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Police Reform Act 2002

Section 103: Liability in respect of members of teams

517.The purpose of this section is to provide a legal basis for civil liabilities arising from operations of joint investigation teams involving police officers from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and law enforcement officers from abroad. The United Kingdom is obliged, if it agrees to the setting up of such teams through its participation in international agreements such as the Convention of 29 May 2000 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union, to provide arrangements for the satisfaction of civil claims that may arise from actions of team members when they are not operating in their own country. These arrangements are intended to provide a firmer legal basis for the setting up of such teams which are important in strengthening police co-operation between participating countries by allowing for the speedier and more effective sharing of information and expertise across national boundaries in combating the common threat from serious and organised crime.

518.Subsection (1) inserts new subsections (6), (7) and (8) into section 88 of the 1996 Act to extend the liabilities of chief officers of police by providing that they shall be liable for any unlawful conduct of members of international joint investigation teams formed in accordance with the specified international agreements. The specified agreements may be added to by an order made by the Secretary of State, subject to the negative resolution procedure.

519.Subsections (2) , (3) , (4) and (5) similarly extend the liabilities of the Directors General of the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the National Crime Squad, Scottish chief constables and the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland respectively. Subsection (2) inserts new subsections (5A), (5B) and (5C) into section 42 of the Police Act 1997. Subsection (3) inserts new subsections (6), (7) and (8) into section 86 of the Police Act 1997. Subsection (4) inserts new subsections (5), (6) and (7) into section 39 of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967. Subsection (5) inserts new subsections (6), (7) and (8) into section 29 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998.

520.Subsections (6) and (7) oblige the Secretary of State to pass on any sums received by him by way of reimbursement to a police fund (etc.) which has paid out sums in settlement of a claim in respect of the conduct of a member of an international investigation team to that fund.

521.In as far as this section amends the Police (Scotland) Act 1967, it comes into force on the days that Scottish Ministers will specify by order (see section 108(5)).

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