The Northern Ireland Policing Board Roles and Responsibilities

The Northern Ireland Policing Board Roles and Responsibilities

The Policing Board is an independent public body made up of 19 political and independent members, including a Chair and a Vice Chair, and takes its powers from the Police (NI) Act 2000 and 2003. Since its inception in 2001, the Board has driven forward a significant programme of change and evolutionary policing reform.

Members of the Policing Board are responsible for overseeing policing in Northern Ireland and holding the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to account through the Chief Constable. The Board is committed to ensuring for all the people of Northern Ireland the delivery of an effective, efficient, impartial, representative and accountable police service which secures the confidence of the whole community.

The Board has a statutory duty to hold eight meetings in public each year so that members of the public and media can attend and see how the Boards holds the Chief Constable to account.

The main statutory duties and responsibilities of the Policing Board are:

  • to secure an effective and efficient local police service;
  • to appoint (and dismiss, if necessary) senior police officers and civilian staff (Assistant Chief Constable and above);  
  • to consult widely with local people about the policing of their area;
  • to set local policing priorities and targets for police performance;
  • to monitor how well the police perform against the targets set by the Policing Board;
  • to publish a rolling three year policing plan which tells local people what they can expect from their police service and report on police performance every year;
  • to make sure local people get best value from police;
  • to oversee complaints against senior officers.

To deliver these statutory obligations, the Board carries out a range of work including the following:

  • the development and monitoring of the Annual Policing Plan, which is the key document for policing in Northern Ireland setting the objectives, performance indicators and targets for an effective and efficient police service;
  • monitoring police performance in delivering key strategies - including Human Resources (recruitment and composition; training and development; and diversity) Finance; Information and Communication Systems; the police Estate; Policing with the Community.
  • monitoring the compliance of the police with the Human Rights Act, which includes the development and monitoring of the Code of Ethics which governs the conduct of police officers;
  • negotiating the annual budget for policing and scrutinising expenditure;
  • oversight of the implementation of the remaining Patten recommendations following the end of the term of the Office of the Police Oversight Commissioner in May 2007;
  • supporting and monitoring the effectiveness of the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs);
  • gaining the co-operation of the public with the police in preventing crime;
  • to consult widely with local people about the policing of their area; and
  • ensuring arrangements are in place to secure continuous improvement within PSNI and the Board.

More information on the Policing Board's work may be found by browsing the relevant sub headings to the right.

Detailed information on the statutory work of the Policing Board may be found in the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 as amended by the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2003