Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

Session 2003-2004

22 July 2004


The Functions of the Northern Ireland Policing Board

The Committee has decided to conduct an inquiry into The Functions of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

It will wish to look into the following:

• progress towards developing the Board’s role since it was set up in November 2001;

• the performance of the Board in respect of its general functions (see below); and

• the efficiency and effectiveness of the structure, administration and expenditure of the Board, including its performance against key indicators and targets.

The Committee may also choose to examine associated issues which arise in the course of the inquiry.

The Committee wishes to invite any individual or organisation with an interest in this matter to submit written evidence.  This should be addressed to the Clerk of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, 7 Millbank, House of Commons, London SW1P 3JA and should arrive no later than 10.00 am on 30 September 2004.

Individuals or organisations are requested to submit memoranda (guideline length up to six A4 pages) in a Word file on computer disk or by e-mail to with a single additional hard copy in the post; those without access to a computer are respectfully requested to take particular care that submissions are legible. Memoranda submitted to the Committee should be kept confidential until published by the Committee.


The general functions of the Northern Ireland Policing Board are set out in section 3 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 as follows:

• To ensure that the police service is efficient and effective;

• To hold the Chief Constable to account for all his actions and those of his staff;

• To monitor police effectiveness in tackling crime;

• To monitor the performance of the police in carrying out their general duties, in complying with the Human Rights Act 1998 and in carrying out the policing plan;

• To keep itself informed of trends and patterns in police complaints, crimes committed in Northern Ireland and recruitment to the police service and the extent to which membership of the police service is representative of the community in Northern Ireland;

• To assess the level of public satisfaction with the performance of the police and the District Policing Partnerships (DPPs);

• To assess the effectiveness of the DPPs in performing their functions and the effectiveness of measures to ensure that membership of the police is representative of the community in Northern Ireland; and

• To assess the effectiveness of the code of ethics developed by the Board for police officers.

 [The Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000]