Derry, Strabane 'highest volume' of stop-and-search
Category: Northern Ireland
Published: 21st Jan 2010 09:14:37
Stop-and-search powers are used more often in the North West than in the rest of NI, the chair of the Derry District Policing Partnership has said.
New Policing Board figures show that police tripled their use of the powers last year.
In 2008/9, the PSNI used the anti-terror legislation almost 10,000 times, compared to 3,234 incidents in 2007/8.
Elisha McLaughlin, from Sinn Fein, said the extent of stop-and-search in the North West was "an abuse of power".
"These statistics for last year show that Derry and Strabane, which are predominantly republican areas, had the highest volume of stop-and-search incidents anywhere in the North.
"This is a cause for concern for our party," she said.
Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, which allows police to act without reasonable suspicion, was last week ruled illegal by the European Court of Human Rights.
A NI Policing Board report has said it must not be seen as an easy alternative to traditional policing methods.
The rise in Section 44 searches in Northern Ireland followed an increase in dissident republican attacks.
The board's Human Rights Report, published on Thursday, said officers should be fully briefed about the extent of the power and how it is to be used.
"The Section 44 authorisation should never be viewed as an easy alternative to the Police and Criminal Evidence (Pace) power; police officers should resist the temptation to resort to Section 44 because he or she need not have reasonable grounds for suspicion," the report stated.
Under Pace, police must have grounds for suspicion to stop-and-search, but under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act, the home secretary can authorise police officers to make random searches in certain circumstances.
Human rights adviser Alyson Kirkpatrick will be reporting back to the board later about the PSNI's use of Section 44, given the European Court's ruling that the right to respect for a private and family life was violated by a case of stop-and-search in London.
"As the exercise of the power is predicated upon a lawful authorisation rather than reasonable suspicion, this is a marked departure from the long-established principle that a person could not have his or her freedom interfered with save where there was reasonable suspicion of a criminal offence," her dossier said.
"The power is intrusive by its very nature and therefore police officers must be particularly mindful that it is exercised in a way that is lawful, proportionate and necessary to pursue a legitimate aim."
It is designed to combat a heightened threat and must only be applied where justified, the National Policing Improvement Agency has said.
Thursday's report said all officers should be reminded that other powers are available and may be appropriate.
"A comprehensive understanding of the legal issues and the effect an exercise of power may have on the community is essential to ensure officers exercise the power in a proportionate manner," it added.
"For example, the Pace power should be used where there is a reasonable suspicion of the commission of an offence."
Chairman of the board's human rights committee, Basil McCrea, said the PSNI had expressed a willingness to engage with the board.
"Whilst recognising the need for the police to have access to stop-and-search powers to assist their role, the public also need assurance that the police are fully accountable in their use of these powers," he said.
At 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Derry, Strabane 'highest volume' of stop-and-search [Online] (Updated 21st Jan 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/12278/Derry-Strabane-highest-volume-of-stop-and-search [Accessed 8th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
The sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
There is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
A hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales has "a sort of mild Alzheimer's", her husband Tim West has revealed in the Radio Times.
India's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.