The PSNI has been waging a campaign of harassment in the Newry and Mourne area after it was revealedthat almost 4,000 stop and searches have been carried out by the force across the area since 2009.
The figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request and which have been released by the socialist republican party, éirígí, show that:
· Between 1st January 2009 to 31st January 2015 a total of 3,957 people were stopped, searched and questioned under the “Terrorism” Act and Justice & Security Act.
· Between 1st January 2009 to 31st December 2014 a total of 221 premises were searched under the “Terrorism” Act and Justice & Security Act.
Commenting on the figures, éirígí’s Newry representative Stephen Murney said, “This information vindicates what our party has been saying for quite a few years. It demonstrates that political policing is still very much to the forefront of the PSNI’s regular operations despite the false claims by constitutional nationalist parties that they delivered a new dispensation in policing.
“The fact that almost 4,000 stop and searches took place, along with over 220 raids on family homes and other premises, in the Newry area would suggest that the PSNI are still treating the people of Newry as a ‘suspect community’.
“This should make uncomfortable reading for those nationalists who act as PSNI cheerleaders in order to portray that force as some sort of benign and apolitical institution. It is nothing of the sort.”
Murney continued, “Let’s not forget either that the PSNI is also continuing to hamper the efforts of many families across the Six Counties who are trying to find out the truth about the murders of their relatives by British sponsored unionist death squads.
“When one looks at this force’s record, the reality is that the PSNI have in, many respects, simply picked up where the RUC left off. It’s time constitutional nationalists conceded that they got it wrong.”
“I would urge local communities to reject these forces and not be fooled by the spin and the various ‘sheep in wolves clothing’ initiatives peddled by those who are attempting to legitimise the British state forces.”