Keeping Human Rights at the centre of policing

20 February 2015

The Policing Board has published its 10th Human Rights Annual Report which examines how well the PSNI have met their duties and responsibilities in line with the Human Rights Act 1998.

Speaking about the Report, Policing Board Vice Chair Stuart MacDonnell said: “Human rights in policing is a key element in delivering and building public confidence in the service.

Since the first report was published 10 years ago, the PSNI has implemented 210 recommendations made by the Board which have improved how the police meet their human rights responsibilities in areas such as public order, engagement with young people and use of force.

The Board

’s oversight and scrutiny of how well the PSNI comply with the Human Rights Act makes sure that rights of the public and police officers are protected and that the service to the community meets the highest standards.”

The Board’s Performance Committee is responsible for taking forward the Board’s Human Rights oversight work. Its Chair Jonathan Craig MLA said:

“This Report details the human rights monitoring work that has been carried out by the Board and the Performance Committee during 2014 and it makes 9 new recommendations for the PSNI relating to training; policy; complaints; child sexual exploitation; the service of non-molestation orders and occupation orders; disability hate crime; terrorism detainees; healthcare within custody; and Youth Engagement Clinics.

The Report also records that 14 recommendations from previous years have been implemented during 2014. In implementing these recommendations, PSNI reported to the Board throughout the year on a range of matters including training on youth issues; training for civilian staff; a test purchasing of alcohol scheme; oppressive behaviour complaints; the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act; and healthcare in police custody. This adds to PSNI’s already impressive implementation record and the Committee looks forward to working with the Chief Constable and his colleagues in the coming year to progress the 9 new recommendations.”

Speaking about the Human Rights Annual Report Chief Constable George Hamilton said:

“I welcome today’s report and the recommendations within it. Human rights and accountability are the fundamental building block for effective policing and community confidence.

“PSNI officers take the issue of Human rights extremely seriously and understand that to get it right requires us to be accountable; transparent and open to learning. The scrutiny provided by the Human Rights Annual Report is unique; and policing in Northern Ireland is better for it. Over the past ten years, we have implemented 210 recommendations made within previous reports.

“We will continue to work with key stakeholders in reviewing and refreshing our approach to human rights.”

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For further information please contact the Northern Ireland Policing Board on 07801 738795.

Notes to Editors

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.
The Human Rights Annual Report 2014 has been produced by the Policing Board’s Human Rights Advisor, Alyson Kilpatrick BL, on behalf of the Policing Board’s Performance Committee, and outlines the human rights monitoring work carried out during 2014.
Copies of the report and summary report are available from the Board’s website at: www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/index/publications/human-rights-publications.htm
You can view footage from the event on the Board’s youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/nipolicingboard. Tweet questions and comments @nipolicingboard #nipblive.

Notes to Editors ends