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Police Reform Act 2002

Paragraph 24: Action by the appropriate authority in response to an investigation report

122.This paragraph sets out the procedures (which are generally similar to those for the Commission) to be followed when a report on an investigation carried out by the appropriate authority on its own behalf or supervised by the Commission is submitted or copied to the appropriate authority. The procedures cover the handling of possible criminal offences, proposals from the appropriate authority on disciplinary or other action and advising the complainant of the outcome of the investigation.

123.Sub-paragraphs (2) to (5) cover the handling of possible criminal offences. The appropriate authority will have the responsibility for determining whether the report indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed and, if so, notifying the Director of Public Prosecutions, sending him a copy of the report and awaiting a response from him as to any action taken or not taken. In the case of a complaint, the appropriate authority will also be under a duty to advise the complainant and any other interested person as defined by section 21 of this Act of any referral to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the outcome of such a referral. The appropriate authority must keep interested persons similarly informed in the case of a recordable conduct matter.

124.Sub-paragraph (6) provides for the handling of disciplinary or other action. If the appropriate authority has determined that no criminal offence has been committed or that there had been but the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided not to bring criminal action or, if he has, the criminal action has been completed, the appropriate authority will decide what, if any, disciplinary or other action to bring. Disciplinary action refers to action that the appropriate authority may take under the existing formal discipline procedures which apply to regular police officers or under new discipline procedures for special constables or other procedures against support staff serving with the police.

125.In the case of a complaint, sub-paragraphs (7) to (10) cover information given to a complainant and interested persons as defined by section 21 on the outcome of an investigation. There will be a duty on the appropriate authority to advise the complainant and such interested persons of the findings of the report, whether the authority has determined the disciplinary or other action to bring and, if so, what that action is. The appropriate authority will also have a duty to advise the complainant and such interested persons of the complainant’s right of appeal under paragraph 25. For the purpose of providing information about the investigation, the appropriate authority will have the power to provide the complainant and such interested persons with a copy of the investigation report subject to the sensitivity test provided under section 20(6) and (7). Application of this test will exclude disclosure where it would adversely affect national security, prevention and detection of crime, prosecution or apprehension of offenders; or the public interest. It will be possible to remove any part of the report that does not pass the sensitivity test from the copy that is disclosed.

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