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Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000

Part Viii: the Police Ombudsman

78.Sections 62-65 add provisions to Part VII of the 1998 Act (Police Complaints and Disciplinary Proceedings).

Section 62: Mediation

79.This new provision enables the Ombudsman to use mediation to resolve a complaint which she does not consider to be serious and which does not indicate that a criminal offence may have been committed.

Section 63: Reports by Ombudsman to Chief Constable and Board

80.This section enables the Ombudsman to make reports to the Chief Constable and the Policing Board on matters concerning police practices and policies which the Ombudsman identifies from investigations.  The Ombudsman may conduct research to assist her reporting.

Section 64: Supply of Information

81.This amendment to the 1998 Act requires the Ombudsman to compile statistical and other general information and to supply them to the Policing Board to enable it to carry out its duty under section 3 to keep itself informed about trends and patterns in complaints.

Section 65: Limit on Complaints and References to Ombudsman

82.This section inserts additional regulation making powers in section 64 of the 1998 Act.  Regulations may be made setting limits on the initiation of investigations by the Ombudsman and precluding her from investigating complaints which more properly fall within the procedures of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Section 66: Access to Information

83.This section provides for access by the Ombudsman to information and documents where these are required for the Ombudsman’s exercise of her functions.  It would cover, for example, access to information on "notifiable memberships" under section  51.

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