Police Act 1946

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved


Police Act, 1946.

(9 & 10 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 46.

An Act to abolish non-county boroughs as separate police areas; to provide for the amalgamation of county and county borough police areas; to provide for the purchase of land for police purposes by compulsory purchase order; to redefine the Metropolitan Police District; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[15th April 1946]

B E it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Abolition of non-county boroughs as separate police areas and amalgamation of county and county borough forces.

Abolition of non-county boroughs as separate police areas and amalgamation of county and county borough forces.

S-1 Abolition of non-county borough police forces.

1 Abolition of non-county borough police forces.

(1) On the appointed day every police area consisting of a non-county borough shall cease to be a separate police area, and every such borough, and every borough which is constituted as such after the appointed day, or, being a county borough on that day, ceases thereafter to be a county borough, shall be treated for all purposes as part of the police area of the county in which it is situated.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act with respect to chief constables, every person who, immediately before the date of transfer, was a member of the police force of a borough which ceases to be a separate police area by virtue of this section shall be transferred to and become a member of the county police force.

(3) Except as may be otherwise provided by an agreement made (whether in consideration of a payment of money or otherwise) between the council of any such borough as aforesaid and the standing joint committee acting with the concurrence of the council of the county,—

(a ) all officers who, immediately before the date of transfer, were employed by the council of the borough solely or mainly for the purposes of the exercise by that council, or by the watch committee of the borough, of any police functions shall be transferred to and become officers of the council of the county and shall hold office by the same tenure and on the same conditions as immediately before that date, and, while performing similar duties shall, in respect thereof, receive not less salary or remuneration than the salary or remuneration to which they would have been entitled if they had not been transferred; and

(b ) all property which immediately before the date of transfer was held by the council of the borough solely or mainly for police purposes, and all rights and liabilities, whether vested or contingent, to which any such council were entitled or subject immediately before that date by reason of the exercise of any of their police functions, shall be transferred by virtue of this section to the council of the county.

(4) As from the appointed day, Part IX of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882 (which relates to borough police forces), except section one hundred and ninety of that Act (which provides for the appointment of a watch committee), shall cease to have effect except as respects county boroughs, and references to boroughs in any other enactment relating to county or borough police forces shall be construed as not including references to non-county boroughs.

S-2 Adjustment of rates in consequence of abolition of non-county borough police forces.

2 Adjustment of rates in consequence of abolition of non-county borough police forces.

2. Where the Secretary of State is satisfied that the amount of the rate required to be raised by the council of a non-county borough will be substantially increased by reason of the inclusion of the borough in the county police area under the provisions of this Act, he may by order direct that the provisions of the First Schedule to this Act shall apply in relation to the county in which the borough is comprised, and those provisions shall apply accordingly.

S-3 Voluntary schemes for the amalgamation of county and county borough police forces.

3 Voluntary schemes for the amalgamation of county and county borough police forces.

(1) If it appears to the police authorities for any two or more police areas being counties or county boroughs that it is expedient that those areas should be amalgamated for police purposes, they may for that purpose submit to the Secretary of State a scheme (hereinafter referred to as an ‘amalgamation scheme’) and the Secretary of State may by order approve any scheme so submitted to him.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, an amalgamation scheme shall make provision with respect to the following matters, that is to say:—

(a ) the establishment of a combined force for the combined area, the transfer to that force of members of the constituent forces, and the appointment as first chief constable of the combined force of such person as may be specified in the scheme;

(b ) the maintenance of the combined force by a combined police authority constituted in accordance with the provisions of the scheme, and the transfer to that authority of the police functions of the constituent authorities;

(c ) the payment of the expenses of the combined force and of the combined police authority out of a combined police fund constituted in accordance with the provisions of the scheme;

(d ) the payment into the combined police fund, out of the local funds of the constituent areas, of contributions assessed in accordance with the provisions of the scheme in respect of liabilities imposed on that fund by or under the scheme;

(e ) the transfer to the combined police authority of such property, rights and liabilities of the constituent authorities (being property, rights and liabilities held or incurred for police purposes) as may be determined by or under the scheme, or the use by the combined police authority of any such property;

(f ) the appointment of officers of the combined police authority (including a clerk of that authority and a treasurer of the combined police fund) and the transfer to the combined police authority of such officers of the constituent authorities as may be determined by or under the scheme;

(g ) the delegation to any constituent authority of any functions of the combined police authority under section five of the Police, Factories, &c. (Miscellaneous Provisions), Act, 1916 , or under the House to House Collections Act, 1939 ,

and may provide for any other matters incidental to or consequential on the provisions of the scheme.

(3) The provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act shall have effect for the purpose of adapting the enactments relating to police in their application to the combined area constituted by an amalgamation scheme, and to the combined force and combined police authority for that area; and the constituent areas combined by such a scheme shall cease for all purposes to be separate police areas.

(4) In relation to a borough comprised in a county to which an amalgamation scheme applies, the foregoing provisions of this Act shall have effect as if for references therein to the police area of the county, the county police force and the council of the county there were substituted respectively references to the combined area constituted by the scheme, the combined force and the combined police authority, and as if in subsection (3) of section one of this Act the words ‘the standing joint committee acting with the concurrence of’ were omitted.

(5) In this Act the expression ‘county scheme’ means—

(a ) an amalgamation scheme which relates to counties only; and

(b ) an amalgamation scheme which relates to one or more counties and to one or more county boroughs if, on the date on which the scheme comes into operation, the population or aggregate population of the county or counties, as estimated by the Registrar General, exceeds the population or aggregate population of the county borough or county boroughs, as so estimated;

and the expression ‘borough scheme’ means an amalgamation scheme not being a county scheme.

S-4 Power of Secretary of State to make amalgamation schemes.

4 Power of Secretary of State to make amalgamation schemes.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, if it appears to the Secretary of State that it is expedient in the interests of efficiency that an amalgamation scheme should be made for any such police areas as aforesaid, and no scheme satisfactory to him has been submitted to him by the police authorities for those areas under the last foregoing section, the Secretary of State may for that purpose by order make such scheme as he considers expedient, and the provisions of the last foregoing section shall apply in relation to any such scheme as they apply in relation to schemes made under that section:

Provided that where the population of a county or county borough, as estimated by the Registrar General, is one hundred thousand or upwards, then except with the consent of the council of the county or borough, no scheme shall be made by the Secretary of State under this section for the amalgamation of the county or borough with any police area or areas of which the population or aggregate population, as so estimated, exceeds that of the county or borough.

(2) Where the Secretary of State proposes to make a scheme under this section, he shall give to the police authorities concerned notice of the general nature of the proposed scheme; and unless those authorities give notice to the Secretary of State that they assent thereto, the Secretary of State shall cause a local inquiry to be held by a person appointed by him (not being an officer of police or of any government department), and the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of section two hundred and ninety of the Local Government Act, 1933 , shall...

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