      4. 38. Setting of performance targets.

      5. 39. Codes of practice.

      6. 39A. Codes of practice for chief officers

      7. 40. Power to give directions to a police authority

      8. 41. Directions as to minimum budget.

      9. 41A. Power to give directions as to action plans

      10. 41B. Procedure for directions under section 41A

      11. 42. Removal of chief constables, etc.

      12. 42A. Procedure in relation to removal of senior officers

      13. 43. Reports from police authorities.

      14. 44. Reports from chief constables.

      15. 45. Criminal statistics.

      16. 46. Police grant.

      17. 47. Grants for capital expenditure.

      18. 48. Grants for expenditure on safeguarding national security.

      19. 49. Local inquiries.

      20. 50. Regulations for police forces.

      21. 51. Regulations for special constables.

      22. 52. Regulations for police cadets.

      23. 53. Regulations as to standard of equipment.

      24. 53A. Regulation of procedures and practices

    2. Inspectors of constabulary

      1. 54. Appointment and functions of inspectors of constabulary.

      2. 55. Publication of reports.

      3. 56. Assistant inspectors and staff officers.

    3. Central services

      1. 57. Common services.

      2. 58. Research.

  4. Part III Police Representative Institutions

    1. 59. Police Federations.

    2. 60. Regulations for Police Federations.

    3. 61. The Police Negotiating Board for the United Kingdom.

    4. 62. Functions of the Board with respect to regulations.

    5. 63. Police Advisory Boards for England and Wales and for Scotland.

    6. 64. Membership of trade unions.

  5. Part IV Complaints, disciplinary proceedings etc.

    1. Chapter I Complaints

      1. Interpretation

        1. 65. Interpretation of Chapter I.

      2. The Police Complaints Authority

        1. 66. The Police Complaints Authority.

      3. Handling of Complaints etc.

        1. 67. Preliminary.

        2. 68. Investigation of complaints: senior officers.

        3. 69. Investigation of complaints: standard procedure.

        4. 70. References of complaints to Authority.

        5. 71. References of other matters to Authority.

        6. 72. Supervision of investigations by Authority.

        7. 73. Reports on investigations etc.

        8. 74. Steps to be taken after investigation: senior officers.

        9. 75. Steps to be taken after investigation: standard procedure.

        10. 76. Powers of Authority as to disciplinary proceedings.

        11. 77. Information as to the manner of dealing with complaints etc.

        12. 78. Constabularies maintained by authorities other than police authorities.

        13. 79. Reports.

        14. 80. Restriction on disclosure of information.

        15. 81. Regulations.

        16. 82. Regulations – supplementary.

        17. 83. Guidance concerning complaints etc.

    2. Chapter II Disciplinary and other proceedings

      1. 84. Representation at disciplinary and other proceedings.

      2. 85. Appeals against dismissal etc.

      3. 86. Admissibility of statements in subsequent proceedings.

      4. 87. Guidance concerning disciplinary proceedings etc.

      5. 88. Liability for wrongful acts of constables.

  6. Part V Miscellaneous and General

    1. Offences

      1. 89. Assaults on constables.

      2. 90. Impersonation, etc.

      3. 91. Causing disaffection.

    2. Miscellaneous financial provisions

      1. 92. Grants by local authorities.

      2. 93. Acceptance of gifts and loans.

      3. 94. Financing of new police authorities.

      4. 95.The City of London police Fund.

    3. Miscellaneous

      1. 96. Arrangements for obtaining the views of the community on policing.

      2. 96A. National and international functions of the metropolitan police.

      3. 96B. National and international functions: application of requirements relating to reports etc.

      4. 97. Police officers engaged on service outside their force.

      5. 98. Cross-border aid of one police force by another.

      6. 99. Jurisdiction of metropolitan police officers.

      7. 100. Chief constables affected by police area alterations or local government reorganisations.

    4. Supplemental

      1. 101. Interpretation.

      2. 102. Orders, rules and regulations.

      3. 103. Consequential amendments, transitional provisions, repeals, etc.

      4. 104. Commencement.

      5. 105. Extent.

      6. 106. Short title.

  7. SCHEDULES

    1. SCHEDULE 1

      Police areas

      1. England (except London)

      2. Wales

    2. SCHEDULE 2

      Police authorities established under section 3

      1. Membership of police authorities

        1. 1.(1) Where, by virtue of section 4, a police authority...

