Accountability framework for NCA discussed

01 May 2015

The Director General of the NCA, Mr Keith Bristow today held the first formal meeting with Policing Board Members to discuss the oversight and accountability framework for the operation of the National Crime Agency (NCA) in Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the new oversight arrangements Board Chair Anne Connolly said:

“The Board welcomes the new oversight role in respect of NCA operations and a robust accountability framework is being finalised to provide the necessary assurances around this. Today’s meeting with the Director General provided the opportunity to discuss how the oversight arrangements will operate from 20 May 2015.

The day to day work of the NCA with the PSNI will also be governed by a series of Memorandums of Understanding, all of which will be reviewed by the Board. The Board will hold the Chief Constable accountable for the authorisation of NCA operations and a new target has been set in the 2015-16 policing plan for the efficient and effective exercise of the MOUs between the NCA and PSNI.

Officers working in the NCA will also be required to operate in accordance with the Code of Ethics currently in place for PSNI officers and the Director General is also charged, as far as is practicable, with making sure that the provisions of the Code of Ethics are reflected in the disciplinary procedures applicable to his officers. Any complaints in respect of NCA officers will be subject to investigation by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland.

In addition to the scrutiny measures agreed to provide assurance around the operation and work of the NCA in Northern Ireland, Members also want to make sure that the particular expertise and capacity that NCA will bring to policing operations here is measured and value for money achieved. Some key performance measures to assess the additional capacity, benefits and results will be set as part of the oversight arrangements.”

Given particular Board and community concerns on the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation, the Board will also be initiating a dedicated review of the policing of Child Sexual Exploitation by the PSNI and the NCA.

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For further information please contact the Policing Board's Communications Branch on 07801 738795.

Notes to Editors

  • On 3 February 2015 the Assembly consented to the making of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (National Crime Agency and Proceeds of Crime) (Northern Ireland ) Order 2015. This permitted the NCA to become fully operational in Northern Ireland.
  • The Code of Ethics sets an ethical framework for the decisions and actions taken by police officers, outlining acceptable standards and behaviours; and to ensure police officers are aware of the rights and obligations arising out of the Human Rights Act 1998. http://www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/final_code_of_ethics-2.pdf
  • Further information on the role and work of the National Crime Agency can be found at: http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/

Notes to Editors ends