PSNI stop and search ‘disproportionately targeting’ minority communities | Irish Legal News

PSNI/RUC – Rebranded – Still Sectarian

17th February, 2023.
Human rights campaigners have raised concerns about the disproportionate use of stop and search by the PSNI on people from minoritised ethnic communities and on children.

Figures published this week show that 21,190 people were stopped and searched in Northern Ireland by police last year.

People from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds accounted for 1,259 stops, or almost six per cent of the total, despite making up just 3.4 per cent of the total population according to the 2021 census figures.

Irish Travellers were the ethnic group most disproportionately searched by the PSNI, accounting for 353 stops, 2.7 per cent of the overall figure, despite making up just 0.1 per cent of the population as a whole.

Children aged 13 to 17 make up only six per cent of the population but accounted for almost 11 per cent of all stop and searches in Northern Ireland.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International UK’s Northern Ireland director, said: “If you are from an minoritised ethnic community you are almost twice as likely to be stopped and searched by the PSNI than if you are from the white majority community. The police need to explain why this is the case.

“Black and minority ethnic people in Northern Ireland tell us they feel over-policed, yet under-protected when they themselves are victims of racist hate crime.

“The use of stop and search on children is also deeply disturbing. There were almost 3,000 stops of children under these powers last year, yet very few searches resulted in an arrest, suggesting the vast majority of stops were wholly unnecessary.

“We note with regret the PSNI’s continued failure to record the community background of those subjected to stop and search, despite repeated calls by the Policing Board for it to do so.

“Every unnecessary stop and search can leave a negative impact on community relations, with thousands of people left feeling unfairly targeted. In the long run, that is bad news for police community relations.”

With many thanks to the: Irish Legal News (ILN) for the original story.

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Proposed Brexit Law if passed would ban paramilitary images being published.

CONTROVERSIAL legislation proposed by the British government will make it ‘illegal’ to publish images linked to the republican movement and loyalism and would be punishable with six months in prison.

The Terrorists were the British not the Irish and I will gladly spend six months in prison at HM expense but England has no control or power’s in Ireland. Ireland belongs to the Irish.

The proposied clampdown is contained in new the counter-terrorism and border security bill which is making its way through Westminster.

The Irish News revealed on Friday how planned legislation will result in the establishment of a mile-wide ‘stop-and-search border zone’. Now it has emerged that the bill also proposes to outlaw clothing and images associated with paramilitary activity. While other legislation, including the Terrorism Act, covers some of this ground, the proposed legislation will go further. There are 14 republican and loyalists organisations proscribed by the British government. Several of the groups, including the main republican and loyalist organisations, are on long-term ceasefire.

The planned legislation says that: “A PERSON commits an offence if the person publishes an image of – (a) an item of clothing, or (b) any other article, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that the person is a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation”. The proposed legislation says “an image is a reference to a still or moving image [produced by any means]”.

This means that anyone who published an image relating deemed to be in support of a paramilitary organisation would be breaking the law. How far this will be enforced is unclear but it is thought it could be applied to flags and other images associated with both republican and loyalists groups.

Human rights groups have voiced concern about the proposed legislation. Deputy director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), Daniel Holder said: “The reality is, as it stands, if these laws were in fact applied to the North of Ireland, there would be huge community alienation, street violence would probably erupt and the cause of peace would be put back immeasurably. “So if these counter-terrorism measures are not only useless but counter-productive for the North of Ireland, how are they appropriate for the rest of the UK?”

The CAJ and nationalist politicians have also voiced concern about the prospect of a ‘stop-and-search border zone’. If the bill becomes law any member of the public could be stopped within a mile of the border to establish if they are engaged in “hostile activity”. SDLP MLA Carmel Hanna last night said the proposals would be a “grotesque assault on border life and on the [Good Friday] agreement of which the UK government is a co-guarantor”. “The UK government appear to neither care nor understand the anxiety they are causing here,” she said.

SDLP MLA Carmel (Claire) Hanna

“At this point in the Brexit negotiations there is very little we could put past this government who seem prepared to sign up to almost anything in the name of Brexit and oblivious to the tension these proposals create.”