      2. Appointment of members by relevant councils

        1. 2.(1) In the case of a police authority in relation...

        2. 3.The number of members of the joint committee, and the...

        3. 4.(1) A council or joint committee shall exercise its power...

      3. Appointment of independent members

        1. 5.The members of a police authority referred to in paragraph...

        2. 6.(1) Every police authority shall arrange for a notice stating—...

      4. Appointment of magistrates

        1. 7.The members of a police authority referred to in paragraph...

        2. 8.(1) Where there is a panel for an area which...

      5. Chairman

        1. 9.(1) A police authority shall at each annual meeting appoint...

        2. 9A.Vice-chairmen

      6. Disqualification

        1. 10.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

        2. 11.(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (3) and (4), a person shall...

        3. 12.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

        4. 13.(1) Without prejudice to paragraph 11, a person shall be...

        5. 14.(1) Without prejudice to paragraph 11, a person shall be...

      7. Tenure of office

        1. 15.Subject to the following paragraphs (and to the provisions of...

        2. 16.(1) A person shall be appointed to hold office as...

        3. 17.(1) A person may at any time resign his office...

        4. 18.(1) A member of a relevant council appointed to be...

        5. 19.(1) A police authority may remove a member from office...

        6. 20.A council or joint committee may remove from office a...

        7. 21.If a chairman or vice-chairman of a police authority ceases...

      8. Eligibility for re-appointment

        1. 22.A person who ceases to be a member, otherwise than...

      9. Validity of acts

        1. 23.The acts and proceedings of any person appointed to be...

        2. 24.The proceedings of a police authority shall not be invalidated...

      10. Allowances

        1. 25.(1) A police authority may make to its chairman ,...

        2. 25A.Allowances for members etc.

        3. 25B.Members of standards committees

      11. Interpretation

        1. 26.(1) For the purposes of this Schedule, a council is...

        2. 27.In this Schedule “magistrate” has the same meaning as in...

    3. Schedule 2A

      The Metropolitan Police Authority

      1. Membership

        1. 1.(1) Where the Metropolitan Police Authority is to consist of...

      2. Appointment of members by the Mayor

        1. 2.(1) The members of the Metropolitan Police Authority referred to...

      3. Appointment of independent members

        1. 3.(1) The members of the Metropolitan Police Authority referred to...

        2. 4.(1) The Metropolitan Police Authority shall arrange for a notice...

      4. Appointment of magistrates

        1. 5.The members of the Metropolitan Police Authority referred to in...

      5. Chairman

        1. 6.(1) The Metropolitan Police Authority shall at each annual meeting...

        2. 6A.Vice-chairmen

      6. Disqualification

        1. 7.(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (3) and (4), a person shall...

        2. 8.(1) Without prejudice to paragraph 7, a person shall be...

        3. 9.(1) Without prejudice to paragraph 7, a person shall be...

      7. Tenure of office

        1. 10.Subject to the following paragraphs (and to the provision of...

        2. 11.(1) A person shall be appointed to hold office as...

        3. 12.(1) A person may at any time resign his office...

        4. 13.(1) A member of the London Assembly appointed to be...

        5. 14.(1) The Metropolitan Police Authority may remove a member from...

        6. 15.The Mayor of London may remove from office a member...

        7. 16.If the chairman or vice-chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority...

      8. Eligibility for re-appointment

        1. 17.A person who ceases to be a member, otherwise than...

      9. Validity of acts

        1. 18.The acts and proceedings of any person appointed to be...

        2. 19.The proceedings of the Metropolitan Police Authority shall not be...

      10. Allowances

        1. 20.(1) The Metropolitan Police Authority may make to its chairman...

        2. 20A.Allowances for members etc.

        3. 20B.Members of standards committees

      11. Mayor’s functions to be exercised by him personally

        1. 21.Any functions exercisable by the Mayor of London under this...

      12. Interpretation

        1. 22.In this Schedule— “ commission area ” has the same...

    4. SCHEDULE 3

      Police authorities: selection of independent members

      1. Selection panels

        1. 1.(1) There shall be a selection panel

        2. 2.A person shall be disqualified for being appointed as or...

        3. 3.(1) A person shall be appointed to hold office as...

        4. 4.A member of a selection panel may be removed from...

        5. 5.A person who ceases to be a member of a...

        6. 6.(1) The acts and proceedings of any person appointed to...

        7. 7.(1) A police authority shall make to members of the...

