Include Youth call on PSNI to act on HMICFRS findings on Stop and Search

Include Youth have called on the PSNI to act on the findings of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services report into the PSNI’s performance which was commissioned by the Department of Justice. 

In particular Include Youth would like to see a fast track approach adopted by the PSNI in addressing the outstanding concerns on the usage of Stop and Search powers. 

Speaking today Include Youth’s Policy Co-ordinator, Dr Paula Rodgers said:  

“In 2019 Include Youth hosted, along with the Children’s Law Centre and Queens University Belfast a conference on Policing on the usage of stop and search powers against young people.

“At the conference it was once again reiterated that the over-zealous use of this power can indeed be abusive to young people’s rights and alienate young people from effective and impartial policing. 

“We welcome the fact today that the HMICFRS independent report has highlighted the use of these powers as an area of concern in terms of “the way [the PSNI] records stop and search data, inconsistencies in its approach to training, and shortcomings in the quality of external scrutiny.” 

“These are all areas that Include Youth and others have called to be addressed and we hope that through this report the PSNI expediates its plans to bring forward external scrutiny panels including one composed of young people. 

“We will be a seeking meeting with the PSNI in the coming weeks and asking the question as to what powers, if any, the external scrutiny panels will have or will they just be in an advisory role.

 “There remain strong concerns around the use of Stop and Search powers that we would like to see addressed in the time ahead. This report is timely and provides the opportunity for movement by the PSNI on this issue.”