Draft States of Jersey Police Force (Amendment No.3) Law 202-
Launch date: 16/02/2021
Review status: Call for evidence
What is the review about?
The States of Jersey Police (SoJP) is responsible for providing policing services to Jersey and is headed by the Chief Officer, namely, the Chief of Police. Subsequent to the enactment of the States of Jersey Police Force Law 2012 on 24th July 2013, the SoJP has been subject to oversight by the Jersey Police Authority (JPA) which provides a safeguard between the SoJP and the Government of Jersey to reinforce operational independence and accountability of the SoJP.
Currently, the JPA compromises a board including a chairperson, who is appointed by the Minister for Home Affairs, four independent members, who are appointed by the chairperson and the Minister for Home Affairs, as well as two States Members, who are appointed by the States Assembly.
The Draft States of Jersey Police Force (Amendment No.3) Law 202- (hereafter the 'draft Law') reflects upon the commitments made to act on the recommendations of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) following its review of the Governance of the States of Jersey Police.
In March 2018 the C&AG made 14 Recommendations to assist with enhancing the accountability and operational independence of the SoJP. Subsequently, in the Ministerial Response to the C&AG report it was noted that all 14 recommendations had been accepted.
The C&AJ review found that the governance of police services is inherently complex as Police forces are accountable for the delivery of economic, efficient and effective policing services, whilst a broadly accepted imperative dictates that they are operationally independent of government. In addition, although in other jurisdictions legislative and administrative advancements have been undertaken to improve the operational independence of police services, the allocation of responsibilities in relation to the SoJP had not reflected the advancements being undertaken elsewhere in the United Kingdom to achieve this.
Regarding the various functions of the SoJP, they are divided between the Chief of Police, the JPA, the Minister for Home Affairs, the States Employment Board and others.
Therefore, it was proposed that the independence and accountability of the SoJP should be balanced by making amendments to the functions including the allocation of powers and duties for the roles of the Chief Officer, the Jersey Police Authority, the Minister for Home Affairs and the State's Employment Board (SEB).
The draft Law if adopted, would amend the States of Jersey Police Force Law 2012 (the "principal Law") to –
- realign the governance powers and duties of the Minister, the Police Authority and the Chief Officer;
- change the membership of the Police Authority;
- require regular inspection of the States Police Force; and
- require the Annual Policing Plan to cover 4 years, rather than one.
The Panel has been gathering evidence from key stakeholders with a view to presenting comments on the legislation in time for the debate on 20th April 2021
Terms of reference
1. To identify the recommendations made by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) that have been incorporated in the draft Law and the changes that have been made outside of the recommendations made by the C&AG.
2. To identify and assess whether the changes proposed align with the best practice principles of governance and accountability.
3. To examine and define operational independence in context of the draft Law.
4. To assess the impact of the changes to roles and functions on governance, accountability and operational independence in respect of, but not limited to;
- The Minister for Home Affairs;
- The Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police;
- The Jersey Police Authority;
- The Director General for Justice and Home Affairs;
- The Civil Servants working within the SoJP; and
- The State's Employment Board (SEB).
5. To identify and assess how the draft Law fits into the context of the broader Target Operating Model (TOM) for the States of Jersey, as well as the States of Jersey Police Force's relationship with the Honorary Police Force.