Sinn Féin deputy president Michelle O’Neill

Sinn Féin deputy president Michelle O’Neill accused the British government of “duplicity”. “The use of stop and search powers is already a cause of massive concern in nationalist areas and if powers as wide-ranging as these were introduced, it would be disastrous,” she said. “It runs counter to human rights provisions. It runs counter Good Friday Agreement and the principles of the European Common Travel Area. “I will be taking this up directly with both governments because it is clear that, through this legislation, London is preparing for the imposition of a hard border in Ireland.”

With many thanks to: Connla Young and The Irish News for the original story.

Irish News Editorial

Legislation must be scrutinised 

WHILE considerable attention has been focused on the Brexit withdrawal bill, another piece of legislation which could have far-reaching repercussions for the border has been making its way through Westminster largely unnoticed. The counter-terrorism and border security bill contains proposals that, if passed, could have alarming implications for people in the border area of the North of Ireland. Under the terms of the planned legislation, any member of the public could be stopped within a mile of the border to establish if they are entering or leaving the nort. An ‘examining officer’ may question the person to determine if they are engaged in ‘hostile activity’.

It is not clear if this means police or border force officers will be protrolling the border area, able to stop and question any person they wish without due cause. Obviously this would be viewed with deep concern, particularly at a time when efforts are under way to ensure there is no hard border on this Island following the UK’s departure from the EU in March next year. It is also worrying that this legislation, which contains other broadly-constructed measures that will raise serious concern, has already passed the Committee stage and could come into law before Christmas. These proposals must be subject to careful scrutiny and assessment with political representatives making sure we do not end up with a hard border as a result of Brexit or any other form of legislation.

With many thanks to: The Irish News.

​More RUC/PSNI Stop And Search Harasment Today In Lurgan.

more ruc stop and search harasment today in lurgan.

With many thanks to: Christopher Hamill.

Stop & Search Cases Update – Justice Restored for Conál Corbett


Figures confirm scale of PSNI harassment – Irish Republican News – Sat, Aug 29, 2015

RUC stop and search; The mobile app that the Occupied six counties of Ireland is crying out for!

With tens of thousands vindictive and targeted stops and searches carried out in the British occupied six counties of Ireland on Innocent Nationalists and Republicans, New Yorkers have came out fighting such racial/cultural bigotry with a mobile phone app which documents such cases. 

Last year close to 700,000 people were questioned on the city’s streets. The vast majority were black or Latino and nine out of ten had committed no crime. This year the department is on pace to shatter that record.

Last month a USA federal judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit accusing the police of unconstitutional, racial profiling through stop and frisk.

Civil liberties campaigners have unveiled a mobile phone app that will allow users to document police stops in New York and immediately submit them for review.

The New York Civil Liberties Union released the app following months of growing criticism surrounding the NYPD’s practice of stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year.

NYCLU leaders said the app, which is available on Android with an iPhone version out later this summer, would help the organization document the growing number of controversial police stops.

Last month a federal judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit accusing the police of unconstitutional, racial profiling through stop and frisk.

The app is composed of three features: record, listen and watch. Recorded clips will be sent directly to the NYCLU, and users will be offered a brief survey allowing them to fill in the details of what they witnessed. The listen feature messages users when the app is activated by others and reports where the police stop is happening. The report feature allows users to detail police interactions they witnessed or experienced but were unable to film. The app also includes a “know your rights” element, intended to educate users.

“Today’s release of the Stop and Frisk Watch adds another critical dimension to our quest for fair and just policing for all New Yorkers,” said NYCLU executive director, Donna Lieberman at a press conference Wednesday.

Lieberman was joined by New York City council members Jumaane Williams, Leticia James and Melissa Mark-Viverito, as well as NAACP president Ben Jealous, National Action Network vice-president Michael Hardy and George Gresham, president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

The app was developed by Jason Van Anden, who last year was responsible for the I’m Getting Arrested app, intended to help Occupy Wall Street protesters who found themselves being taken in by the police.

Van Anden – who has witnessed stop and frisks in his neighbourhood–described his latest project as a “labour of love” that began in November.

Critics of stop-and-frisk say the practice has resulted in a two-tier a system of justice that favour white New Yorkers and disproportionately harms people of colour.

A story published in the New York Post on Wednesday, before the press conference suggested the app could present a danger to users if the subject of a police stop reached in their pockets to pull out their phone. Lieberman stressed that the app is explicitly intended for witnesses of police stops, not subjects.

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