Chester Borrows, in Committee, to move the following amendments:
New Clause 97
To omit clause 97 and substitute the following clause after clause 96 (after line 26 on page 57):
97 Police involvement in elections
(1) Any constable, authorised officer, or supervisor may only take part in an election of a member of the House of Representatives or a member of a local authority—
(2) In this section, local authority and member of a local authority have the meanings given in section 5(1) of the Local Electoral Act 2001.
In order to maintain the political neutrality of Police staff, constables, authorised officers and supervisors must be excluded as candidates in general elections as provided in the Electoral Act. However, it is unnecessary and undesirable to restrict Police staff from involvement in local authority elections. Constables, authorised officers and supervisors who are also members of local authorities have the ability to enhance the partnership between Police and the community. Up until now, Police staff have effectively managed conflicts of interest through disclosure. There is no reason that this arrangement cannot continue to operate effectively – thereby allowing Police staff to make a unique and valuable contribution to their local community.