20 Recommendations for Police Service NI from Northern Ireland Policing Board Human Rights Annual Report 2020/21

Doug Garrett

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has published its Human Rights Annual Report 2020/21.

The Report, produced by the Board’s Independent Human Rights Advisor John Wadham, provides an account of the performance of PSNI in compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 as well as the monitoring work undertaken by the Board during the year.

As well as highlighting areas of good practice by PSNI, the report makes 20 recommendations for PSNI for improvement across both operations and policy. The PSNI response to these recommendations, as well as any implementation, will be monitored on an ongoing basis through the Board’s Performance Committee in line with its Human Rights Monitoring Framework.

Speaking about the Report Publication, Board Chair Doug Garrett :

“A rights-based approach to policing protects the public and officers alike, and our Human Rights Annual Reports and the recommendations within them help to ensure both knowledge of and respect for the impact human rights legislation has on policing exists within PSNI, the Board, and the public.

The scope of work undertaken by the Board and our Human Rights Advisor, John Wadham, highlights the importance placed on keeping a Human Rights impacts under review, as well as reacting and responding to new and emerging issues as they affect policing and the community.

The 20 recommendations contained within the 2020/21 Human Rights Annual Report emerge from review of policing issues and areas that affect everyone in Northern Ireland including the policing of Covid-19, legacy, stop and search, facial recognition, use of force and intelligence gathering. The implementation of these recommendations is key to maintaining public confidence in the PSNI, which is in turn paramount to securing its legitimacy.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Acting Assistant Chief Constable for Community Safety, Melanie Jones, said:

“A policing approach with human rights at its heart was a cornerstone of the Patten Commission Report which led to the establishment of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. As we marked 20 year since the establishment of the Police Service last month, our commitment to embedding human rights into everything we do remains our central mission.

Over the past two decades, we have made significant progress through implementation of hundreds of recommendations from previous reports which demonstrates our commitment to learning and improving. But we know there is more we can do and we welcome the constructive challenge this Human Rights Annual Report brings as to how we can continue to make further progress in the future.

We are committed to deliver the visible, accessible and responsive policing service to all communities across Northern Ireland.”


Notes to editors

  1. Under Section 3(3)(b)(ii) of the Police (NI) Act 2000, the Northern Ireland Policing Board has a statutory duty to monitor the performance of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in complying with the Human Rights Act 1998.
  2. The Board’s Human Rights Monitoring Framework can be found here: /publication/human-rights-monitoring-framework
  3. A copy of the Report can be found in the Board’s Publications Section