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Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000

Part Iv: Policing Objectives, Plans and Codes of Practice

Sections 24 and 25: The Secretary of State’s and Board’s Policing Objectives

42.These sections provide for the setting of strategic objectives for policing and the issuing of the Board’s policing plan each year.  They replace and simplify the objective setting and planning process set out in Part II of the 1998 Act.  Section 24 requires the Secretary of State to set long-term objectives for policing in Northern Ireland after consulting the Board and the Chief Constable.  Section 25 requires the Board to set objectives for policing after consulting the Chief Constable and district policing partnerships and after considering any reports by district policing partnerships or other views raised by members of the community.  The Board’s objectives must be consistent with the strategic objectives set by the Secretary of State.

Section 26: The Board’s Policing Plan

43.This section requires the Board to issue a policing plan before April each year.  The plan will be drafted by the Chief Constable and submitted to the Board for its approval and publication.  The Board may, after consulting the Chief Constable, amend the draft plan and must consult the Secretary of State before publication.

44.Subsection (2) requires that the policing plan contain an assessment of police training and education needs.  It also enables the Secretary of State to set out, in regulations, any other minimum requirements as to what the policing plan should cover such as performance targets set by the Board.  Before making these regulations the Secretary of State must consult the Board and the Chief Constable.  The Government made draft regulations available to members of the Standing Committee which considered the Bill in the House of Commons.

Section 27: Codes of Practice on Exercise of Functions

45.This section replaces, with some modifications, section 38 of the 1998 Act.  It allows the Secretary of State to issue codes of practice to the Board and, in relation to planning, efficiency, financial and other resources and support staff, to the Chief Constable.  The Secretary of State must consult the Board, Chief Constable and such other persons or bodies as the Secretary of State considers appropriate on any code and must publish it.

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