Police (Northern Ireland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 8th November 2000.

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Photo of Lord Molyneaux of Killead Lord Molyneaux of Killead Crossbench 10:00 pm, 8th November 2000

My Lords, before the noble Baroness sits down, perhaps she can take into account in preparing the letter to my noble friend that this ombudsman--I am not certain whether we are being politically correct and should refer to ombudsperson--referred to in the legislation is not someone who is isolated like a High Court judge. She--she happens to be an ombudswoman--is already inserting herself into various groupings and committees and sitting in on discussions. The experience and wealth of knowledge that she will acquire in those fields could be of enormous help to the police authority and to the chief constable. We are not talking of classified and confidential information which she will acquire in the way that a normal ombudsman does; it is because she is--I think wisely--involving herself in all manner of discussion groups, in bodies and so forth, that I think she could be a great source of assistance to the bodies we have mentioned.