Review of the Human Rights of Police Officers and Staff Published

Board Chair at Desk

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has published the findings of a review conducted into the Human Rights of Police Officers and Staff.  The first of its kind by the Board, the review examines the following six key themes and makes a number of recommendations:

  • The Right to Life/Protection from Harm;
  • Prohibition of Ill-Treatment;
  • Right to Fair Trial, Due Process/Minimise Delay;
  • The Right to Privacy;
  • Freedom of Expression/Association; and
  • Freedom from Discrimination.

Speaking about the review and recommendations made Policing Board Chair Deirdre Toner said:

“This Report, focussing on officers and staff, sets out nine recommendations with the view of improving Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) compliance with international human rights standards regarding those working within policing.

There are some complexities that apply to particular issues given the legislative powers and duties conferred on police officers. However, police officers and staff do have the same right as anyone else to respect for human rights and fundamental freedom, and to work in an environment free of harassment or discrimination in any form.

Throughout this report, the welfare of officers and staff has been an important element of this analysis as it is crucial that our officers and staff feel supported and recognised for the difficult role they do.

The increasing number of assaults on police and emergency staff is of concern, and it is questionable whether the current legislation regarding penalties for attacks and assaults properly reflects the risks faced in their service to the community.

This Report also examines conduct and culture within the Service, and recommendations within the report cross reference some issues recently published in the Board’s Review of Professional Standards.  As a Board, we hope that particular matters raised during consultations on this report will now be addressed by the PSNI.

The Board and its Committees will continue to scrutinise the work of the PSNI so that the recommendations and lessons identified in this report are implemented as PSNI continue to cope with the significant policing challenges.”


For further information please contact the Communications Branch on 028 9040 8541

Notes to Editors

  1. A copy of the Human Rights of Police Officers and Staff can be found on the Board’s website at