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Police Reform Act 2002

Section 32: Suspension of senior officers

173.This section introduces a new power for police authorities, on their own initiative or when required to do so by the Secretary of State (for the latter of which, see also section 33), to suspend chief officers who are or may be called on to retire or resign in the interests of the efficiency and effectiveness of their force. As a safeguard against arbitrary or unfair use by the police authority, the approval of the Secretary of State is required.

174.Subsection (1) gives the suspension power to the Metropolitan Police Authority in respect of the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. It does this by inserting a new subsection (2A) in section 9E of the 1996 Act: that section contains the powers to call on the Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner to retire.

175.Subsection (2) introduces the suspension power for police authorities outside London in respect of chief constables in their forces. In those cases, the subsection inserts a parallel new subsection (3A) in section 11 of the 1996 Act.

176.Subsections (3), (4) and (5) make equivalent provision for suspension of Assistant Commissioners, Deputy Assistant Commissioners and Commanders in the Metropolitan Police, and deputy chief constables and assistant chief constables for forces outside London, with the difference that the Secretary of State will not be able require the police authority to exercise its power to suspend these ranks.

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