      2. Functions of selection panel

        1. 8.(1) Where appointments to a police authority are to be...

        2. 9.A person shall not be nominated under paragraph 8 in...

        3. 10.In exercising their functions a selection panel shall have regard...

        4. 11.(1) The Secretary of State may make regulations as to—...

      3. Secretary of State’s short-list

        1. 12.(1) Where the Secretary of State receives a notice under...

        2. 13.(1) This paragraph has effect where the number of persons...

        3. 14.The Secretary of State shall give to the designated members...

    5. SCHEDULE 4

      Form of Declaration

      1. ’I....................of....................do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will...

    6. SCHEDULE 5

      The Police Complaints Authority

      1. Constitution of Authority

        1. 1.(1) The Police Complaints Authority shall consist of a chairman...

      2. Status of Authority

        1. 2.The Authority shall not be regarded as the servant or...

      3. Members

        1. 3.(1) Subject to the following provisions of this Schedule, a...

        2. 4.The Secretary of State may pay, or make such payments...

        3. 5.Where a person ceases to hold such an office otherwise...

      4. Staff

        1. 6.The Authority may, after consultation with the Secretary of State,...

        2. 7.Where a person who is employed by the Authority and...

        3. 8.The Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 shall not require...

      5. Power of Authority to set up regional offices

        1. 9.(1) If it appears to the Authority that it is...

      6. Proceedings

        1. 10.(1) Subject to the provisions of Chapter I of Part...

        2. 11.The validity of any proceedings of the Authority shall not...

      7. Finance

        1. 12.The Secretary of State— (a) shall pay to the Authority...

        2. 13.(1) The Authority shall— (a) keep proper accounts and proper...

    7. SCHEDULE 6

      Appeals to police appeals tribunals

      1. Police appeals tribunals

        1. 1.(1) In the case of an appeal by a senior...

        2. 2.(1) In the case of an appeal by a member...

      2. Notice of appeal

        1. 3.An appeal shall be instituted by giving notice of appeal...

      3. Respondent

        1. 4.On any appeal the respondent shall be such person as...

      4. Casting vote

        1. 5.Where there is an equality of voting among the members...

      5. Hearing

        1. 6.(1) A police appeals tribunal may determine a case without...

      6. Effect of orders

        1. 7.(1) Where an appeal is allowed, the order shall take...

      7. Remuneration and expenses

        1. 8.Members of a police appeals tribunal shall be—

      8. Costs

        1. 9.(1) An appellant shall pay the whole of his own...

      9. Interpretation

        1. 10.In this Schedule— (a) “senior officer” means a member of...

    8. SCHEDULE 7

      Consequential amendments

      1. Part I References to police authorities established under section 3 of Police Act 1964

        1. 1.(1) In the provisions referred to in sub-paragraph (2), for...

      2. Part II Other consequential amendments

        1. Pedlars Act 1871 (c. 96)

          1. 2.In section 5 of the Pedlars Act 1871, in paragraph...

          2. 3.In section 8 of that Act— (a) for “police district”...

          3. 4.In section 9 of that Act for “police district”, in...

          4. 5.In section 21 of that Act for “district” there shall...

          5. 6.In Schedule 2 to that Act for “police district” in...

        2. Parks Regulation Act 1872 (c. 15)

          1. 7.In section 7 of the Parks Regulation Act 1872 for...

          2. 8.In section 8 of that Act for “of the district”...

        3. Riot (Damages) Act 1886 (c. 38)

          1. 9.In section 2(1) of the Riot (Damages) Act 1886—

          2. 10.In section 3 of that Act— (a) in subsection (1)...

          3. 11.In section 9 of that Act— (a) for “police district”...

        4. Local Government Act 1958 (c. 55)

          1. 12.In section 60(2) of the Local Government Act 1958 after...

        5. Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1967 (c. 28)

          1. 13.(1) Section 13 of the Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1967...

        6. Police (Scotland) Act 1967 (c. 77)

          1. 14.(1) Section 26 of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967 shall...

          2. 15.In section 39(4) of that Act, for “or section 141...

        7. Firearms Act 1968 (c. 27)

          1. 16.In Schedule 1 to the Firearms Act 1968, in paragraph...

        8. Police Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 (c. 9 (N.I.))

          1. 17.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

        9. Pensions (Increase) Act 1971 (c. 56)

          1. 18.(1) Schedule 2 to the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971 shall...

        10. Superannuation Act 1972 (c. 11)

          1. 19.In section 15(5)(b) of the Superannuation Act 1972 for “section...

