Dated: 23 Nov 2013
NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED
POLICY TITLE: Human Rights
OWNING DIRECTORATE: Criminal Justice and Communications
AUTHOR: Research Unit, Criminal Justice
CONTACT DETAILS: 101 Ext. 68431
EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT: Complete
AIM OF POLICY: Northumbria Police aims to ensure that all of its activities are consistent with and compliant with the Human Rights Act 1998.
BENEFIT OF POLICY: To ensure compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998.
REASON FOR POLICY: Northumbria Police recognises its duties and responsibilities as a public body under the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998.
DESCRIPTION OF POLICY:
When applying the following policy to police staff, this should be read in conjunction with the Standards of Professional Behaviour Policy in particular the standards 'Use of Restraint' and 'Authority Respect and Courtesy'.
Northumbria Police recognises its duties and responsibilities as a public body under the provisions of the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. The Force aims to ensure that all its activities are consistent with these duties and compliant with the Act, and will act appropriately and positively to support the rights of others. Where an activity of the Force impinges upon an HRA right, it will do so only where lawful, necessary and in the interests of a specified legitimate aim, to an extent which is proportionate and as unintrusive as practicable to achieve that aim.
In order to achieve this, Northumbria Police has reviewed all centrally generated policies and procedures to ensure compatibility with the Act. No formal audit of locally generated instructions has taken place at either area command or departmental level, however, those responsible for the generation of local policies and procedures have been made aware of their duty to draft them in accordance with HRA principles.
Interpretation of European Convention rights by the courts will develop over time. All force instructions are to be interpreted in a manner consistent with the HRA and are to be reviewed periodically to ensure they continue to be appropriate. Where a legal challenge or other developments indicate that an instruction is no longer compliant, it will be reviewed and amended accordingly.
All police officers, police staff and special constables have received training in the provisions of the Human Rights Act. The level of such training has been determined, according to the specific roles of individuals.
In any circumstances where a police officer, member of police staff or a special constable makes a decision that may impact upon an individual's human rights, they will, in order to satisfy the requirements, ensure that their actions are legal, necessary, proportional and in pursuit of a legitimate aim, whilst being as unintrusive as practicable, to achieve the defined aims and objectives. They will consider all the relevant available information, including representations from those affected where appropriate, and assess all feasible options. A record of their decision-making and reasoning will be made, as soon as circumstances permit. Where such decisions have a continuing effect, the decision-maker will periodically review their decision to ensure it remains appropriate. A person affected by such a decision will be informed of any right of appeal that exists.
For any human rights implications in relation to matters submitted to force committees or the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC); report authors must retain a separate record of the decision-making process during the formulation of their proposals, as these may be required in any future challenges.
Further information can be obtained from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) website.
SOURCE DOCUMENT: N/a
GROUPS AFFECTED: All Staff
ACCESS AND DISCLOSURE RESTRICTIONS: None
This instruction is designed to avoid discrimination and in accordance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and its underlying principles.