§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Blunkett)
Following a recommendation made by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary in his report on special branch and ports policing in January 2003, I am today publishing redrafted guidelines for special branch work in the United Kingdom.
They have been redrafted in partnership with the Scottish Executive and the Northern Ireland Office. We have consulted fully with all interested parties, including the Association of Chief Police Officers, the National Co-ordinator of Special Branch, the National Co-ordinator of Ports Policing and the Security Service.
The new guidelines reflect that the current operational priority for special branch is counter terrorism work. They also detail the role roles and responsibilities of officers and the local, regional and national structure of special branch. They provide clarity on the work of special branch and make special branch duties more understandable and transparent.