15,000 vehicles stopped at checkpoints

Published Thursday, 16 January 2014
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Police have said over 15,000 vehicles were stopped at PSNI checkpoints in the Belfast area over the festive period.

15,000 vehicles stopped at checkpoints
Police checkpoints were set up across the city. (© Pacemaker)

In the run up to Christmas, police significantly increased security around the city centre and in other towns.

The move came after dissident republicans attempted an attack on an underground car park in one of the city's main shopping centres by means of a 130lb proxy car bomb.

Following the incident police operated vehicle checkpoints across the city in a bid to deter further attacks.

The PSNI has revealed that between 25 November and 15 January approximately 1,670 vehicle checkpoints were put in place in what police described as "hot-spot" areas to "prevent crime and reassure shoppers, revellers and motorists".

They said 15,234 vehicles were stopped and 1,598 of them searched.

Police officers were also on foot and on bikes throughout the city centre in support of businesses and to police the night-time economy.

Although there were large numbers of people visiting the city during the day and in the evenings to shop and socialise, we had a relatively low number of arrests for offences such as disorderly behaviour, just three arrests, or assault, just one arrest.

Chief Inspector Gabriel Moran

Between 2 December and 5 January, 24 people were arrested, 13 of these arrests were for theft with the remainder relating to a range of other offences.

A further 18 people were reported to the Public Prosecution Service, 47 fixed penalty notices were issued and 236 motorists were "given advice", the police said.

Almost 1,500 visits were also made to businesses.

Commenting on the policing operation, area commander for south Belfast, Chief Inspector Gabriel Moran said: "I would like to thank everyone who took on board the advice that was given out prior to Christmas to remain vigilant, to stay together when out socialising and to get home safe.

"A further 23 people were dealt with by way of discretionary disposal which is used to deal with minor crimes, such as begging and certain road traffic offences.

"While discretionary disposal is not a criminal conviction it ensures a faster outcome for the victim.

"As we enter a new year police will continue to take a proactive approach to tackling crime in Belfast city centre."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
15 Comments
shamrock in Belfast wrote (227 days ago):
Policing as a social objective my ar*e!!! These people joined for a cushy job, nice monthly paycheck (all that taxpayers money on overtime) and a perverted sense of trying to boss people about!!! The word mercenary springs too mind!!!
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (227 days ago):
@ m in Belfast I have nothing to hide but I don't want to surrender my freedoms either. I can't help but feel that as soon as the police started these checkpoints and caused disruption the terrorists won. @ Sarab in Belfast here is a reality shock for you - Everyone is at risk from terrorism and everyone is a target. Not just the police If the police used their resources targeting areas with high crime rates and used intelligence and profiling properly ALL crime (including terrorism) would go down. I can't help thinking these checkpoints were more to do with police overtime and moral
Tadhg in Belfast wrote (227 days ago):
If you want to find any of these checkpoints just drive into any Nationalist area of north or west Belfast. I'm come across one on a a daily basis.
Rab in Belfast wrote (227 days ago):
Go to and from work every day and never seen one checkpoint and ive be en travelling up and down the falls the last three years and have seen one police car The whole time just an observation !
Isobel in Lisburn wrote (227 days ago):
Where were all these supposed checkpoints?? Never saw any anywhere in Greater Belfast or outside it.
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