Stop & Search Scandal

The Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective hits out at British police harassment of a nationalist in North Belfast.

A number of weeks ago the Greater Ardoyne Residents Collective asked our legal representatives to make a Freedom of Information request on our behalf. This was in relation to ongoing PSNI harassment and intimidation of local residents.

Question one asked: How many Stop and Searches were carried out under the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Justice & Security Act 2007 in the Ardoyne and Oldpark areas between January 2009 and January 2015?

The answer to this was a total number of 4,597 Stop and Searches against local Ardoyne and Oldpark residents. A staggering amount for such a small area in such a limited timeframe. This does not take into account any further Stop and Searches since January this year. It also doesn't account for Stop and Searches of residents that occur outside the district.

The next question asked: how many PSNI raids there had been in the Greater Ardoyne area under the same draconian legislation in the same time period?

The answer was a total of 262 invasions of local people's homes and businesses. Invasions that traumatise children, carried out at all hours of the day by heavily armed masked men.

We also asked how many arrests there were under this legislation, again in the same timescale?

The answer was 144. That is almost 150 times in five years that local people have been trailed from their families by gunmen to face torture at Antrim Detention Centre.

Unsurprisingly, the PSNI refused to disclose how many people have actually been convicted in the Greater Ardoyne area as a result of these thousands of Stop and Searches, hundreds of raids and arrests. That is because the total amount of unjust Diplock Court convictions for armed Republican activity in the Jan 09 - Jan 15 timescale is Two.

These figures, from the PSNI themselves, tell the truth. That the people of Ardoyne and the Marrowbone are facing daily harassment, intimidation, home invasions and militarisation of their area by a sectarian force continuing the tactics of harassment, intimidation and torture that their forerunners in the RUC also implemented. Same Aim, Different Name has never sounded more appropriate.

GARC hereby call on all local political parties, youth and community organisations to analyse these figures and cease their support, promotion and endorsement of the PSNI. They need to answer their own question from the victims of State Harassment in this area.

Are you standing with us, or against us?

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