          2. 20.Schedule 1 to that Act shall continue to have effect...

        11. Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70)

          1. 21.In section 94(5)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 for...

        12. Overseas Pensions Act 1973 (c. 21)

          1. 22.In section 2(2)(d)(i) of the Overseas Pensions Act 1973 for...

        13. Juries Act 1974 (c. 23)

          1. 23.In Schedule 1 to the Juries Act 1974, in Part...

        14. House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 24)

          1. 24.In section 1(3) of the House of Commons Disqualification Act...

        15. Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 25)

          1. 25.In section 1(2) of the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act...

        16. Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 (c. 51)

          1. 26.In Schedule 3 to the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act...

        17. Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (c. 65)

          1. 27.(1) Section 17 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 shall...

        18. Police Pensions Act 1976 (c.35)

          1. 28.Section 1(1) of the Police Pensions Act 1976 shall continue...

          2. 29.(1) Section 7(2) of that Act shall be amended as...

          3. 30.(1) Section 11 of that Act (interpretation) shall be amended...

        19. Race Relations Act 1976 (c. 74)

          1. 31.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

        20. Interpretation Act 1978 (c. 30)

          1. 32.In Schedule 1 to the Interpretation Act 1978 (words and...

        21. Finance Act 1981 (c. 35)

          1. 33.In section 107(3)(k) of the Finance Act 1981 for “section...

        22. Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60)

          1. 34.In section 5(1) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act...

          2. 35.In section 50(2) of that Act for paragraph (a) there...

          3. 36.In section 55(14) of that Act for paragraph (a) there...

          4. 37.In section 64(6B) of that Act— (a) the definition of...

          5. 38.In section 77(3) of that Act, in the definition of...

        23. Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (c. 23)

          1. 39.In section 3(3) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985,...

        24. Housing Act 1985 (c. 68)

          1. 40.In Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1985, in paragraph...

        25. Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987 (c. 4)

          1. 41.In section 1(2)(a) of the Ministry of Defence Police Act...

        26. Football Spectators Act 1989 (c. 37)

          1. 42.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

        27. Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 (c. 31)

          1. 43.In section 22(4)(b)(i) of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act...

        28. Local Government Act 1992 (c. 19)

          1. 44.In section 17(6) of the Local Government Act 1992 for...

        29. Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992 (c. 53)

          1. 45.In section 7 of the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992,...

          2. 46.In Schedule 1 to that Act, in Part I, after...

        30. Criminal Appeal Act 1995 (c.35)

          1. 47.In section 22(2)(c) of the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 for...

    9. SCHEDULE 8

      Transitional provisions, savings etc.

      1. Part I General Provisions

        1. Continuity of the law

          1. 1.(1) The repeal (or revocation) and re-enactment of provisions in...

        2. General saving for old transitional provisions and savings

          1. 2.The repeal by this Act of any provision of Part...

          2. 3.The repeal by this Act of an enactment previously repealed...

        3. Use of existing forms, etc.

          1. 4.Any reference to an enactment repealed by this Act which...

      2. Part II Provisions relating to particular enactments

        1. Pedlars Act 1871

          1. 5.Any reference to a police district contained in—

        2. Savings relating to the Police Act 1964

          1. 6.Notwithstanding the repeal by this Act of subsection (4) of...

          2. 7.Notwithstanding the repeal by this Act of subsection (4) of...

        3. Saving for transitional provisions under the Police and Magistrates’ Courts Act 1994

          1. 8.Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph 1(4) above, any...

        4. Police areas

          1. 9.For the period beginning with the commencement of Schedule 1...

          2. 10.Notwithstanding the repeal by this Act of sections 21A and...

      3. Part III Provisions relating to complaints and discipline

        1. Modification of enactments pending commencement of new discipline procedures

          1. 11.(1) Until such day as the Secretary of State may...

        2. Modification of section 81

          1. 12.Until such day as the Lord Chancellor may appoint under...

        3. Saving for complaints procedures established for other bodies of constables

          1. 13.The coming into force of any provision of Part IV...

    10. SCHEDULE 9

      Repeals and revocations

      1. Part I Repeals: general

      2. Part II Repeals consequential on new discipline and complaints procedures

      3. Part III Revocations

    11. TABLE OF DERIVATIONS

      1. 1.Notes:

      2. 2.The following abbreviations are used in the Table:— 1964 =...

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enactedversion that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources