Police Act 1964

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1964 c. 48


Police Act 1964

1964 CHAPTER 48

An Act to re-enact with modifications certain enactments relating to police forces in England and Wales, to amend the Police (Scotland) Act 1956, and to make further provision with respect to the police.

[10th June 1964]

Be it enacted by the Queen'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:—

I Organisation of Police Forces

Part I

Organisation of Police Forces

County, county borough and combined forces

County, county borough and combined forces

S-1 Police areas.

1 Police areas.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a police force shall be maintained for every county and county borough in England and Wales which is not comprised in the combined area constituted by an amalgamation scheme, and for every combined area constituted by such a scheme.

(2) For the purposes of this section, any detached part of a county which, immediately before the commencement of this Act, was policed by the police force of another county shall be treated as part of that other county.

(3) For the purposes of this section, any county borough the police force of which is consolidated with that of a county under a consolidation agreement shall, so long as that agreement continues in force, be treated as part of that county.

(4) For the purposes of this section, any part of a county which is for the time being comprised in the metropolitan police district shall be treated as not forming part of that county.

S-2 Police authorities for counties and county boroughs.

2 Police authorities for counties and county boroughs.

(1) The police authority for a police area consisting of a county borough shall be a committee of the council of the county or borough constituted in accordance with the provisions of this section, to be known, in the case of a county, as the police committee and, in the case of a borough, as the watch committee.

(2) The police committee for a police area consisting of a county shall consist of such number of persons as may be determined by the council of the county, and of that number—

(a ) two thirds shall be members of the council of the county appointed by that council;

(b ) one third shall be magistrates for the county appointed by the court of quarter sessions for the county.

(3) The watch committee for a police area consisting of a county borough shall consist of such number of persons as may be determined by the council of the borough, and of that number—

(a ) two thirds shall be members of the council of the borough appointed by that council;

(b ) one third shall be magistrates appointed by the magistrates for the borough from among their own number.

(4) The magistrates to be appointed members of a police committee or watch committee shall be appointed at such times, in such manner and for such term as may be prescribed by rules made by the Secretary of State; and the other members of a police committee or watch committee shall be appointed at such times, in such manner and for such term as may from time to time be determined by the council responsible for appointing them.

(5) The quorum of a police committee or watch committee shall be such as may from time to time be determined by the council of the county or county borough.

(6) Subsection (4) of section 85 of the Local Government Act 1933 (membership of committees of local authorities) shall apply to a committee appointed under this section as it applies to any committee appointed under that section, and paragraphs 1, 2 and 4 of Part V of Schedule 3 to that Act (proceedings of local authorities) shall apply to a committee appointed under this section as they apply to a local authority and as if for any reference to that Act there were substituted a reference to this Act.

(7) Any proceedings by or against a committee appointed under this section shall be brought by or against the clerk of the council or town clerk as representing that committee.

S-3 Police authorities for combined areas.

3 Police authorities for combined areas.

(1) The police authority for a combined area shall be the combined police authority constituted for the purpose in accordance with the provisions of the relevant amalgamation scheme; and every such authority shall, subject to subsection (4) of this section, be a body corporate by such name as may be prescribed by the scheme.

(2) A combined police authority shall be appointed in such manner, and shall consist of such number of persons, as may be prescribed by the amalgamation scheme; and of the number of persons so prescribed—

(a ) two thirds shall be members of the constituent councils;

(b ) one third shall be magistrates for the constituent areas.

(3) Provision may be made by an amalgamation scheme for applying, in relation to the constitution and proceedings of the combined police authority and in relation to the officers of that authority, any of the provisions of Parts II to IV of the Local Government Act 1933 subject to such modifications as may be prescribed by the scheme.

(4) If the constituent councils request that the combined police authority to be constituted by an amalgamation scheme should be a committee of one of those councils, the scheme shall constitute the combined police authority a committee of that council instead of a body corporate; and the provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to such a scheme and a combined police authority so constituted.

S-4 General functions of police authorities.

4 General functions of police authorities.

(1) It shall be the duty of the police authority for every police area for which a police force is required to be maintained by section 1 of this Act to secure the maintenance of an adequate and efficient police force for the area, and to exercise for that purpose the powers conferred on a police authority by this Act.

(2) The police authority for every such police area shall, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State and to regulations under Part II of this Act, appoint the chief constable of the police force maintained by that authority and determine the number of persons of each rank in that force which is to constitute the establishment of the force.

(3) The police authority for any such police area may, subject to the consent of the Secretary of State, provide and maintain such buildings, structures and premises, and make such alterations in any buildings, structures or premises already provided, as may be required for police purposes of the area.

(4) The police authority for any such police area may, subject to any regulations under Part II of this Act, provide and maintain such vehicles, apparatus, clothing and other equipment as may be required for police purposes of the area.

(5) A combined police authority may, if so authorised by the amalgamation scheme, make arrangements with any constituent authority for the use by the combined police authority of the services of officers of the constituent authority and the making of contracts and payments on behalf of the combined police authority by the constituent authority.

S-5 Chief constables.

5 Chief constables.

(1) The police force maintained for a police area under section 1 of this Act shall be under the direction and control of the chief constable appointed under section 4(2) of this Act.

(2) The same person may, with the consent of the police authorities concerned, be appointed chief constable of more than one police force.

(3) The Secretary of State shall not approve the appointment as first chief constable of a combined force of any person other than the chief constable of a police force which ceases to exist in consequence of the formation of the combined force unless the Secretary of State is satisfied, having regard to the size and character of the combined force and any exceptional circumstances, that some other person should be appointed.

(4) Without prejudice to any regulations under Part II of this Act or under the Police Pensions Act 1948, the police authority, acting with the approval of the Secretary of State, may call upon the chief constable to retire in the interests of efficiency.

(5) Before seeking the approval of the Secretary of State under subsection (4) of this section the police authority shall give the chief constable an opportunity to make representations and shall consider any representations so made.

(6) A chief constable who is called upon to retire as aforesaid shall retire on such date as the police authority may specify or on such earlier date as may be agreed upon between him and the police authority.

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