HC Deb 19 November 2001 vol 375 c28W
Jean Corston

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the draft Police Emblems and Flags Regulations provided for in section 54 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 will be issued for consultation; and if he will make a statement. [16701]

Jane Kennedy

I have today launched the consultation process on these draft regulations, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.

As the Government said in this House during the passage of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act, they will look to the representative Policing Board to see if it can reach a cross-community consensus on these sensitive issues. We very much hope that it can. But, if not, the Government will take the decision. We have consistently said that in that event we will not decide on an outcome which would deter recruitment or be objectionable to a substantial part of the community.

Comments have been sought by 14 December. Our aim is that the Regulations are approved in time to ensure that the new emblems and new uniforms are ready by the spring for the new recruits.