Board recommends PSNI search cards

Board recommends PSNI search cards

Young people who are stopped and searched by police should be given an information card, the Policing Board recommends.

The board has been looking into how police in Northern Ireland have met their human rights responsibilities over the past year.

It has made 11 new recommendations, including giving out cards which explain stop and search powers, how they should be carried out and the extent of information to be provided by police officers exercising the powers.

"Given the mutual benefit to both the police and young people to be derived from this initiative, a recommendation is made in the 2012 Report that PSNI consider developing a similar card to be handed out to adults who are stopped and searched," said Policing Board member Conall McDevitt.

The Human Rights report also expressed concerns over the use of police custody to hold immigration detainees.

A UK Border Agency (UKBA) short term holding facility was opened in Larne in July 2011, but 146 people were still held in police custody between July 2011 and March 2012, although that figure is down on the previous year.

The board questioned why the UKBA is continuing to use policy custody and board chair Brian Rea said: "Debate and discussion on the issue of human rights in policing is important and particularly with those who it directly affects - the community and the police."

ACC George Hamilton said it is important that the PSNI is held accountable.

"The fundamental building blocks for the delivery of effective policing and community confidence are human rights and accountability," he said.

"Accountability on this important issue is essential and PSNI welcome the scrutiny provided through the Board's Human Rights Committee and the work of their Human Rights adviser."

© UTV

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