Police Act 1996

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1996 c. 16


Police Act 1996

1996 CHAPTER 16

An Act to consolidate the Police Act 1964, Part IX of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Chapter I of Part I of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994 and certain other enactments relating to the police.

[22nd May 1996]

B e 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

Police areas

Police areas

S-1 Police areas.

1 Police areas.

(1) England and Wales shall be divided into police areas.

(2) The police areas referred to in subsection (1) shall be—

(a) those listed in Schedule 1 (subject to any amendment made to that Schedule by an order under section 32 below, section 58 of the Local Government Act 1972 , or section 17 of the Local Government Act 1992 ),

(b) the metropolitan police district, and

(c) the City of London police area.

(3) References in Schedule 1 to any local government area are to that area as it is for the time being, but excluding any part of it within the metropolitan police district.

Forces outside London

Forces outside London

S-2 Maintenance of police forces.

2 Maintenance of police forces.

A police force shall be maintained for every police area for the time being listed in Schedule 1.

S-3 Establishment of police authorities.

3 Establishment of police authorities.

(1) There shall be a police authority for every police area for the time being listed in Schedule 1.

(2) A police authority established under this section for any area shall be a body corporate to be known by the name of the area with the addition of the words ‘Police Authority’.

S-4 Membership of police authorities etc.

4 Membership of police authorities etc.

(1) Subject to subsection (2), each police authority established under section 3 shall consist of seventeen members.

(2) The Secretary of State may by order provide in relation to a police authority specified in the order that the number of its members shall be a specified odd number greater than seventeen.

(3) A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (2) shall be laid before Parliament after being made.

(4) Schedules 2 and 3 shall have effect in relation to police authorities established under section 3 and the appointment of their members.

S-5 Reductions in size of police authorities.

5 Reductions in size of police authorities.

(1) This section applies to any order under section 4(2) which varies or revokes an earlier order so as to reduce the number of a police authority's members.

(2) Before making an order to which this section applies, the Secretary of State shall consult—

(a) the authority,

(b) the councils which are relevant councils in relation to the authority for the purposes of Schedule 2, and

(c) any selection panel, constituted under regulations made in accordance with section 21(1A) of the Justices of the Peace Act 1979 , which is responsible, or is represented on a joint committee which is responsible, for the appointment of members of the authority.

(3) An order to which this section applies may include provision as to the termination of the appointment of the existing members of the authority and the making of new appointments or re-appointments.

S-6 General functions of police authorities.

6 General functions of police authorities.

(1) Every police authority established under section 3 shall secure the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force for its area.

(2) In discharging its functions, every police authority established under section 3 shall have regard to—

(a) any objectives determined by the Secretary of State under section 37,

(b) any objectives determined by the authority under section 7,

(c) any performance targets established by the authority, whether in compliance with a direction under section 38 or otherwise, and

(d) any local policing plan issued by the authority under section 8.

(3) In discharging any function to which a code of practice issued under section 39 relates, a police authority established under section 3 shall have regard to the code.

(4) A police authority shall comply with any direction given to it by the Secretary of State under section 38 or 40.

S-7 Local policing objectives.

7 Local policing objectives.

(1) Every police authority established under section 3 shall, before the beginning of each financial year, determine objectives for the policing of the authority's area during that year.

(2) Objectives determined under this section may relate to matters to which objectives determined under section 37 also relate, or to other matters, but in any event shall be so framed as to be consistent with the objectives determined under that section.

(3) Before determining objectives under this section, a police authority shall—

(a) consult the chief constable for the area, and

(b) consider any views obtained by the authority in accordance with arrangements made under section 96.

S-8 Local policing plans.

8 Local policing plans.

(1) Every police authority established under section 3 shall, before the beginning of each financial year, issue a plan setting out the proposed arrangements for the policing of the authority's area during the year (the local policing plan).

(2) The local policing plan shall include a statement of the authority's priorities for the year, of the financial resources expected to be available and of the proposed allocation of those resources, and shall give particulars of—

(a) any objectives determined by the Secretary of State under section 37,

(b) any objectives determined by the authority under section 7, and

(c) any performance targets established by the authority, whether in compliance with a direction under section 38 or otherwise.

(3) A draft of the local policing plan shall be prepared by the chief constable for the area and submitted by him to the police authority for it to consider.

(4) Before issuing a local policing plan which differs from the draft submitted by the chief constable under subsection (3), a police authority shall consult the chief constable.

(5) A police authority shall arrange for every local policing plan issued by it under this section to be published in such manner as appears to it to be appropriate, and shall send a copy of the plan to the Secretary of State.

S-9 Annual reports by police authorities.

9 Annual reports by police authorities.

(1) As soon as possible after the end of each financial year every police authority established under section 3 shall issue a report relating to the policing of the authority's area for the year.

(2) A report issued by a police authority under this section for any year shall include an assessment of the extent to which the local policing plan for that year issued under section 8 has been carried out.

(3) A police authority shall arrange for every report issued by it under this section to be published in such manner as appears to it to be appropriate, and shall send a copy of the report to the Secretary of State.

S-10 General functions of chief constables.

10 General functions of chief constables.

(1) A police...

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