§ Mr. Willis
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to bring forward proposals to change the internal police complaints and discipline process; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Michael
My right hon. Friend announced the Government's response to the Home Affairs Committee report into police disciplinary and complaints procedures in England and Wales on 23 March 1998,Official Report, columns 21–37. New arrangements will be brought into effect on 1 April 1999 which will make significant changes to the current arrangements for dealing with misconduct by police officers, as well as providing, for the first time, formal provisions for tackling poor performance by individual officers. As far as complaints by members of the public are concerned, a number of Committee recommendations which have been accepted will require primary legislation. These will be made when suitable opportunities arise, whilst other measures will be taken forward in consultation with interested parties. New discipline arrangements applying to senior officers will be introduced as soon as possible after 1 April 1999 and will mirror, as far as possible, those which will apply to the rest of the police service.