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245% increase in PSNI stop and search

16 February, 2009


Sinn Féin Policing Board member Martina Anderson today has said that the massive increase in the use of stop and search anti-terrorism powers by the PSNI was unacceptable. Ms Anderson's remarks came after a PSNI report to Policing Board members revealed a massive 245% increase in the use of Section 44 stop and search powers.

Ms Anderson said:

"The revelation that the use of Section 44 stop and search powers has increased by 245% in the final 3 months of 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier is shocking and unacceptable.

"The excessive use of Section 44 powers in England have already drawn significant criticism from politicians and community leaders there including Lord Carlise in his report on the implementation of these and other special powers.

"We need to ensure that the same misuse of these powers does not take a foothold within the PSNI. I do not accept the explanations given today by the PSNI for the massive increase in the use of these powers here.

"Today we have asked the Chief Constable for further clarification from the PSNI on the guidelines being used and the adherence to them by officers. The unnecessary use of stop and search powers directly impacts on the ability of the PSNI to demonstrate to the community that they can police in an effective and accountable fashion." ENDS

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