There are strict rules about who can be a police authority member. The main grounds which disqualify you from being a member are set out below.
You are disqualified from being or remaining a member of a police authority if:
- You are under eighteen years old.
You do not:
- live or have your main home in the police authority area; or
- work or have your main place of work in the police authority area
You must have lived or worked or had your main home or main place of work in the authority area for a full twelve months before the date of your appointment to the police authority.
- You hold any paid office or employment, appointments to which are or may be made or confirmed by the police authority or any committee or sub-committee of the authority, or by a joint committee on which the authority is represented, or by any person holding any such office or employment; or
- you are a paid employee of a police authority who is employed under the direction of a joint board, joint authority or joint committee on which the authority is represented and any member of which is appointed on the nomination of some other police authority - you are disqualified from serving on that other police authority.
- You have had a bankruptcy order made against you and the bankruptcy order has not been previously annulled or you have not obtained a discharge; or
- your estate has been sequestrated and the sequestration has not been recalled or reduced or you have not obtained a discharge; or
- you have made a composition or arrangement with, or granted a trust deed for, your creditors and you have not paid off the debts in full or five years have not yet passed since you fulfilled the terms of the deed of composition or arrangements or trust deed; or
- you are subject to a disqualification order under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, to a disqualification under Part II of the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, to a disqualification undertaking accepted under the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002,or to an order made under Section 429(2)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (failure to pay under county court administration order).
- In the five years before the date of your appointment to the authority or since your appointment, you have been convicted of an offence in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, and had passed on you a sentence of imprisonment (including a suspended sentence) of three or more months.
For this purpose the date of a conviction shall be taken to be the ordinary date on which the period allowed for making an appeal or application expires or if an appeal or application is made, the date on which the appeal or application is finally disposed of or abandoned or fails by reason of its non-prosecution.
There are some additional rules which apply just to independent members.
You cannot be an independent member of a police authority if:
- you are a member of the council for a county, district or London borough which is wholly or partly within the area of the police authority;
- you are a member of a police force;
- you are an officer or employee of a police authority; or
- you are an officer or employee of a council which appoints members to a police authority - unless you are a head teacher or principal of a school, college or other educational institution or establishment which is maintained or assisted by a local education authority; or a teacher or lecturer in any such school, college institution or establishment.
To read the exact rules about all of the disqualifications set out above you need to look at the Police Authority Regulations 2008 (SI 630 2008) or, in the case of the Metropolitan Police Authority, the Metropolitan Police Authority Regulations 2008 (SI 631 2008).