Ireland Advocatetanmoy


Introductory Text

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]

Be 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:—

Part I Organisation of Police Forces

Police areas

1. Police areas.

Forces outside London

2. Maintenance of police forces.

3. Establishment of police authorities.

4. Membership of police authorities etc.

5. Reductions in size of police authorities.

The metropolitan police force

5A. Maintenance of the metropolitan police force.

5B. Establishment of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

5C. Membership etc of the Metropolitan Police Authority.

The metropolitan police and forces outside London

6. General functions of police authorities.

6A. Three-year strategy plans

7. Local policing objectives.

8. Local policing plans.

9. Annual reports by police authorities.

9A. General functions of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

9B. Appointment of Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

9C. Functions of Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

9D. Appointment of Deputy Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

9E. Removal of Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner.

9F. Assistant Commissioners of Police of the Metropolis.

9FA. Appointment and removal of Deputy Assistant Commissioners

9G. Commanders.

9H. Other members of the metropolitan police force.

10. General functions of chief constables.

11. Appointment and removal of chief constables.

11A. Appointment and removal of deputy chief constables

12. Assistant chief constables.

12A. Power of deputy to exercise functions of chief constable

13. Other members of police forces.

14. Police fund.

15. Civilian employees.

16. Appointment of clerk.

17. Appointment of persons not employed by police authorities.

18. Supply of goods and services.

19. Approval of decisions about precepts.

20. Questions on police matters at council meetings.

20A. Questions on metropolitan police matters at London Assembly meetings.

21. Application of certain provisions to police authorities.

General provisions

22. Reports by chief constables to police authorities.

23. Collaboration agreements.

24. Aid of one police force by another.

25. Provision of special services.

26. Provision of advice and assistance to international organisations etc.

27. Special constables.

28. Police cadets.

29. Attestation of constables.

30. Jurisdiction of constables.

31. Rewards for diligence.

Alteration of police areas

32. Power to alter police areas by order.

33. Objections to alterations proposed by Secretary of State.

34. Orders altering police areas: supplementary provisions.


35. The Scilly Isles.

Part II Central Supervision, Direction and Facilities

Functions Functionary of State

36. General duty of Secretary of State.

36A. National Policing Plan

37. Setting of objectives for police authorities.

38. Setting of performance targets.

39. Codes of practice.

39A. Codes of practice for chief officers

40. Power to give directions to a police authority

41. Directions as to minimum budget.

41A. Power to give directions as to action plans

41B. Procedure for directions under section 41A

42. Removal of chief constables, etc.

42A. Procedure in relation to removal of senior officers

43. Reports from police authorities.

44. Reports from chief constables.

45. Criminal statistics.

46. Police grant.

47. Grants for capital expenditure.

48. Grants for expenditure on safeguarding national security.

49. Local inquiries.

50. Regulations for police forces.

51. Regulations for special constables.

52. Regulations for police cadets.

53. Regulations as to standard of equipment.

53A. Regulation of procedures and practices

Inspectors of constabulary

54. Appointment and functions of inspectors of constabulary.

55. Publication of reports.

56. Assistant inspectors and staff officers.

Central services

57. Common services.

58. Research.

Part III Police Representative Institutions

59. Police Federations.

60. Regulations for Police Federations.

61. The Police Negotiating Board for the United Kingdom.

62. Functions of the Board with respect to regulations.

63. Police Advisory Boards for England and Wales and for Scotland.

64. Membership of trade unions.

Part IV  Complaints, disciplinary proceedings etc.

Chapter I Complaints


65.Interpretation of Chapter I.

The Police Complaints Authority

66.The Police Complaints Authority.

Handling of Complaints etc.


68.Investigation of complaints: senior officers.

69.Investigation of complaints: standard procedure.

70.References of complaints to Authority.

71.References of other matters to Authority.

72. Supervision of investigations by Authority.

73.Reports on investigations etc.

74. Steps to be taken after investigation: senior officers.

75.Steps to be taken after investigation: standard procedure.

76.Powers of Authority as to disciplinary proceedings.

77.Information as to the manner of dealing with complaints etc.

78.Constabularies maintained by authorities other than police authorities.


80.Restriction on disclosure of information.


82.Regulations – supplementary.

83.Guidance concerning complaints etc.

Chapter II Disciplinary and other proceedings

84. Representation at disciplinary and other proceedings.

85. Appeals against dismissal etc.

86. Admissibility of statements in subsequent proceedings.

87. Guidance concerning disciplinary proceedings etc.

88. Liability for wrongful acts of constables.

Part V Miscellaneous and General


89. Assaults on constables.

90. Impersonation, etc.

91. Causing disaffection.

Miscellaneous financial provisions

92. Grants by local authorities.

93. Acceptance of gifts and loans.

94. Financing of new police authorities.

95.The City of London police Fund.


96. Arrangements for obtaining the views of the community on policing.

96A. National and international functions of the metropolitan police.

96B. National and international functions: application of requirements relating to reports etc.

97. Police officers engaged on service outside their force.

98. Cross-border aid of one police force by another.

99. Jurisdiction of metropolitan police officers.

100. Chief constables affected by police area alterations or local government reorganisations.


101. Interpretation.

102. Orders, rules and regulations.

103. Consequential amendments, transitional provisions, repeals, etc.

104. Commencement.

105. Extent.

106. Short title.


SCHEDULE 1 Police areas
SCHEDULE 2 Police authorities established under section 3
Schedule 2A The Metropolitan Police Authority
SCHEDULE 3 Police authorities: selection of independent members
SCHEDULE 4 Form of Declaration
SCHEDULE 5 The Police Complaints Authority
SCHEDULE 6 Appeals to police appeals tribunals
SCHEDULE 7 Consequential amendments
SCHEDULE 8 Transitional provisions, savings etc.
SCHEDULE 9 Repeals and revocations