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Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000

Sections 36, 37 and 39-41: Appointment and promotion of police officers

53.These sections make provision for the appointment of police officers below the rank of Assistant Chief Constable.  The Chief Constable will continue to appoint and promote all such police officers (section 36) and reserve officers (section 37) in accordance with any regulations made by the Secretary of State.  Sections 39, 40 and 41 deal with a new category of “trainee” police officers.  The creation of trainees is a consequence of the Patten Report’s recommendation that recruits to the police should be attested as constables – and so acquire the powers of a constable – only upon successful completion of their recruit training.  Under previous legislation (section 24 of the 1998 Act) recruits became constables immediately upon appointment before they had undertaken any training as a police officer.  Subsection (3) of section 36 requires that no one may be appointed as a constable unless they have completed recruit training.  A similar requirement is made in respect of reserve officers under section 37.  Section 41 applies to trainee officers certain provisions which relate to police officers, such as the Chief Constable’s liability for wrongful acts and the prohibition on membership of trade unions, to trainee officer.  It also enables the Secretary of State to make regulations for the terms and conditions of trainee officers.

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