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Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012

Chapter 8 – Governance and Administration of Police

56.This Chapter gives the Scottish Ministers powers to make regulations for the governance, administration and conditions of service of constables and police cadets. It then sets out in more detail the areas in which regulations can be made. These provisions largely replicate the regulation making powers in the 1967 Act but have been re-ordered and provide more detail than that Act does on the areas that regulations may cover.

57.Section 48 sets out that the Scottish Ministers must make regulations covering the governance, administration and conditions of service of constables and police cadets. Sections 4953 set out in more detail what these regulations may cover. Section 49 provides that regulations may be made for appointment and promotions, including the eligibility and procedure for appointment and for promotion; periods of service on probation; the efficiency and effectiveness of constables and cadets; restrictions on their private lives or business interests; and resignation and retirement. Regulations may provide for appointing senior officers (i.e. at the rank of assistant chief constable or above) for fixed terms, but cannot provide for fixed term appointment to any lower rank.

58.Section 50 provides that regulations may be made which relate to conditions of service including: pay, allowances and expenses; public holidays and leave; the supply and return of police clothing and equipment; and, the remuneration of special constables. Such regulations may make retrospective provision about pay and allowances but cannot retrospectively reduce any pay or allowance payable to or in respect of any person. Under section 51, regulations may be made in relation to officer duties, including provisions about what duties are or are not to be carried out by constables or police cadets, hours of duty and the treatment as police duty of time spent attending meetings of police representative bodies.

59.Section 52 provides that regulations must establish or provide for the establishment of procedures for handling unsatisfactory performance or behaviour. The regulations can set out standards of performance and behaviour which, if breached, might be treated as misconduct or unsatisfactory performance, as well as any other circumstances in which a constable’s behaviour or performance may be treated in this way. Regulations may permit constables to be suspended from duty pending an investigation into alleged misconduct (and when suspended a constable is not permitted to carry out any police functions). The regulations may also provide for how misconduct or unsatisfactory behaviour or performance are to be dealt with, including (but not limited to) admonition, formal warning, dismissal or demotion in rank. Functions may be conferred on the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner in relation to misconduct. The regulations must provide for the SPA to determine cases which relate to standards of behaviour or performance of a senior officer.

60.Section 53 provides that the regulations may also make provision for the compilation and retention of personal records about constables and police cadets and the taking of, retention, use and destruction of fingerprints and samples from such officers.

61.Under section 54, the Scottish Ministers must, before making regulations under section 48, consult, share a draft with, and consider representations from: the joint central committee of the Police Federation for Scotland; any bodies representing senior officers; any bodies representing superintendents; the chief constable; the SPA; and others as they see fit. When making regulations about any matter (other than pensions) contained in Section 61(1) of the Police Act 1996, which deals with the areas to be considered by the Police Negotiating Board for the UK (PNB), the draft must also be shared with the PNB.

62.Section 55 allows for regulations made under section 48 to provide for delegation of functions to the Scottish Ministers, the SPA, the chief constable, a local commander, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner or any other person and to authorise or allow any persons to delegate functions.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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