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Sinn Féin will not rubber stamp Policing Board Reports

25 September, 2007

Sinn Féin Policing Board member and party spokesperson on Human Rights and Equality Martina Anderson MLA has said that Sinn Féin will not rubber stamp Policing Board Reports.

Speaking after the publication of the third Annual Human Rights Report Ms Anderson said:

"Sinn Fein has made it clear that our engagement with the policing structures is about delivering accountability and ensuring effective policing within a strong Human Rights framework. While recognising that there has been progress we need to further consider these recommendations because we do not believe they are strong enough.

"Unlike last year or the year before Sinn Fein will not just rubber stamp Policing Board Reports. We will ensure full compliance with international and European Human Rights standards. Any attempt to dilute or side-step these standards will be challenged. We want full discussion with all of the relevant organisations including those from the children's rights sector and PSNI to ensure full compliance with human rights standards.

"Sinn Féin does not support or endorse a number of the recommendations and we have urged the Policing Board, in partnership with other key human rights experts and the PSNI, to actively consider these recommendations over the next three months.

"We have a number of specific concerns. We will not under any circumstances endorse the use of plastic bullets particularly against children and believe it is wrong that the Policing Board has again supported the use of plastic bullets.

"There are a number of other issues identified in the report that require much stronger recommendation to ensure progress, these include:

  • The use of Plastic Bullets, Tasers and CS gas;
  • Breaches of discipline, including the number of officers leaving while under investigation;
  • Deficiencies in Human Rights Training;
  • Failure to up date policy in line with human rights obligations, particularly in relation to children;
  • Trends in relation to stop and search;
  • Disparity in the number of young Catholic males referred for prosecution." ENDS

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