Creating a fairer Britain
Title of guidance:
Year published: 2008
Length: 40 pages
Format: PDF (299Kb)
Other formats: alternative formats such as large print, CD, audio cassette and in minority languages available on request - phone: 028 9040 8500 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Producer/ Publisher: NIPB
Type of organisation: Inspectorate
Policing | Criminal justice, courts and prisons | Immigration and asylum | Inspection and regulation | Commissioning or procurement | In-house Service Guidance | Human Rights Act | European Convention on Human Rights | Northern Ireland Act 1998 | Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 | Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 | GB wide (Northern Ireland)
Audience: Senior executive | Service management | Corportate management | Human resources | Front-line service personnel | Elected councillors, board members, trustees | Policy managers and directors | Legal directors | Finance directors
Topics: Human rights | equality | proportionality | dignity | privacy | security | torture / inhuman or degrading treatment
Superseding an earlier version published in 2003, this document sets out the disciplinary code for all police officers in Northern Ireland (within the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)). It was drafted in the light of a review carried out by the Northern Ireland Policing Board, PSNI and both organisations' human rights advisors.
As a benchmark of ethical standards, it lays down standards of conduct and practice for police officers and is intended to make them aware of their obligations under the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights. It sets out a series of broad duties, referenced directly to relevant provisions of both national and international law, and, in some cases, to specific judgments.
The ethical standards are divided into ten articles (together with explanatory notes), covering: professional duty; police investigations; privacy and confidentiality; use of force; detained persons; equality; integrity; property; fitness for duty; and duty of supervisors. A breach of the standards is a disciplinary offence and could lead to dismissal.
The code takes account of certain issues that are unique to Northern Ireland (such as the Police Service attestation).
The introduction of a code of ethics for the police in Northern Ireland was a recommendation of the Patten Report (Report of the Independent Commission on Policing, 1999), which stated that '...to focus policing in Northern Ireland on a human rights-based approach...It is more a matter of the philosophy of policing, and should inspire everything that a police service does'.
The Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) has a statutory duty to monitor the compliance of the PSNI with the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998.
The NIPB's human rights advisors, Keir Starmer QC and Jane Gordon, provided advice as to how the code is explained to officers and their supervisors, how officers are trained and how breaches of the code are investigated.
The report states that public confidence in the Police Service is closely related to the attitude and behaviour of officers towards members of the public, in particular their respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.
Police officers also have the same right to respect for their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
As noted above, the code takes account of certain issues that are unique to Northern Ireland (e.g. the Police Service attestation).
Also refers to other international standards:
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