The Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland was set up as part of the Agreement reached in Belfast on 10 April 1998. The task of the Commission was to provide ‘a new beginning to policing’ in Northern Ireland. In its report published in 1999, commonly referred to as the Patten Report, the Commission made 175 recommendations about policing in Northern Ireland.
Amongst the recommendations were proposals regarding the composition, size and structure of the Police Service. It also recommended the creation of new accountability structures and said that Human Rights and community policing should underline all of the work carried out by the Police Service.
As a result of the recommendations, a new name, badge and uniform came into being. In November 2001 the RUC became the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The accountability structures including the Policing Board, the Police Ombudsman's Office and the 29 District Policing Partnerships are all in place. Kathy O’Toole the former Patten Commissioner has said that the Police Service of Northern Ireland is now the most accountable Police Service... in the world!
Not to be confused with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland