Baggott: Stop and search numbers will drop when public give officers more information…

“We will not respond to calls to get the gloves off.” – The resolute words of Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable Matt Baggott addressing a conference at Parliament Buildings. Listing recent attacks on his service including the car bomb in which leading GAA footballer Peadar Heffron lost a leg. Mr Baggott added:”My job and colleagues’ job is to be impartial, professional and justified. Sometimes when I read the media I hear phrases like ‘get the gloves off chief constable.’ Let me reassure you we will not respond to calls to get the gloves off.

“We will continue to be a human rights centred focussed led service that is prepared to take criticism about the exercise of power.”

Mr Baggott was responding to a human rights report into policing in Northern Ireland. Stop and search cases trebled in the past year reaching ten thousand in numbers.

Matt Baggott argued these numbers will drop as soon as the public start giving his officers more information.

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  • It would appear that the police are monitoring Republican funerals from a distance. Some gunmen evaded ‘stop and search’ in Derry. Perhaps Baggott’s gloves are of the handbag rather than the boxing variety.

  • tacapall

    “We will continue to be a human rights centred focussed led service that is prepared to take criticism about the exercise of power.”

    Matt Baggott has just admitted that the numbers stopped and searched are quite higher than previously stated, “about 5 an hour” is his words. This country is not quite like Iraq yet for those sort of figures, without knowing the figures, I would imagine most of these are in Nationalist areas. How can anyone not agree that this is an abuse of power and an attack on the Human Rights of the whole community. Either the police are groping in the dark in their fight against dissidents, or they are knowingly antagonizing the community. It also shows the lack of support and intelligence they recieve from the very people they are supposed to be safeguarding, their civil and human rights.

  • tacapall, those who have information about paramilitaries and contemplate providing it are likely to meet the same fate as Peador Heffron. And it doesn’t matter whether the paramilitaries are Loyalist or Republican.

  • Mick Fealty

    tacapall,

    Eamonn has helpfully linked back to Pete’s old post, which state the figures relative to previous years when they were first available.

  • The Raven

    “I would imagine most of these are in Nationalist areas.”

    But don’t doubt for a minute, as you went on to note, that we’re ALL getting a bit sick and tired of this snoop-and-spy society that we’re living in, across the UK.

    We’ve made our bed and now must lie in it vis-a-vis the innumerable nations we’ve pissed off by marching across their lands.

    Then we add in spying by reason of anti-social behaviour…stop-and-search…online snooping…

    There are 418 pieces of legislation, from the very big to the very small, that allow public servants entry on to private property without requiring a warrant.

    There’s a much bigger conversation needed about personal freedoms, and the freedom indeed to enjoy them. However, God forbid I start that conversation here: I’d probably be logged as a subversive…somewhere…

    Start ‘giving your officers more information?’ No chance. Get out there and do some proper police work.

    Phew. That’s better.

  • tacapall

    Eamonn has helpfully linked back to Pete’s old post, which state the figures relative to previous years when they were first available.
    Posted by Mick Fealty on Jan 21, 2010 @ 01:33 PM

    Yes Mick I know but the figures show that they are more or less directed at the Nationalist community, just like how they are directed at the Muslim and Asian community in Britain.

    Nevin you’re right it does not matter if the paramilitaries are republican or loyalist, but where exactly in Eamonn’s link does it even mention loyalist dissidents. Human Rights come first, 5 people an hour from the Nationalist community being stopped and searched is not good Police community relations, it is harrasment and an attack on their Human Rights.

  • Driftwood

    Get out there and do some proper police work.

    Raven, are you kidding? In that weather????

    “We will continue to be a human rights centred focussed led service ….blah de blah, textbook vox pop management babble.

    What ‘more information’ would Baggott like the public to give him? ‘It was Jimmy Bloggs Sir, honestly it was…everybody says so’

  • iluvni

    Whats this ‘Common Purpose’ organisation that Baggott has been involved with?

  • Yes, yes, yes. Indeed we are all being oppressed and its all the fault of the Brits, the Irish, the securicrats (whoever they are) etc etc.

    All I know is: if I am ever mugged, beaten,shot or blown up because some pc plod was too pc. I will be very, very supset.

  • wje

    Sinn Féin spokesperson on human rights, Caitríona Ruane MLA, has said that figures released showing that the PSNI and the British Army had stopped and searched 14,910 in the past 12 months using the repressive powers of the Terrorism Act are “shocking but not surprising”.

    “Sinn Féin has long said that if you place instruments of repression into the hands of unaccountable individuals within the PSNI who have a long record of human rights abuses, then these weapons of repression will be used,” said Ruane of the newly released statistics.

    Well, at least that was the party view in August 2004 according to An Phoblact on the 19th of that month.

    At Pete points out elewhere almost 18,000 stopped and searched in nine months last year. The peelers seem to have proved putting 4 Shinners on the Policing Board makes little difference.

  • tacapall

    Yes, yes, yes. Indeed we are all being oppressed and its all the fault of the Brits, the Irish, the securicrats (whoever they are) etc etc.

    All I know is: if I am ever mugged, beaten,shot or blown up because some pc plod was too pc. I will be very, very supset.
    Posted by pippakin on Jan 21, 2010 @ 02:20 PM

    Yes Yes Yes Pippakin, all things to all people,
    ” The Devils Advocate” What about the Nationalist communities right to “Freedom of Movement”. This is undefendable, Five Nationalists being stopped an hour, ffs they wouldn’t even stop that many in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

  • Instruments of repression??

    Amazing is it not, what some will stoop to use as an ‘instrument of repression’.

    As for ‘unaccountable individuals’. I do not wish to go there.

    I wonder if Ms Ruane would make the same speech today.

  • Fabianus

    Will somebody please remind me why we wish to see P&J devolved.

    And whom do we wish to see those powers devolved to? I can’t say I’m confident of seeing an improvement here if and when devolution happens.

  • tacapall

    I am not taking sides here. I try never to do that. I am pointing out people have good reason to be suspicious, staying alive, staying healthy and unafraid are the best reason anyone can have.

    All that is likely to happen to prevent accusations of being too heavy handed to one section of the community is they will simply spread the net to include everyone, maybe that would be a good thing.

    Why else would Brit airport security people bother with a search of a sixty something white anglo saxon type, when what they are looking for is muslim extremists the only reason is they want the search figures to be even.

  • tacapall

    Well Pip looking at posts 12 + 13, one could conclude that its a delibrate policy, to highlight to the Nationalist community, that these stop and search powers are worse since the Shinners joined the Policing Boards, if P+J were devolved matters could be much worse. Better to leave things as they are type of thing. Is that what you are saying ?

  • Do not think I have no idea what it is like to be searched.

    For some reason a security fanatic at the airport assumed I looked like an extremist, searched, fround my books (I often buy more than one at the airport) and spent some quality time grinnin and bemoaning my taste in books.

    I was searched at, of all places the Old Bailey years ago. The eager beavers there found my hot hair brus, which in its cover, if one were so inclined, could be…. It lead to much mirth, ribald comments and distinctly male grins.

    I wrote item 12 because my mind keeps leaping to the main problem of the moment. This is I have no doubt will eventually include loyalist groups. I keep saying it but there is plenty of crap to go around and their turn will come.

  • Fabianus

    pippakin,

    “Why else would Brit airport security people bother with a search of a sixty something white anglo saxon type, when what they are looking for is muslim extremists the only reason is they want the search figures to be even.”

    Hmm, gotta love that kind of logic.

    Next time a woman reports she’s been raped by a white youth who ran away, will the cops stop and question every one-legged black OAP?

  • tacapall

    Do not think I have no idea what it is like to be searched.

    For some reason a security fanatic at the airport assumed I looked like an extremist, searched, fround my books (I often buy more than one at the airport) and spent some quality time grinnin and bemoaning my taste in books.
    Posted by pippakin on Jan 21, 2010 @ 03:21 PM

    With all due respect Pip, everyone expects to be searched at Airports, and no I dont think you know what its like to be continuously stopped just because you live in a certain area or that you’re of a certain political persuasion. its orwellian type human rights abuse to divide and cause dissent in Nationalist areas, state sponsored sectarianism.

  • Fabianus

    It may not be logic but its what they do. Anything else would be profiling and we cant have that can we.

    The times Ive quoted were obviously not the only times I was stopped, merely the only times I got irritated.

    As for the example, that is exactly the problem, when was the last time you heard the tv or radio state the colour of the accused.

    It has all become so pc its a wonder they catch anyone.

  • tacapall

    Dont ya just love that well worn phrase ‘with all due respect’ hmm.

    I totally understand the frustration people feel, and the constant, if never actually voiced, accusations and suspicions must get pretty tedious as well.

    Thing is short of extending their searches to all, there are risk out there, and we would do well to remember that.

    I would hate to see another girl blinded, or boy maimed, because no one checked, for fear of upsetting anyone.

  • wje

    The ECtHR also touched on the issue of airport security in its ruling. It said:
    “An air traveller may be seen as consenting to such a search by choosing to travel. He knows that he and his bags are liable to be searched before boarding the aeroplane and has a freedom of choice, since he can leave personal items behind and walk away without being subjected to a search. The search powers under section 44 are qualitatively different. The individual can be stopped anywhere and at any time, without notice and without any choice as to whether or not to submit to a search.”

  • wje

    Thank you for that I feel so much better, and the next time some snotty little jobsworth picks on my bags I will remember I could have walked.

  • tacapall

    Dont ya just love that well worn phrase ‘with all due respect’ hmm.

    I totally understand the frustration people feel, and the constant, if never actually voiced, accusations and suspicions must get pretty tedious as well.

    Thing is short of extending their searches to all, there are risk out there, and we would do well to remember that.

    I would hate to see another girl blinded, or boy maimed, because no one checked, for fear of upsetting anyone.
    Posted by pippakin on Jan 21, 2010 @ 03:57 PM

    Are you saying then that they’re concentrating on the Nationalist community first, Unionists will follow later, and your excuses defending those Human rights abuses are typical of a “British” mindset, you want to suffer these abuses to know what tedious means.

  • I’ve been a fairly regular visitor to the nationalist town of Ballycastle these past eighteen months. Police officers were seldom visible. I was stopped once and asked for proof of identity. She looked at the card and sent me on my way with a very friendly and warm ‘take care’.

  • tacapall

    No. I am saying they should extend the stop and search to all. In fact I dont understand why they are not already doing that.

    You are aiming all your complaints at the Brits and at people like me who try to see reason in searches etc.

    You might aim your complaints at any who imperil innocent lives, and by their actions subject the vast majority of us to these indignities.

  • tacapall

    No. I am saying they should extend the stop and search to all. In fact I dont understand why they are not already doing that.

    You are aiming all your complaints at the Brits and at people like me who try to see reason in searches etc.
    Posted by pippakin on Jan 21, 2010 @ 04:39 PM

    Im pointing out that its an abuse of human rights and aimed at one section of the community “sure they all look alike” just like the Muslim community in Britain, and of course Im directing it at the Brits, they’re the ones who are implementing it. Its nothing more than “state sponsored sectarianism”.

  • tacapall

    At the risk of stating the obvious:

    The greatest human right is to life. I am saying I dont care who they search, even me! and it has happened several times.

    I refuse to be sidetracked into a sectarian debate, find the guns and explosives, save the life, worry about the religion or political allegiance, sometime never.

  • tacapall

    Pip it is hardly a sectarian debate, you cant deny its only directed at one section of the community, its about “Human Rights” and I do care if Im singled out because im a Nationalist. Maybe we should all sit at the back of the bus like Alabama when we’re going through Unionist areas then they wouldn’t have to offend decent law abiding Unionists going about their daily buisness.

  • tacapall

    If I understand you correctly you are saying is the PSNI are concentrating their searches on so called nationalist areas. Well I object to that for a start. I hate the idea of people live here because of this or live there because of that. Bad enough where we live is dictated by how much money we have, never mind we add religion, politics etc into the mix.

    The law now is even. It has been for years, PSNI are searching where they are not because you are nationalist, but because they think some in your area may be violent and nationalist.

    In the very recent past people have died and been maimed,. One man will never get the life he had back. And that man is Irish, he was not hurt by loyalists, not the UDA or whoever, he was hurt by dissident republicans. You actually stop and think how you would feel about that. Really think about what it means to that man.

  • tacapall

    Well like I said it depends what side of the fence your standing on, anyway impartial people, who have a lot more sense than me or you, have already decided its an abuse of Human Rights, so there you go.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk

    Police powers to use terror laws to stop and search people without grounds for suspicion are illegal, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

  • tacapall

    Police using powers to stop and search is always infuriating. I am a nationalist and Im glad I dont live there. I would be screaming about how much worse it is for a woman to be searched than for a man. We carry all sorts in our bags. The most innocent of us can be made to feel embarrassed if nothing else.

    It does not alter the fact that people are being hurt, and that has got to stop.

    I have recently come to the conclusion that there must be no such thing as a no go area for the police. I wont back down on that too many human lives have already been abused.

    One day there will be a national holiday to celebrate a united Ireland. I hope we all live long enough, in one piece, to enjoy the day together.

  • UlsterWatcher

    Just caught the tail end of UTV Live.

    Coleraine and Ballymena have the lowest level of stop and search, it seems.

    Ballymena – with its drugs problem (controlled by loyalist paramilitaries).

    Coleraine – with it’s rapidly escalating problem of violent loyalist paramilitaries kicking Catholics to death.

    Stop and search there? Of course not! Come on, Trevor, let’s stick to the Bogside.

  • Fabianus

    UlsterWatcher,

    I’m a Unionist but agree with you and tapacall.

    This sort of thing is damaging to community relations and can only help to bring us back to the bad ol’ days. You’d think our police would have learnt from past mistakes.

  • Fabianus

    Sorry, “tacapall”!

  • tacapall

    Sorry, “tacapall”!
    Posted by Fabianus on Jan 21, 2010 @ 07:01 PM

    No problems Fabianus, we agree, and from the statistics, how could anyone not ! Ireland has always been a stepping stone for British repressive laws, that if unchallenged are implemented elsewhere in the UK. An Orwellian society is creeping up on us and we are all going to suffer eventually. People need to voice their opinion now before its too late.

  • people, everything you have just produced suggests the importance of stop and search and its extension if necessary.

    I dont care if you are nationalist, republican, or unionist, the days of little fiefdoms and mini republics have gone.

    The law is the law, for all. The bad old days can only return if the bad old ways do.

  • Fabianus

    pippakin,

    “The law is the law, for all.”

    Since when? And in which country? Does it begin with “Ut” and end in “pia”?

  • Fabianus et al

    I have spent the last couple of weeks finding out, along with everyone else, why the bad old days were even worse than most of us thought.

    Stop and search exists in GB and faces the same problems as here. No one likes it, there are all the complaints about a particular community being picked on more than another.

    Like I care!

    I care about people living in peace, about being able to vote for the candidate and party of their choice. I care about abused children amd young girls and boys feeling free to complain to the police when they are assaulted.

    And let me tell you this Fabianus, you may be a unionist but if you think the GB would stand for the kind of crap that has passed for justice in the north – you have never lived there.

  • tacapall

    Pip, “The European Court of Human Rights has declared it illegal” All the statistics show, thats its being used “politically” not for security reasons, you sound like a police officer trying to defend this, It only brings this country backwards, which is probably the reason its being implemented. Support for the police in Nationalist areas is low but, here, now you know why.

  • tacapall

    How can I make it clear?

    I hate stop and search as much as anyone, but, like a lot of people I am prepared to say “get on with it, make the streets safe”, thats all nothing political, nothing judgmental.

    In an ideal world there would be no need, what a shame none of us live in an ideal world.

    As a nationalist I only hope all this feudin and fightin is long gone by the time the country is united.

    If loyalists are starting again then they must be stopped, by the police.

    I am not and nor have I ever been a member of any police or security force, maybe thats why I feel free to say let them do their job. If they make mistakes, go too far in any direction, they are easy enough to stop. A lot easier than dissidents either republican or loyalist.

  • Fabianus

    pippakin,

    “Like I care!”

    Maybe you should. I know I do.

    Somebody is tearing up the rulebook here. Stopping and searching citizens without due cause can NEVER be right. I don’t care how much threat there is to our wellbeing etc, it simply ain’t right.

    And speaking of terrorist threats. Haven’t we as a species always lived with the danger of attack from those outside the law, in every country on earth?

    “And let me tell you this Fabianus, you may be a unionist but if you think the GB would stand for the kind of crap that has passed for justice in the north – you have never lived there.”

    No, true, I have not. But it seems that in GB young black men are being stopped and searched far more than men of other ethnic groups. Odd, that. I don’t recall young black men being involved in 7/7 but my memory may be faulty.

  • Fabianus

    You just made my argument for me, thanks.

    It never goes away does it.

    Oh, and for the record. My experience of the police has always been they dont really care if youre black white or striped. If you are young and male, look a bit athletic and are in certain areas, watch out theres a policeman about.

    I will say this for them, when it came to beating up young men, they were completely unbiased, and on that, I do speak from experience.

    So it tells you something of what I think about the troubles in the north that I, of all people, would tolerate that to save lives, because a heavy police presence, and the knowledge that this time they mean it, has a definite calming effect.

  • tacapall

    Oh, and for the record. My experience of the police has always been they dont really care if youre black white or striped. If you are young and male, look a bit athletic and are in certain areas, watch out theres a policeman about.

    I will say this for them, when it came to beating up young men, they were completely unbiased, and on that, I do speak from experience.
    Posted by pippakin on Jan 21, 2010 @ 08:21 PM

    You are living on another planet, and from your posts its obvious you “Are connected to the security services” try telling that to Blacks or Muslims in Britain.

  • Tacapall

    How well you think you know everything.

    Young blacks and muslims are but the latest in a long line, and by the way they are not necessarily two separate groups. You try telling a survivor of 7/7 or 9/11 they should stop doing stop and search because it might offend someone!

    How dare you compare your hurt feelings to the suffering of survivors of bombs or sadism.

    I say again if it works they should do it, they should not discriminate but they must find the people who think it is good to kill or maim others in the name of some cause.

    I get the impression that ‘being connected to the security services’ is some kind of meaningful insult. I remind you, think about the young Irish policeman blown up for being young, Irish and a policeman.

  • Fabianus

    pippakin,

    “I get the impression that ‘being connected to the security services’ is some kind of meaningful insult. I remind you, think about the young Irish policeman blown up for being young, Irish and a policeman.”

    Well said. At the risk of alienating my fellow-Unionists here, I have to say that tacapall’s damning “connected to the security services” has, I think, everything to do with the perception on the Nationalist side that the security services were/are an arm of British rule in Northern Ireland.

    That may have been the case once—I’m not arguing with that because it’s hard to argue. But is that the case today, when Peadar Heffron’s nearest and dearest are wondering what the fuck the Nationalist community is playing at?

    Please, please, don’t let’s have P&J transferred to NI. I have little trust in Westminster but considerably less in the Mensa-Lites of Stormont.

  • Cynic2

    “How can anyone not agree that this is an abuse of power ”

    I can not agree. The issue is, who is committing the terrorist offences? if it is Dissident republicans don’t stop/ search loyalists. If the figures were to show significant numbers of loyalists stopped and no loyalist terrorism, then that would be discrimination and breach iof the Loyalist’s rights

  • Cynic2

    Nice philosophy guys that if you are a policeman and get blown up the main significance is that you are a Catholic.

  • Fabianus

    Thanks.

    If you start from the position that everyone born on this island is Irish you get close to where I am.

    It is not to say that you cannot be something else as well if you choose, for me it is just stating the obvious.

    So if we are all Irish and there are some places where some people are putting the lives of others at risk then we have to do, and agree to do, all that is necessary to prevent that.

    I spent a lot of time in England and they had been through the old ‘sus. laws. Stop and search had almost gone, and then came 9/11 and 7/7.

    The Brit attitude that it was better to have these guys inside pissing out, rather than outside pissing in, did not get much support from the US, So the stop and search laws became much more frequent. I think most hate them, they are intrusive and semi aggressive, but the past few weeks have shown us, that the police in uniform, however despised, are at least visible and traceable and a young hurt child has somewhere to run.

  • Cynic2

    No, that is not what I think and I hope not what I said.

    There is no doubt this man was picked because he is Irish and a policeman. He was intended to be a grim warning to all.

    And if the above statements reminds you of the old ways, I will not be a bit surprised.

  • alf

    I see ref. to 9/11 and 7/7

    How anyone can say this stop and search of nationalist only areas is not discrimation/defiling of a human right is clearly blinded..

    This would be akin to JFK setting different security lines at dep for muslims, which im sure would be unacceptable

  • alf

    *discrimination

  • Alf

    Is that what I said? I dont think so.

    I was referring to England, to the time prior to 9/11 and 7/7.

    I believe Im right in saying stop and search had got to the point that any policeman stopping anyone had to make a report stating the racial details of the person searched and the reason they were stopped.

    As for nationalist areas in the north, I do hate stop and search, but if you ask me to choose, I will choose life. So if stop and search helps in the prevention of violence, against anyone, then in spite of my misgivings I say go ahead. I am not sure if the PSNI have to keep a record of those they stop, but they should.

    I recommend anyone being stopped make a note of the PSNI officer number, the date and keeps that record up to date. For use should it be required.

  • alf

    right ok, all sorted then, sorry I see its ok now, they may aswell just set up an armoured check point at the top of castle street (get WB done in one swoop)

  • Stephen Ferguson

    In the majority nationalist and working class PSNI G District in the North West the stats worked out at 1.16% stop and search instances per head of population. In the more affluent and majority unionist B District (South and East Belfast) it worked out at 1.12%.

    Doesn’t seem like the PSNI are using section 44 to oppress innocent republicans to me…

  • Alf

    You must have read the papers over the last few weeks and I know youre a regular commenter here.

    The allegations are that people have been hurt by private armies accountable to no one. Of course they would say they were accountable to their community, but that does not appear to have been the case. In fact from what we hear the community lived in fear of both private army and RUC.

    We elect people to guard our rights. If the elected person is not good enough we elect someone else. We do not go out and knee cap people, abuse children or rape girls.

    I am sorry if I am offending some, that is not my intention, but what I see here is an effort to resurrect the past and I really, really hope it never happens again.

  • alf

    link me your stats stephen,

    In the more affluent and majority unionist B District (South and East Belfast) it worked out at 1.12%.

    this means nothing ^

  • Stephen Ferguson

    link me your stats stephen,

    In the more affluent and majority unionist B District (South and East Belfast) it worked out at 1.12%.

    this means nothing ^
    Posted by alf on Jan 22, 2010 @ 12:25 AM

    Well I took the population of both PSNI G District and B District (from the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency) and the number of PSNI stop and search instances in each District (Avavilable from BBC, UTV, etc) and worked out the percentage.

    There were more instances of stop and search in the North West but there is also a larger population in that district compared to B District which had the second highest number.

    The Unionist middle class population of south and east Belfast had almost the exact same chance of being stopped and searched as innocent working class nationalists in Derry or Strabane.

    Hope this ends the ‘5 nationalists per hour’ line that has been quoted a few times in this thread.

  • tacapall

    Pip, cynic2, fabianus, “Devils Advocates” please dont insult everyone else’s intelligence, you are posting for one reason and that is to cause dessent, nothing can justify the British state sponsored abuse of Irish citizens, I dont give two FKs what your opinion is, the “European Court of Human Rights” declared it was illegal, so who do you’s think you are trying to justify it, as for 7/7 or 9/11 what do you expect, “Keep your nose out of other countries buisness” and yes the security services are, an arm of the British government, like I said before , “what planet are you living on” and Cynic2, where is the lowest figures for these stop and search operations, Coleraine, well loyalists up there dont shoot catholics, them they just invade the area and beat them to death, please spare me your bullshit, state sponsored sectarian abuse of the Nationalist community.

  • Stephen Ferguson

    bullshit, state sponsored sectarian abuse of the Nationalist community.

    Posted by tacapall on Jan 22, 2010 @ 01:56 AM

    But I’ve just showed you the figures which prove that’s incorrect. Unionists in east Belfast have almost the exact same chance of being stopped and searched by the PSNI as republicans in Derry.

    How exactly is the Nationalist community being abused???