Police to step up “stop and search of ‘suspicious’ cars and people” in Oldpark area

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According to the North Belfast News, “police have agreed to step up their stop and search of ‘suspicious’ cars and people” in the Oldpark/Ardoyne area of North Belfast.  Apparently at the request of the local Marrowbone Residents Group.  According to the report,

John McAlea from Marrowbone Residents Group said, 

“After talking about the drugs problem with police they have agreed to boost their stop and searching in the area,” he said.

“We are really pushing them on the issue because we feel like they need to be giving more attention to this and doing more checks in the Oldpark area.

Not that the police have been scrimping on the use of stop and search/question powers up ’til now.  And we can now start to see the effect of the, 7 July 2010, suspension of the use of section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The latest Quarterly Report of PSNI Stop and Search Statistics [pdf file] reveals that from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011, across Northern Ireland, the number of stop and search/questions under all available legislation was 45,394.

That’s 8,461 lower than the number of stop and search/questions under all available legislation between 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 [pdf file] – 53,855.

Between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009 [pdf file] that figure was 30,045.

In North Belfast, in 2008/09, 252 people were stopped and searched about drugs under PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence).

In 2009/10 that figure had risen to 807.

We don’t have the corresponding figures for 2010/11 apart from the last Quarter, 1 January 2011 to 31 March 2011, figure of 91 from 227 stopped and searched under PACE – total stopped and searched in the area 528.

What we do have is the increasing use of the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007, Sections 21 and 24, in place of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000, section 44. Although section 44 wasn’t completely abandoned on 7 July 2010.

Number of Persons stopped and searched/stopped and questioned by each legislation used – by Quarter from 1 April 2009 through to 31 March 2011. From the latest Quarterly report

Number of persons stopped and searched under PACE


5,346


 

6,312


 

6,286


 

6,046


 

5,997


 

5,691


 

5,551


 

5,511


 

Number of persons stopped and searched under PACE & JSA 21


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

8


 

14


 

Number of persons stopped and searched under PACE & JSA 24


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

7


 

6


 

Number of persons stopped and searched under TACT S43


 

15


 

34


 

27


 

21


 

31


 

139


 

72


 

57


 

Number of persons stopped and searched under TACT S44


 

3,143


 

9,460


 

4,841


 

6,586


 

6,992


 

271


 

1


 

-


 

Number of persons stopped under TACTS44 and questioned under JSA Section 21


 

428


 

1,676


 

945


 

1,691


 

1,849


 

43


 

-


 

-


 

Number of persons stopped and questioned under JSA Section 21


 

56


 

184


 

54


 

83


 

86


 

334


 

513


 

494


 

Number of persons stopped under JSA Section 24 and questioned under JSA Section 21


 

10


 

14


 

28


 

116


 

26


 

519


 

892


 

530


 

Number of persons stopped and searched under JSA Section 24


 

86


 

165


 

90


 

112


 

147


 

2,385


 

4,152


 

3,000


 

Number of persons stopped and searched under TACT S43 & JSA S21


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

10


 

5


 

4


 

Number of persons stopped and searched under TACT S43 & JSA S24 & JSA S21


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

1


 

15


 

6


 

6


 

Number of persons stopped and searched under TACT S43 & JSA S24


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

1


 

6


 

10


 

12


 

Number of persons stopped and searched under TACTS44 and JSA Section 24


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

-


 

Total Persons stopped and searched/questioned*


 


 

9,084


 


 

17,845


 


 

12,271


 


 

14,655


 


 

15,130


 


 

9,413


 


 

11,217


 


 

9,634


 


 

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  • Barry the Blender

    Damn securocrats

  • perseus

    “DrugScope has responded to the release of a new report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The document, launched in New York, calls for “a paradigm shift in global drug policy”, with a move from a criminal justice towards a public health approach, and asks that policy makers recognise the ‘complex reality’ of drug use.”
    http://www.drugscope.org.uk/newsandevents/currentnewspages/Global+Commission+on+Drug+Policy.htm

  • perseus

    peteb should you wish to widen the debate here are some hyperlinks:
    brave former gov’t minister speaks out: Bob Ainsworth

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12009913
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9293000/9293013.stm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12005824

  • pippakin

    In order to make a ‘judgement’ would people not need to see the figures for drug finds and charges made?

    Stop and search may find the odd ‘user’ but its not really likely to find the drug ‘pushers’ and even less likely to find the drug ‘barons’.

    It will almost certainly create a backlash among the young who are the most likely to be victims of stop and search, and again to know accurately people would need to see the figures for the age groups stopped.

  • perseus

    i wonder if “suspicious looking” refers also to eyes being to close together?
    maybe a car which is irish-looking ? hmm
    same old same old, leave the kids alone.
    take the trade out of criminal gangs.
    as kirsty young said to debbie harry on desert island discs.
    “you’re not allowed to speak about positive drug experiences?