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Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000

Schedule 3: District Policing Partnerships

104.This Schedule sets out how a district policing partnership is to be established and the arrangements for its proceedings.

105.Paragraph 2 concerns the size and composition of a district policing partnership (15, 17 or 19 members).  It also provides that, in all cases, the number of political (council) members shall be one more than the number of independent members.

106.Paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 set out the arrangements for political and independent members to be appointed, when they will cease to hold office, appointments to fill casual vacancies and eligibility for re-appointment.  The district council is obliged to ensure that the political membership of a partnership reflects the balance of parties prevailing among the members of the council immediately after the last local general election.

107.Paragraph 5 requires the district council to nominate candidates for appointment as independent members by the Policing Board.

108.Paragraph 6 enables the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Policing Board, district councils and the Equality Commission to issue a code of practice to the councils and the Board on the appointment of independent members to the district policing partnerships.  This code will set out best practice to be followed in the appointment process.

109.Paragraph 7 sets out the circumstances in which members of the district policing partnership can be removed by the Board, or by the council with the approval of the Board:  for instance, if convicted of a criminal offence.  Paragraph 8 sets out the circumstances in which persons are disqualified from membership of a district policing partnership.  These include conviction for any offence leading to a term of imprisonment (whether suspended or not).

110.Paragraph 9 provides for the appointment of a chairman and vice-chairman of a district policing partnership from the political members.  As recommended by the Patten report, the positions must, so far as practicable, be held by members of different political parties and the office of chairman is to be held in turn by each of the four largest parties on the council.

111.Paragraph 11 requires the Policing Board to make a grant to the district councils amounting to three-quarters of the reasonable costs of establishing, and carrying out the functions of, a district policing partnership.  The remaining quarter of the costs is to be met by the district councils.

112.Paragraph 16 enables the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Policing Board and the councils affected, to provide, by order, that two or more councils can establish a joint district policing partnership for their districts.

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