New clause 1 - Discrimination in appointments

Part of Police (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 11th March 2003.

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Photo of Mr John Taylor Mr John Taylor Conservative, Solihull 3:15 pm, 11th March 2003

I wonder whether I might go into semi-constructive mode for a moment. As I understand it—the Minister will confirm it or otherwise—the 50:50 rule applies only to the recruitment of constables. Is there no scope for the Chief Constable to recruit police officers above the rank of constable from other parts of the United Kingdom, thereby obviating the rule and securing good, experienced officers to meet the deficiency? Should not such a constructive route be exploited as far as possible?