With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: No. 36, in
clause 12, page 9, line 1, leave out from 'he' to end of line 2 and insert
'is of the view that the policy or practice should be considered given that a member of the Police Service acting in accordance with that policy or practice has committed a criminal offence, or is responsible for conduct that gave rise to disciplinary proceedings'.
No. 107, in
clause 12, page 9, line 1, leave out 'public interest' and insert
'interests of upholding the rule of law.'.
No. 95, in
clause 12, page 9, leave out lines 3 to 7.
No. 37, in
clause 12, page 9, line 22, at end insert—
'(6) No investigation under this section shall extend to events or incidents that occurred before the coming into force of this section.''.'.
No. 65, in
clause 12, page 10, line 2, at end insert—
'(c) information the disclosure of which would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders.'.
We have little time. I draw attention to amendment No. 36, the important one in this group. It makes a simple point. The police ombudsman's essential function is to inquire into abuses by the police of their powers and to protect people from such abuses. Issues relating to practice and policy generally may arise out of such cases; hence the Patten report's references to practice and policy. However, it would be contrary to the essential concept of the ombudsman if he were to inquire into practice and policy generally, because those are matters for the Policing Board. It is a question of demarcation—
It being Five o'clock, The Chairman proceeded, pursuant to Sessional Order D [29 October 2002] and the Order of the Committee [23 February 2003], to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at that time.
Question put, That clauses 12 to 16 stand part of the Bill:—
The Committee divided: Ayes 9, Noes 4.